So, there are many things that I thought I would never do. I thought I would never climb a mountain, and I haven’t. I thought I would never get over my fear of heights, and I haven’t. I thought I would never have my own country, or at least be President of one, and I haven’t… yet. And I also thought I would never have anything to say about sports, but that is one thing that has been proved wrong! (Trust me, no one was more shocked than I was.)
I don’t like sports. In fact, between my prissy girlfriends and my prissy gay friends, I am proud of the fact that I am still the unsportiest person I know. I feel like I earned that status, and it was hard work. But now that title is in jeopardy because a few days ago I realized two things. One: I like to watch tennis. Two: I like to watch hockey. What the hell is going on?! (Sorry, I usually loathe double punctuation but this situation is different.)
Last week, Roy (my husband) and I had the opportunity to go to a hockey game because his sister has tickets and had somewhere else to be. We were both nervous and excited. On the one hand, I was hoping I wouldn’t be bored out of my mind. I have only seen one hockey game; I was dragged along for some church thing, more than sixteen years ago. So I’m there, towards the front, reading a book (I want to say the first Harry Potter book, but I don’t remember for sure) because hockey is a sport, and even then I knew enough to know sports and Michael do not mix. And then there was a fight between the two teams, and everyone I’m with is watching in horror and fascination, except for me. Suddenly, I am paying attention, egging the fight on and completely loving the scene before me. That’s right, I like hockey violence, which is weird since I don’t like wresting or boxing or anything like that. But since it was that one time I figured it was a fluke and never tried to watch hockey on TV or live again. So, I was really excited – remembering how much I loved it. But I was nervous because what if that one time was a mistake. What if I hated it, and ended up wasting an entire night? But I wanted to try it, partly because it was nice of Roy’s sister and my curiosity and excitement outweighed my fear, and also because I thought Roy would really like going. And talking about new experiences… we have never watched sports together – not even on TV!
Since we would have some time to kill before the hockey game, but were in the area of the arena we decided to watch Roy’s uncle play tennis. He’s a really good player and this didn’t feel like watching a sport because he’s family, but still I wondered if I would like it. But here is the thing: we liked watching him play so much that we were late to the hockey game! I think one of the reasons I really liked it was because I understood it. There was a time when I was going to play tennis. I knew the rules, practiced by myself and had a decent enough serve for a ten-year-old, but when it came to playing with other people I realized that it would involve balls flying at my face. And I seem to have a huge problem with any item, particularly balls of any size flying at my face (another reason I struck out with baseball – pun intended). But I still retained that information. Also, Roy’s uncle kind of kicked ass, and the “kind of” is really just being kind. He and his opponent were both great and skilled and wow did they tear up the court and keep each other running back and forth like crazy. If anyone is looking for a kind of hardcore exercise to incorporate into a diet or way to lose weight and you don’t want to go to a gym or use machines – play tennis. Seriously, three times a week and you’ll be good.
So after that we went to the hockey game. We arrived at the very beginning of the second period. I didn’t expect anything, but within the first few minutes I was completely captivated. I was wincing at the cringe-worthy moments and cheering whenever the other team missed the goal (I would have cheered when our team made a goal, but that didn’t happen once we arrived – more on that in a minute). I was totally into it, and not just for the fighting. And I say that because there was very little fighting and only a single penalty once we got there. Just like our team scoring (they had four goals) – all of that took place in the first period (and according to the scoreboard, there was a decent amount of it during that time).
When the game was over I was really disappointed, and not just because it was unexpected. I thought there were four periods so I wasn’t ready for people to jump up at the end of the third or my husband to say that we won. When it sank in I went between, “Yes, they won!” and “The game is over…” Yes they won! The game is over… I really didn’t want the game to be over.
Now I am actually going to start following hockey – like watching it on TV, and looking into checking out some local games (we’re visiting Roy’s family for the holidays). I know there is a lot I don’t understand (all I really do know is how someone scores and whoever scores the most wins) so I’ll find some sort of hockey 101 and see how watching games on TV go (tickets are out for now).
It’s really weird. I seriously thought there wasn’t a sport I could ever be into. I was so unsporty it made me proud… and now I have to amend all of that. No longer can I say, “I don’t like sports.” The blanket statement is suddenly complicated. But at least I can still say, “I don’t like to play sports.” That has to count for something! 😉
*Also, I think I was a jinx for the team. It was 4-0 when my husband and I arrived and 4-3 when the game ended. Yes, my husband was with me, but he is good luck, so if there is a jinx between us, it is certainly me. At least it didn’t cost our team the game! 😛