Jock and Jill
My husband once said when he met me I didn’t know the difference between a canoe paddle and a ping-pong paddle. What he meant was that I pretty much suck at sports. I didn’t find out I needed glasses until my ego was already deflated by being picked last for every dodgeball, softball or kickball team. Even when I could see, I was still pretty convinced I couldn’t catch or hit anything. I was right.
I got new roller skates and a bicycle for my seventh birthday. Were my parents trying to kill me? I completely destroyed the Sullivan twins’ hedge five houses down trying to control all those wheels and to this day still bear the physical and mental scars.
Four years of high school gym muscle rev and stupid blue bloomers. My first high school date took me bowling. After I broke all my pearl-polished fingernails and hit nothing but gutter, I decided this guy and I would never suit.
Two years of phys ed in college, with the requirement that every student pass a swimming test to graduate! I took the test when I had undiagnosed mono and almost drowned…but I passed and I graduated.
What was my husband doing while I was bandaged and flunking stickball, hopscotch and hula hoop 101? Going to Y and Boy Scout camps and winning every medal. Captaining the basketball and football teams, playing baseball and rugby in high school. Playing college football. Attending a variety of sporting events (We went to a greyhound race on our honeymoon). He once drove to Muhammad Ali’s estate in Cherry Hill, New Jersey after a bout and got in since he had Maine plates on his car. Little did the security people knew he’d only driven from Rutgers.
After we married, he coached several sports and played tennis, racquetball and golf. I bought sneakers because they were cute, not functional, and got pregnant with our son because it rained too hard to have football practice one September afternoon.
He’ll watch any sport on TV. I’d rather poke an eye out, so keep the cue stick away from me. Which you should do in any case, because I might poke your eye out.
I am content to let my family represent me on the playing field. Fortunately my husband’s sports genes and not mine were passed on to our kids. They wrestled, played football, soccer, basketball, softball, tennis, track and field, ran cross-country, and cheered. Go Team Robinson.
Historical romance heroes are universally fit and athletic, whether they’re boxing at Gentleman Jackson’s or fencing at Angelo’s. A lady may enjoy archery and riding. I did ride a mule down into the Grand Canyon, but I did not smell like a proper heroine afterward. And you can only imagine how dangerous I’d be with a bow and arrow.
Who’s your favorite “sport” in fiction and movies? I like SEP’s Heath Champion and Keira Knightly in Bend It Like Beckham. What do you like to play? If I say Scrabble, does that count?
Love is playing every game as if it’s your last. ~Michael Jordan
Come back Friday, March 23 when I post the first MRMR contest—Too True To Life. No heavy thinking or athletic skill required! You’ll have the weekend to enter. The randomly-selected winner will be announced on Monday, March 26.