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Hit and Miss

There's just no way to finesse this. I am terrible at sports. I believe I can play any sport but the reality is I just suck at it - all of it. Not too long ago, we went to play GPS golf with friends. This is where you swing the ball and wait for the computer to tell you how far it went.

To be honest, I don't really fancy positioning, aiming, and swinging all at the same time. Seems like a lot to do. Shouldn't I be able to Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V the golf ball wherever I want it to go since a computer is the middle-thing? Instead, I struggle to hold the club correctly, to swing it with one elbow bent the other not so, move the knees in synchrony with my hips, hit the ball accurately, and follow through with my form.

On one swing the back screeches. On another the turf gets hit so hard that the floor vibrates. And then, miraculously the club connects with the ball and off it goes to the green holes. I hoot, I cheer, I do a little dance, I take a swig of the beer with a big grin, thrilled at my sport prowess.

For the next ten balls, I score zero.

People all over the world have two things in common - fried dough, and hitting a ball with a stick. The latter is a pre-requisite of birth, rite of passage, a requirement to survive. But how come the stick is always the same size, not adjusted for short folks like me? When I swing the golf club, the top of it is at my chin. How on earth can I swing properly when I am trying to preserve my teeth?

Recently I played table tennis and pool with Tarun. Until I realized that in TT you simply touch the ball with the racquet without swinging it, the ball was hitting everything in the room except for the opposite end of the table. With pool, "Good Lord!" is all I can say. I repeatedly hit and missed. So utterly frustrating.

Why do I keep playing? Because the belief that I can be better is a tremendous motivator. And accidentally beating Tarun when he is totally distracted - oh, about once in a 100 times - is incredibly rewarding.

In fact, if you search for "Why do I suck at sports" you will get pages of hits in Google. The reasons run the gamut: it's like being dyslexic, poor hand-eye coordination, lack of physical fitness, not knowing the rules. Well, er, none of those applies to me.

So then what?!

In response, like all good people of this world, I deflect: clearly, the teachers are at fault.

There should be a super easy "Play for Dummies" book, that says: don't swing the racquet in TT, consistently keep plunking the GPS golf ball into the nearest hole. Stuff like that. Stuff that would make a novice react in the right ways. But there isn't such a book. Instead a bunch of people who know how to do it better, simultaneously bombard you with well-meaning instructions that cause you brain freeze.

Someday, after I have failed at many more sports, I will write the Dummies book. Until then, I plan to continue having a great time hitting and missing, waiting for Tarun to be distracted. And then, like a hungry lion, I will pounce on my prey. In my dreams.

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