Boyle McCauley News

Since 1979 • June-July 2023 • Circulation 5000

Find Your Inner Athlete

I have never considered sports to be a big part of my life. I was not particularly talented when it came to athletic pursuits as I was never fast, flexible, or skilled enough in the various techniques one needs to be successful at things like soccer or basketball.

Yes, I endured the childhood trauma of always getting picked last for teams in physical education classes. I internalized the humiliation when I made some sort of error that blew the game for my team or when I simply could not make myself do what seemed like inhuman feats. I have a clear memory of my (male) gym teacher in junior high physically pulling my legs over my head as he forced me to flip upside down over a horse vault. I screamed all the way while the other kids watched with amusement. I wonder how many people who have had similar experiences have filled therapists’ chairs later in life.

However, not all of my memories of school sports are bad ones. Apparently I have good aim, and won first place at my school’s track meet in a competition that involved tossing bean bags into pails a distance away. I proudly wore my red ribbon for the rest of the day, and even convinced my parents that I really did win it and did not swap for it from another child.

As an adult, I get a lot of physical and mental satisfaction from cycling, which I find both healthy and practical. I also juggle what are called “devil sticks” which involves a lot of moving around as well as hand-eye coordination. Kids (and some adults) also find it entertaining to watch me.

So, when it comes to sports, find something you enjoy. There are other measures of success than being picked first for the team.

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