Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Dear blog fans: Below is a guest post from my good friend Julia. Enjoy…and thank you Julia!

I'm An Athlete. I'm Also Terrible At Sports…By Julia

It's funny how when you're an old, one teeny thing can make you see big chunks of your own life in a new light. I've been doing P90X3 workouts recently and I LOVE them. They're like sports practice-drills, drills, drills as hard as you can go. But there are never any games. It's just practice. It hit me that after finishing one that, even while I played sports from jr. high through college, I absolutely sucked in actual games. I knew that part years ago. What I realized today is that what I was good at was practice.

The thee-man weave, fast break drills, box-and-one drills, wall jumps-yeah! Bring that shit on. But get me in a game and I'd steal the ball only to blow it by dribbling like a coked-out crazy person up the court and barely manage to fling up a brick before flying under the basket and off the court. Softball, field hockey even gymnastics saw me blowing big game moments week after week (and year after year). I hate to admit that I was the queen of choke, but I was. Because what I liked about sports was building skills. Putting them together, not so much.

Unfortunately, being able to hit a bucket on home plate throwing from right field in practice didn't mean I could help the team win. Doing endless wind sprints without heaving didn't cause me to score any points. No one cares--nor should they, about how good you are at practice. While it's important for coaches to recognize hard work, there shouldn't be any trophies for it. Those who perform when it counts are the winners. But somewhere along the line, well after my game days were behind me, I learned that it is absolutely possible to be athletic and still suck at sports; to excel at the mechanics and fail at the game. For me, the mechanics are the game. And challenging myself every day is where I find the wins.

Julia plans and produces stuff for entertainment and technology companies. She works (and works out) in Redondo Beach.