I was not an athletic kid by any stretch. Actually, scratch that. I was not sedentary either. I played 5 years of youth soccer before meat and cheese compounded by late onset puberty made me less than a hot ticket by 8th grade. Sheesh. I mean, even in youth soccer, I was pretty consistently on defense. I don’t know youth soccer philosophies now but, back then, defense was where you put a kid like me. I would occasionally be played as a forward and I scored a few valuable, but accidental, goals.
Anyway, back to the E-ticket that I became.
Eight grade (or the reverse Grade 8 – the standard word order for those of us born in Canada) I once again dabbled in inter school athletics playing basketball for the Arthur Day Trojans. Being that we were generally between the ages of 11 and 14, the comedy of that name was not lost on us. I chose to wear number 32. After all, it was Magic Johnson’s number and my sister was a big Magic fan. One of my friends wore Larry Bird and I think the third might have worn Michael Jordan. I played. Probably not centre due to the late-onset puberty I would sit at home and wait for. I was generally a bench warmer. We had a few players who had the makings of moustaches and the benefit of earlier growth spurts and so they were started a little more frequently. Makes sense. Even if it’s junior high school, the point is still to win.
There were, if i recall, two of us that went most of the season without scoring a basket. He and I would keep that bench nice and toasty, Canadian winters being what they are. I think it was the second to last game of the season when he was in the game, and scored on a layup. I finished the season … scoreless.
That was the end of my involvement as an active participant in school sports thought I did do an excellent job of organizing tournaments and later paid work as the public address guy at my college. This was a far more suitable endeavor as I loved watching the sport but never quite found the necessary skill set.
It wasn’t until much later when I discovered running that I became a reluctant adult onset athlete …