Natural Athletes

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Natural Athletes
14
Wed, 06-25-2003 - 1:13am
Is there a sport or activity that you think you have a natural talent for? Something that you might have picked up really quickly and easily? Do you still do it?





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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-03-2003
Wed, 06-25-2003 - 3:24am
Yes, and this ties into the conversation about muscle memory. I think I've always been a natural swimmer. I can't even remember learning to swim, but I remember learning to dive at age 6. It's one of my great regrets that my family, being a bunch of non-athletic types, never really encouraged it as much as they could. Actually, that's not fair -- I took lessons throughout childhood, but then we moved to a town with no pool when I was 11 and I never really stuck with it after Basic Rescue.

It makes me mad that I was SO good at something that is so good for you, and that I could have been an athlete for life instead of overweight and struggling to get fit at age 30. On the plus side, whether it's muscle memory or comfort level, I am still like a fish in the water. Even at my most out of shape, I could still swim well (just had to rest after every few laps because my CV fitness and endurance sucked). If only there was a decent pool in Kosovo!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Wed, 06-25-2003 - 9:40am
i have a funny story about this, though i might have told it before here. i have never been athletic or good at any athletic activity. a few years ago i was really bummed about it for some reason. it seemed like everyone i knew played tennis, or on a weekend soccer team, or on their work softball team or something. so i set out to find something i could be good at. i went to the softball pitching cages - didn't even come close to hitting the slowest balls and moped around for days after that. tried to learn tennis, but i always hit the ball out of the court and that gets frustrating fast. plus i can't stop switching hands instead of having a back hand. went to the pool and tried to swim laps - although i can get from one place to another well, if i try to do a proper crawl i constantly hit the side of my lane and practically drown myself because of improper breathing. i can't remember what else i tried but i was getting more and more bummed out, seriously upset, not just joking upset. then one day my ex and i went to a basketball court to shoot hoops. i had never tried to play basketball before, i thought i'd give one last try to see if maybe THAT was something i'd be good at. well guess what, i was pretty good for never having played before! i was beating my ex! i was getting more baskets than him, even though he is several inches taller than me! i was so excited! i was stealing the ball from him and dribbling around him! then it happened. i don't remember exactly how it happened but i jammed my finger. it hurt SO much -- i don't think i had ever been in so much pain before. it ended up swelling up HUGE and my right hand was useless for weeks. (luckily i'm lefthanded.) it still hurts in certain weather or if i'm very cold. since then i've been too scared to ever play basketball again. but i do feel better at least knowing that there is something i'm not bad at, even if i'm too scared to actually play it. in all honesty i don't really have an urge to play...sometimes i shoot baskets and i'm not too bad for being such a beginner as i am, but it really doesn't thrill me that much. anyway, i don't want to push my luck, i want to end my basketball career in a blaze of glory...like that episode of seinfeld, where george learns to leave the room and not return after telling a successful joke: "thank you and goodnight!"
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Wed, 06-25-2003 - 12:46pm
Ow! I wonder if you broke your finger. I've sprained most of mine from volleyball and they were never that bad. So, then you found your niche being a gymrat and an aerobics instructor! I wonder if you would have been a Fame type dancer if you had started young.





iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Wed, 06-25-2003 - 12:48pm
That's something that will stay with you your whole life. That's great, especially because swimming is gentle on your body so even if you're joints hurt, it'll be there. I wish I was a swimmer. We had a pool when I was growing up, but I'm not a good swimmer by any means. I am a floater, though!





iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Wed, 06-25-2003 - 12:53pm
I was totally unathletic as a child. I did ride a unicycle when I was in elementary school. It was what everyone did instead of riding bikes (kind of funny now that I think of it). I wonder if it's like riding a bike where I could get back into it. I also have a slow learning curve to get the basic skills but once I get past that, I learn quickly. I was probably the slowest person in my basic skating class in college, but after that session, sped ahead. I wonder if I had learned as a child if I'd be really good. I picked up skiing really quickly, never slowplowed, and was dragged steep hills my first day. I don't think it's innate ability as much as the skating helped.





iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 06-25-2003 - 1:43pm
Nope, NOTHING. The closest I can come to claiming a natural affinity is swimming. I was taught to swim before I could walk, all of us kids were. When my folks split up (I was three, almost four) I ended up with my father and step-monster who thought exercise was stupid. I turned into an overweight couch potato before I was old enough to understand the concepts of diet and exercise, so I was always working with a body that couldn't handle much. I tried softball when I was in 6th grade and was terrible at it. Tried soccer another year, I couldn't keep up with the fit kids. Really, you have no idea how bad it was! During it all I swam for fun whenever and where ever I could. I never had the competitive edge though. I couldn't have won a race if my life depended on it, but I was comfortable and felt good about being in the water, at least with people who didn't tease me over the fat. When that started I gave up swimming too. I tried skiing in my teens with my step-dad (by then I had slimmed down considerably and was more comfortable as a person). He was a good teacher, I enjoyed it and we spent alot of time bonding at the slopes and the long drive to and from them. In my early 20's I ran. I ran alot, I loved to run. Really LOVED it. I wasn't fast, but I could run forever and felt good. I can't run now and haven't found anything that really replaces the feelings I get from running. Started shooting baskets a few weeks ago. I'm getting better, rapidly, but it isn't my thing either.

I guess what all this points to is that I dabble but have never excelled at anything. I wonder if I would have, had I not been such a fat kid. I've often wondered given how much I like running and swimming what would have happened if I had lived with my mother who was more inclined to encourage than discourage us. I used to think I was a failure because I wasn't an athlete, I've come to realize that I'm pretty average across the board. I can do many things "well enough", I just don't do any of them "very well". I can live with that.

~K~

~Kiervin~

Co-author of:  MONSTER'S INK HORROR ANTHOLOGY By Cyber-Pulp Press

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Wed, 06-25-2003 - 1:46pm
it wasn't broken, i had xrays. but you are making me so sad saying i might have been fame dancer! it wasn't for lack of jumping around my friends basement practicing! too bad they didn't have "fame" classes for kids when i was a kid, just ballet and tap - i would have been there, and by now i'd be a natural dancer. hmmmm, maybe that's a good business idea, especially now that fame and american idol are big..."fame" style classes for young kids. how fun would that be?
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Wed, 06-25-2003 - 1:50pm
I wonder that about parental encouragement, too. I was never encouraged to be active and, in fact, was discouraged from sweating because it wasn't lady-like. I think a lot of us are proof that we can overcome what we thought we were as children!





iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Wed, 06-25-2003 - 1:54pm
That would be sooo cool! I know a woman who is working on a project to bring health/fitness to inner city kids. I'm going to help her, when I get settled. I have to suggest that. I was reading about a Harlem skating club which brings figure skating to kids in Harlem, free skates, lessons, ice time, etc. There are quite a few bigwigs in skating involved and they get Olympic skaters to do seminars, too. I think it would be great and more accessible to bring Fame type classes to inner cities. What a great idea!





iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Wed, 06-25-2003 - 1:55pm
oooh that reminds me...i thought of you when i read this article: http://www.salon.com/mwt/feature/2003/06/24/skateboarding/index.html

it's a fun article by an asian woman who took up skateboarding as a young woman to rebel against all the things a woman wasn't supposed to be or do in her family.

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