I am not an athlete. This is not to say that I am not active, because I am. I walk a lot, bike a lot, dance a lot, and do yoga less than I wish I did. But, organized sports and I are not friends.
Growing up, I loved baseball. I was born during the heat of the Tiger's 1968 Pennant season, and grew up hearing stories of watching my first World Series. I couldn't wait until 3rd grade when Little League started. That day that the marigold-yellow fliers were passed out at school, I carefully wadded mine in my thrilled fist and ran to the bus. Now I could join the actual game; I was anxious to get home and get Mom to sign me up.
Mom, though, had other ideas. "Little League is for boys," she said.
"But, Mom, there's a girl on the picture too," and there was, next to the cartoon boy, a cartoon girl, wearing a cap, holding a bat. Couldn't she see this?
"No. Boys play Little League." And that ended the conversation.
Fourth grade was about to end, and again the Little League fliers were sent home, but this time, with it came a different flier. One for girls softball. With no way to stop me this time, Mom allowed me to play. Several of my friends were on the same team (I don't remember the name, but our shirts and caps were purple! We all constantly chewed Grape Bubble Yum to match) and so I always had a ride to games and practices - Mom and Dad never made it to a game. I loved playing; I was terrible, but so was our whole team, and I was playing baseball.
Life was good.
The next year, Andy was finishing third grade. My little bro is, and always has been, more interested in taking things apart and putting them back together than in sports, but, as Mom told me two years eariler, "Boys play Little League."
It was terrible. She made him play; they went to every game; he came home crying 50% of the time. I continued to hitch rides with my friends to softball.