Confessions of a pseudo-sportsperson

I come from a family of avid sportspersons. My grandfather and his grandfather, my father and his grandfather, all played cricket. And if I might add, they played phenomenally well. If you happen to ever enter my house, the first thing you’ll notice is a showcase full of trophies (from tournaments at their respective department levels, they had government jobs they weren’t ready to sacrifice for cricket) that belong to my progenitors. And before you think that they’re huge show offs; let me tell you that there are just so many trophies that we just have to keep them in every room and every showcase.

It was only natural for my family to assume that I would customarily inherit these exceptional sports skills. Instead, I turned out to be athletically challenged. It never bothered me much, but it bothered them a little too much. My hand-eye coordination, hand-leg coordination or any other coordination for that matter has been deplorable since time immemorial which totally explains why I’ve miserably failed at all the games I’ve had the credulity to take up.

Oh yes, I’ve played a lot of games in the 19 years of my life. I’ve spent almost all the summers of my life learning to play one sport after another, never repeating one. Basketball, check. Hockey, check. Cricket, check. Swimming, check. Volleyball, check. Throw ball, check. Owing to this trend, I could have ended up as jack of all but master of none. Instead, I used to make a complete fool of myself year after year in a plethora of summer camps.

I don’t really blame my parents. It really helps if you can play a sport decently. And especially in today’s time and age, when parents want their kids to be superhumanly multitalented, my parents’ acute disappointment at my athletic disability is excusable. But I couldn’t handle it anymore and hence firmly told them three years back that it was time to stop. They would have to make peace with the fact that their daughter can’t play anything for nuts.

They complied, but I am my biggest enemy. Last summer, I was consumed with an inexplicable, and admittedly lethal, urge to learn tennis. In my head, I just knew I was going to be sensational. I cajoled my parents and they agreed to let me give it a shot. Sigh! I should have known that things never turn out the way they are in my head. I gave up after three months of futile coaching, during which I hit my coach with the tennis ball, albeit by mistake, some 782739 times.

So I’ve decided to take a vacation from sports, for like, forever. We’re just not meant to be together. It’s not only deathly to me (because of all the embarrassment) but also to anybody else who happens to be in 1 kilometer radius of the ground I’m playing in. So it’s as if I’ve stopped for the general betterment of mankind.

Every now and then, I read/hear about young girls excelling at sports, Saina Nehwal being the latest show stealer and I feel so proud to be a girl. Of course I couldn’t do anything even close to what she’s doing, but at least I tried. That’s what matters, right? And it’s not like I didn’t gain anything from years of humiliation. Sportsmanship spirit for one has been etched into my personality. Handling, ducking and not succumbing to public embarrassment can be some traits I can mention in my resume.

So if I count my blessings and look at the brighter side and all that, I think I turned out to be a fine sportsperson. Zero talent, but a whole lot of insight into life.

Kashika Saxena

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