Sports and Me? We don’t match…most of the time

I’ve never been particularly sporty or fit. Okay, okay, so I was quite unfit actually. Back at high school, I was dropped off, and picked up from, school every day. I did not walk anywhere. We had a very car-centric culture, where every bit of travelling was done by car (public transport you say? I had never been in a bus!).

Those who know me know I had a pretty sheltered life. The result was, I was very unfit and this together with my generally skinny frame did go one bit towards making any sort of athlete or sports woman out of me.

The first time I really walked around for any significant amount of time was for Orientation Day at university. Oh my, that was a killer! When I reached home at the end of the day, my legs and feet were screaming at every step. I had never walked so much in my life before.

University, then, was a step up in terms of fitness. When I moved to O’Rorke, the Hall of Residence, I joined the gym and even went consistently for some time but that only lasted for a few months (guilty look).

Since then, I have been trying (with varying degrees of success) to get healthier and attain some resemblance of fitness. But it’s not as easily done!

So generally I was plain bad at sport. I had no strength, no stamina, no speed (still don’t). Yeah, I was the girl in the team that runs away from the soccer ball instead of going towards it. Guilty as charged.

Through some coincidence, which I don’t remember now, I decided to try squash a while back. The first time I totally failed. But I am good at learning. I like learning. And now I had found something that I found I seemed to enjoy and that I might not totally suck at.

I played a few times more and each time I got better. I began to really like squash. It was energetic, fun and above all it was something that I could actually play!

Then I moved out of the Hall of Residence. I didn’t play squash again. For years. I kept the squash ball I had, hoping to play again. A part of me said I would be horrible at it, another part said I won’t know until I try.

Today, I tried it again. I booked the squash court. I had butterflies in my tummy as the time came closer. I got worried that I would totally fail, or worse that people wil be watching.

My lovely Maxi accompanied me there. He patiently waited while I tried to hit the ball and missed again and again. He tried to show me how to serve the ball. I listened. I tried. I missed again. I tried again. I learnt. I got better. I missed less shots.

I remembered again how much I loved the game. Running, focusing on the ball, feeling the power of in my hands, feeling the movements of my body. It was awesome!

Maybe next time I will get better, and learn more, and grow with each new experience.

Published by Shalveena Rohde

Fiji born New Zealand lawyer of Indian descent, now living in Australia. Amateur writer. Challenging outdated and unjust societal expectations.

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