I AM NOT AN ATHLETE. I AM NOT ATHLETIC. I AM NOT…
Okay, you get the picture.
But, the thing is…I’m not. What I AM is willing to try new experiences. In fact, the older I get the more so this is true. I find that I do not have the same reservations I faced as a younger, more self-conscious woman. “Oh, what if I’m terrible at it?” “What if I make a mistake and look ridiculous?” “What if…I NEVER try anything new again for fear that my silliness will somehow get recorded and posted to You Tube, go viral, and the whole world will say, ‘There she goes, SWM, look, look, LOOK at her!’ And, even worse: laugh. “Hahahahahahahahaha, oh my gosh, what was she thinking? HahahahahahahahahHA!”
Nope. I just do not care anymore.
Last weekend my boyfriend and I had an entire two days (Friday and Saturday) to spend together. Both of us single working parents, this is a rare gift. We were going to kick off that “alone” time with a hike Friday afternoon, but as my work day ran a little later than expected we thought perhaps we would lose too much daylight if we messed around finding a destination. Mulling over our options, J. suggested, “Well, you did mention before that you might be interested in trying frisbee golf. We could go to W. Park and play the first nine holes or so, if you want.” Well, sign me up! Frisbee golf? Never heard of it before J. came into my life two years ago. Never. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve even thrown a frisbee (okay, well, maybe both hands, but either way). And, I also confess, the times a frisbee was part of my recreational activity, I didn’t exactly throw it with finesse.
Life is not about looking good. Life is not about being the best. Life is not about keeping the status quo. At least not if you want to enjoy it. At least…not for me. Life is about giving it a shot-whatever “it” is.
So, off we went to the park! It was a beautiful afternoon, perfect for spending outdoors. Frisbee golf. Doesn’t sound too hard. All you do is toss the disc until you make it into the little basket hoisted up on a pole. Right? I think I can do this. We walked up to the cement platform, ready to rock ‘n’ roll. I told J. to go first so I could get an idea of what he was doing. Wow! What a throw! Really? I’m supposed to throw the disc that far? THAT FAR? In between the trees? Without hitting them? Uh-huh. Got it. Next, it was my turn. Toss……….uh……oh…..there it goes….to the left….about fifty feet in front of me, well, maybe only thirty. My disc didn’t quite fly like his did. Hmmmmm. Well, that’s okay. I’m just learning. Regardless of my left curve-ball attempts we indeed made our way through the beginning part of the course, most of my turns taking between four and nine throws (par was three). J. was a such a trooper, too, encouraging me and not laughing his behind off with each pathetic toss, as he certainly could have.
We crossed over into another part of the park to finish up our ninth hole. Oh dear. Up a hill? We have to throw up a hill and to the right? But, my disc wants to go to the left and down hill, period. Darn it! Oh, well, here we go…skip, step, toss! Hmmmmm, yep, to the left. Shoot. Slowly, I found a way to join my sweetie at the next hole. Slowly, I finally got the disc into the basket. Then slowly, I turned my head, narrowed my eyes, and looked at J. From the top of the hill looking down, I asked, “So, where’s the next basket?” “Down that way, over there. You see it?” J. pointed. Oh, yeah, I saw it. And, without a thought, without so much as a hint of contemplation, full of mischief, I shot back:
And, I was off. Running, frantically running-”Huff, puff, huff, puff.”- J. gaining on me, probably thinking to himself “what the-?!?!” “You’re serious?!” he shouted. Yes, I was! I was sailing! I was free! I was faster than a lightning bolt! I wasn’t almost 40 anymore! Every muscle in my body was moving, thriving, pumping hard! I was…was…
FALLING DOWN! FALLING DOWN? FALLING DOWN!
“Watch it!” he hollered, but it was too late. Stumble, trip, OOF! Knees to the ground, hands flinging forward, face into the grass, I was eating dirt, man, I was eating dirt! And, laughing! Hysterically! J. looking at me, saying, “Oh, no. Are you okay?” Trying his hardest, his boyfriendliest best not to bust out until he knew nothing was broken, twisted, or cracked, he came up to my landing spot and hovered over me. “Are you sure you’re okay?” he beckoned. I rolled over, grass and twigs wriggling down from beneath my shirt into my undies, and I couldn’t say a word–yet. Hooting, snorting, giggling I squeaked out, “Kiss me! I just needed a break. That’s all. I did this on purpose!” Bwahahahahahaha, bwahahahahaha! Finally, without hesitation J. allowed a little chuckle to escape. He looked into my eyes, smiling. It was safe: his silly, goofy, ridiculously clumsy, dorky, and completely and totally un-athletically inclined girlfriend wasn’t hurt. Better yet, she was gloriously happy, perhaps even glowing…or at least flush as heck from embarrassment.
Okay, so my right knee was throbbing a bit, but as we looked down at my pant leg and the humongous green stain circling right in the middle, the laughter accelerated. We laid there for a while, waiting, calming down, and rehashing the entire incident. “I can’t believe you tried to race me!” he exclaimed. Totally joyous. These are the moments worth savoring.
Later that night, after the rest of our evening flowed smoothly (in terms of me staying upright and uninjured), I did request a small (teeny-weeny, really) ice-pack for my knee. I asked sheepishly, “Honey, will you ever take me to play frisbee golf again?” Honey replied (answer condensed with artistic blogger license), “Of course. I think you’re awesome. Next time we just need to practice your throw a bit more.”
Well, I think he’s awesome. And, I think, what kind of SWM am I if I encourage my daughter to try new things…to be open to the what-ifs…to face upcoming challenges and fears….to be able to laugh at herself and be light-hearted if I cannot do the same?
I DEFINITELY want to play frisbee golf again. I DEFINITELY am not afraid to try to win a race against J. again, either. And, I DEFINITELY hope that you, my treasured readers, had a tummy twisting belly laugh at my expense from reading this post. After all, life is short. Live it fully. Be happy, and give a chuckle.
*Thank you, Google, for the two frisbee golf pictures above. Thank you, J., for the cute long arm photo of US.