Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I never get any sleep during the Olympics.

I don't. I LOVE sports. I LOVE the Olympics. When I was a kid, it was my dream to be on the Olympic Volleyball Team. In junior high, I think I was on my way. I was the captain of my team, a regular setter and hitter, and even though it was a small school, and the other schools I played with (mostly private schools) had coaches actively recruiting me to come play for them in high school.

I ended up choosing academics and going to the California Academy of Math & Science. They had a water polo team, a tennis team, and a cross country team. That was it. None of the sports I excelled at: basketball, softball, volleyball, badminton. Despite the fact that I'm a horrible runner (ADD crosscountry runner=Melissa stopping ever other second to look at something shiny), I joined cross-country. It wasn't the same. I'm a team player sort of girl, but CAMS only had what they had, and all my time was either swallowed up by homeowrk or my afterschool job anyway.
I did join Tae Kwon Do in my junior year and went pretty far in that. I got my little competitive spirit assuaged there, and for the bumps and bruises to prove it. I have a dent in my shin from a brown belt hammering me with the side of his foot. And even if I'm out of shape, I can surprise the hell out of people with my flexibility. But I know that I'll never again be the young star athlete who had Olympic aspirations.

But even though my dream was over before it ever really began, it doesn't stop the utter ache I feel when I watch those athletes. Because I still remember that feeling. The push through exhaustion, the way you become a team, and win or lose, nothing matters but how you play. The way you're just an ATHLETE. That's it.

Of course what that's done is ruined me for casual play. You can't just play a casual game of volleyball with me. I want there to be rules. I want side outs and points and penalties for carrying. I want teams and colors and I want to win. Dammit. You should have seen me at Sam's softball game.

It gets especially bad during the Olympics, but i didn't realize HOW bad it was until I popped in WiiSports last night and started playing the Tennis game. Without realizing what I was doing,suddenly I was jumping up and down, shouting to myself (Don't just give it to them! Make them work for it!). I was sweaty, clutching my wiimote maniacly, and swinging wildy with a sore arm because I was GOING to win this doubles match. Dammit.

I miss competeting, but I also realized that Competition!Mel is a scary, scary girl.

Still, I've missed her.

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