I have something to admit. Ever since moving to Chicago, the land of sports teams (or so it seems to me), I have been forced several times to confront the fact that while I may consider myself an athlete, I’m not sure I can call myself a sports fan. I know, I know, it’s kind of embarrassing, but the past few times I’ve found myself in front of a television surrounded by fanatics cheering on their “boys,” I can’t help but let my mind wander free.
I think about how watching sports just makes me want to play sports. I get the competitive itch crawling up my spine, think about how much my muscles have atrophied since I unbuckled my goalie pads for the last time in November of 2008, and am often hyper-aware of how my body is placed in my chair. If I am sitting on a bar stool, I wonder why people like stools more than booths. I think that I should have stronger abs; maybe I should focus more during chaturangas or flex my stomach while blogging.
One time I even verbalized my feelings: “Watching sports makes me want to play sports.” The person sitting next to me said, “Watching sports makes me want to drink.” And instead of channeling my love of being the one to beat someone in a physical challenge or game into the television, finding some sort of connection with the players on the screen, I end up doing exactly what watching sports doesn’t make me want to do: eating or drinking to the point that I need to unbutton my pants and lie down somewhere else. It’s so terrible.
I have never thought I was much of an actress, though I do remember a particularly good miming exercise I performed in sixth grade drama class. I created a beautiful flower with my hands; it was so believable. But now, I think I have fooled people into thinking that I am actually paying attention when I’m watching sports. If you are one of these people, I am so incredibly sorry. I will keep trying, but, until otherwise noted, I am probably thinking about the time in third grade when I wrote a story about my ice hockey game but couldn’t remember whether it was divided into quarters or periods. And was a game divided into periods divided into three parts? It didn’t matter that I didn’t remember the rules; I beat all the boys in the grade in the chin-up competition in P.E. that year.