Adonis Diaries

Introspection: Not a Team Player (continue 18)

Posted on: January 2, 2009

Not a team player


 I had no abilities within team games in sport. I was short and ungainly. The few times any team allowed me to play volleyball I never minded that over zealot players intercept my balls; I enjoyed volleyball on one on one or when in circle but would quit when rowdy players started to smack the ball “kabseh”.   Maybe the additional handicap for not liking group sports was that I started wearing corrective glasses since the age of 13 and had broken many ultra ugly corrective glasses several times; basketball was the worst glass breaker; I think that I once broke my glass shooting hoops by myself.  Once, we were tested to join a soccer team; I was promptly excluded: I think that I stumbled several times while running a lousy ball; you know that it was not my fault but someone always doing tricks on me.  Baseball was once introduced for a semester; I am pretty sure that it did not suit my temperament of waiting, I the rock, not to mention hitting my ankles or my head with an ugly and dangerous stick.  In the Brevet year we were all trained to rotate lighted short batons for the end of year ceremony; thus, during summer I filled bags with sands and rotated them over my head in acrobatic motions:  I developed heavier forearms than the rest of my body members; just imagine my friend and cousin Popeye.

One summer we hired a black belt Gong Fu trainer by the name of Hamza, for a “select” group of athletes and I was admitted.  Hamza never told me that I was a hopeless case with my funny running, jumping and kicking. It turned out that I was the only one who was awarded the Green Belt (Beware guys!).  I was the only one who kicked the flat wooden board: style didn’t matter, only performance count.

Another summer I was hoarded to a training camp.  We were to climb ropes, cross mountains on ropes, and all kinds of ropy shenanigans.  I climbed the rope with perfect style and according to directions.  I reached the top with hurrahs. The trainer ordered me to descend the rope immediately.  My biceps and triceps and many hidden “ceps” were tired and exhausted and they locked at the first third of the height. I let go by mid height after the skin and flesh of my hands evaporated in well cooked resistance maneuver.  I was the happiest guys in camp when my co-campers were to cross mountains on an extended rope. I don’t appreciate seeing in movies Special Forces climbing ropes but I exult when they cross over mountains; only then I feel like a movie watcher.

I barely have seen the sea in my childhood though I could see it and it was barely five miles bird’s distance.  Once, I was devilishly trying to advance even an inch in a swimming pool; the “maitre nageur” whistled for me to get out promptly; I got mad, really mad, because I didn’t yet drown and shouted: “le 3ainak!” which meant “for the sake of your eyes watch how wonderfully and fishily I will swim” the rest of the interminable pool. I did learn how to swim, in any manner you like, except flipping over to changing direction; I asked the director of the Olympic team of swimmers to disqualify me and refused adamantly to suffer any further sport rebuffs. Wherever I relocate my first search is for a nearby covered swimming pool.

Guess what! I learned to snow sky too; a way to discriminate among water skiing or ice skating. I tried once ice skating and my ankles hurt very much; the baby skates were too tight and the next higher number was too large but then I had some fat around my behind which delayed the setting on of further hurts and aches the next morning.  Back to snow skiing.  Sure, I hired a trainer the first couple of times but I was a born snow skier.  I used to carry all the expensive sky implements on top of my car twice a week for a winter. I had the guts to attempt one of “dangerous” slopes.  I remember clearly that the slope was not labeled Red or Orange, or even Yellow.  The slope was elevated and the view from up there was not comforting and I was alone and the sky darkening.  I remember clearly that I could not describe my perilous descent to hell as skiing; it was mostly sliding on my bottom.  Again, it is not style but performance that counts and I can boast indefinitely.  That is the beauty of free opinion.

I carried a much stooped stature which exacerbated my shortness and still do.  I am 164 cm tall and just shot 8 cm in one of the years, maybe when I was 14, and stopped growing altogether. Ghassan is taller than me by at least 6 cm and walks straight.

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January 2009

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