If you know me, you're probably giggling a little, because in truth, I've never been much of a natural athlete.
I spent all of 8th grade gym class alternately sporting red or blue cotton sweatpants (featuring a circa-1995 elastic waistband, prime for getting pantsed, which
only happened occasionally more often than I would have liked), and a variety of Tweety Bird t-shirts three sizes too big (Tweety in rastafari cap? check. Tweety in Kris Kross backward denim? kcehc.). Every Twister mat within the county lived in paralyzing fear of my stretchy, striking ensemble. There was no limit to my lunge.
Just when you thought an outfit couldn't be worked, they worked it.
In 9th grade I managed to completely miss a volleyball pass, because in an effort to "get low" in proper form, I accidentally swung and hooked my clasped hands underneath my left leg. The ball dropped at my feet, as did any chance of getting the MVP - no, any - award that season, and perhaps ever.
Every winter, we are faced with the prospect of looking so pale and fleshy that you would wonder whether we really live here in the woods or if it's actually a cover story to hide the fact that we survive in a network of gloomy, lightless tunnels below Gotham. Though riveting adventure and the glistening prospect of exploration linger just outside our doorway, indoor dwelling seduces us via its arsenal of velvety fleece blankets, spongy couch cushions, mesmerizing works of fiction, and steaming cups of earl grey. Upon our surrender, the extra pudge and pasty countenance take root.
And soon, the tunnel story appears suspiciously probable to the outside world.
Fortunately, our work is our salvation. Part of my job is to play for a living. I mean this exactly as such - to literally play. In the season of ice and snow, this can involve hucking adults and young children down a winding snow-tube run and sliding across an ice rink in a herculean effort to
score goals stay upright. Some people, like a certain few friends of ours, are freakishly good at playing broom ball, a northern hybrid of ice hockey and Dance Dance Revolution that we offer as an activity here on The Compound. These crazies run along the glassy surface of ice with the grace of a leaping impala, while the rest of us plod about like appaloosas on roller skates. It's completely disgraceful.
But we suffer the disgrace, because we know the alternative to be worse. Physical prowess may never by my thing and coordination may not be my calling card, but I will do my darndest to be sure that scary, subterranean eyes and a penchant for underground digging aren't either.