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by Archives November 11, 2008

Last year I visited my friend Kim’s house for the first time. Kim is an accomplished basketball player and coach, so the dinner table conversation naturally revolved around sports.
“What sport do you practice Karen?” asked her father. “None. I like sitting still,” was my only answer.
Then everybody laughed, but I wasn’t joking. It took at least 15 minutes of awkward explanation for them to understand that I despised everything they loved.
Sports may be good for my health, but they’re definitely bad for my self-esteem. As a child I was the slowest runner, the weakest thrower, you name the sport – I just couldn’t seem to do it properly.
And so as my friends grew up to be accomplished athletes, I slept in the stands. And I have no regrets; those were some of the best naps of my life.
I remember hating everything about physical education in grade school, from the torn mats, to having to play with the boys, to having to bring a change of clothes. My teacher was lazy and we always played some form of tag, the worst forms of which also somehow involved the simultaneous throwing of large red balls.
I remember the disappointment on my mother’s face when she realized I couldn’t even accomplish a straight somersault. I blame her though; she’s the one who failed to pass on her world-class gymnast genes.
My father wanted me to play tennis. That never happened. Instead I was forced to take figure skating. I now have to hear about the time I forgot to take off my plastic covers every time anything skating-related comes up.
As if that wasn’t punishment enough, I also had to take dance class. Not surprisingly I was horrible at it, mainly because I couldn’t pick up on the music’s rhythm. And so died my dreams of becoming a ballerina.
After skating and dance I became a prisoner of soccer. Because I was incapable of running I was relegated to the net, which I was actually good at. It just so happened however that my coach always forgot to bring the pads and equipment, so a fear of breaking every bone in my body led to our losing almost every game.
Then high school came around and I had to deal with such travesties of natural human movement as swimming and lacrosse. My boyfriends canceled dates pretending they were sick so I wouldn’t know they were standing me up to go play football. I still particularly dislike football to this day. Why anybody would want to run around and throw a ball with pointy edges is beyond my comprehension.
In CÉGEP I was switched out of volleyball into cross-country skiing against my will. My legs still hurt when I think of the 45 minutes it took me to make it up that initial first hill to the path.
Even now in university, when I’m supposed to be free of sport’s evil grasp, I still have to deal with them on a daily basis. I have to edit this sports section for one. I have to listen to an endless number of men talking about how they wish they had a girlfriend who owned a bicycle. I have to work on school projects involving amateur sports because it’s my teammates’ passion. I have to pretend I care about hockey so I don’t get stoned to death every year.
So once and for all, I strongly dislike sports. And that’s my right. So leave me alone, I don’t want to watch the playoffs with you.

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