I am sure that all of my avid readers (Mom and Dad) are familiar with my bio which reads, “Bureaucrat by day, ‘C’ League athlete by night, I fill the rest of my time thinking about things I should be writing about and sometimes fighting crime.” I will leave an account of my career as a vigilante for another day, but I will take a little time to tell you about my life in the ‘C’ League. The timing only seems right as my volleyball team starts tournament play today.
I have been living large in the ‘C’ League for three years now. I am sure you are bursting with questions. What is life like in the ‘C’ League? How did I get here–how can you get here? All are good questions. You don’t wake up in the ‘C’ League; getting here has been a journey which is why this will be a two part post.
Am I an athlete? Mrs. Larson’s 5th grade class certainly thought so when they voted me “most athletic girl.” This distinction of my athletic prowess put me up there with the best of the best; the cream of the crop. *Jenny, *Kelsie, and I reigned as the most athletic girls in the whole of the 5th grade.*Names have been changed–athlete’s of this caliber don’t need to be distracted from their training by pestering fans.
I stuck it out with the greats for a few years. but I always knew when it was time to retire. Some people might question my usage of the word “retire” rather than “quit.” Quitters walk away when they are faced with adversity; that’s not what I did. I made a series of strategic choices. Following the prolific career of an elite athlete can be tough. So, I will break my career down by sport (starting in Junior High) and reason for retirement.
My track career ended after a highly successful 8th grade season. I walked away from the last meet as the regional champion in high jump, long jump, and triple jump much to the chagrin of *Kelsie who was the favorite in the jumping events. Some might argue that I shouldn’t have walked away while I was on top, but ultimately, it was the right choice. I considered jumping into another season, but on my way to the first practice, I made a last minute judgement call and instead opted to enroll in a pottery class at the local rec center.
Reason for Retirement: Diversifying my interests while still on top
I was a solid starter throughout junior high. Tall and lanky, I was an excellent re-bounder who inevitably spent almost as much time falling on the floor as I did running up and down it. Years of YMCA basketball had prepared me for the rigors of being a true baller. During my 8th grade season, we ran the sideline play “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too” (I suppose I should note the coach was also our history teacher) like a well-oiled machine. Hindered only by a lifelong ankle injury, I finished that season well-prepared to enter the world of freshman ball. That summer I geared up by attending a basketball camp at a college campus in a neighboring state. It was there that i learned that there is very little I like about girls basketball. From the shoes to the shorts to how serious all the girls took it, I just knew that the sport wasn’t for me.
Before camp was even over I had decided I was done. However, I did purchase a great sweatshirt that remains a household favorite. So, there’s that…
Reason for Retirement: Required open gym attendance would infringe on valuable time in the boat the following summer.
Sport: Cross Country
I ran varsity cross country from 7th through 10th grade. Cross country is, for the most part, just as miserable as you would imagine it to be. I am not a natural runner, but I managed to make it work. But after four years running varsity, I reasoned that it was time to turn in my spikes (this is literally just a saying–I never thought buying spikes was that necessary much to the annoyance of my coach). My main contribution to the team was a positive attitude.
Reason for Retirement: Came to my senses
Conquering (or achieving the most marginal level of success) and later retiring from sports was an important step in achieving my current status in the “C” League where I am currently living large.