My partner and I have been having an ongoing discussion about my unwillingness to play sports. I have always been uncoordinated. Being uncoordinated is different than being a klutz. To me, a klutz is someone who is always running into things, hurting themselves, falling and so on. I do that too, but I don’t really hurt myself. Klutzes do. Uncoordinated people do all of those things as well but manage to get away fairly unscathed with maybe a few bruises. The added component of uncoordinated over klutz is they also have bad hand/eye coordination which makes anything that requires such skills, like sports, virtually impossible.
I had a friend in high school who was a total klutz. She was always causing little accidents that ended up with cuts, bruises, even broken bones. But she was remarkably coordinated and was on every sports team in the school. I was always running into doorways and falling up stairs but constantly picked last for every team. My sports skills were pretty much non-existent.
For those of you who are coordinated and don’t have a clue what I’m talking about, this post might help you understand.
I did try for many years to find something I was good at. I had constant hope that one day I would stumble (literally) on something that I could master. That never did happen. So now, in adulthood, I actively avoid sports. I don’t avoid activity. I love to dance. I love yoga. I’ll play pool or bowl as long as everyone knows not to expect anything of me skill-wise. Sports, on the other hand, where there is a team and expectations of some level of skill, I refuse to participate.
My partner thinks this is negative and defeatist. He thinks that I should do it anyway. He thinks if I just keep at it I will get better.
The latter is true. Anyone can get better at anything if they do it enough. However, I – like you and everyone else – only have so much time in our lives. Do I (or you) want to spend it trying to master something at which you will only be mediocre or something that I/you can really master?
I prefer the latter.
I thought about this in great detail because I’m all about pushing your comfort zone and being open to possibility. So, I thought, by being so against playing sports, am I going against everything I teach about taking risks?
Then it dawned on me – it’s not a skill I value. If it’s not something I value, why should I spend a great amount of time on it?
We all have things in our life we value. What we value is what we need to concentrate on. Others may try to tell us that we should value something else, or that we should value something they value in addition to what we already value. Well, kitties, we are all who we are and no matter what the expectations of others, we cannot value what they value.
Sure, sports have their value – for others. For many they are a source of pride, of camaraderie, of challenge and joy. Not for me. For some numbers are a source of comfort, knowledge, control. Not for me. That doesn’t mean I berate others for valuing these things. It also doesn’t mean that I need to feel the same way about them as others do.
I love my garden, but I will likely never go to the extent of my friends who have their entire yard full of fruit trees and vegetables and harvest all their own food in the city. I respect this and find it amazing. And it’s not on my top 5 things in my life. Food is valuable and not valuable enough for me to grow all my own food. I love that they do that. It’s not on my personal priority list.
What do you value? Here are some things you may or may not value. This is by no means a comprehensive list.
- personal growth
- physical activity
- and many more
It’s vital to know what is of value to YOU. All of these things are valuable, yes. Thankfully there are people out there who will put a high value on different things so it’s not up to you to master them all. Put your time and energy into what YOU value. Master and concentrate on what is most important to you.
Be open to discovery and having joy from things you may not have experienced. You may be surprised. I could have never tried pole dancing because of my uncoordinated-ness. Instead, I discovered a new skill. I already know I am terrible at baseball. I don’t need to keep revisiting that. I had no idea I would love digging in the dirt and growing beautiful flowers. Then I got a house with big empty flower beds so I started filling them and loving the results. I have spent a lot of time trying to get even mediocre with numbers with minimal improvement so I don’t have to keep going there.
Know what your strengths are. Know what you value. Honor what you love. Master what you are great at and delegate the rest. The world deserves your best. Serve them and yourself by honoring who you are and what you’re here to do. If that’s catching, throwing, hitting and jumping – more power to you!
Christie Mawer – The Bad Kitty