January 20, 2011
I wish you all lived in my neck of the woods, because something really ridiculous is happening tonight. In an effort to bolster up two things I love--my local running club and my husband's chiropractic office--I'm hosting a group called Strength Training for Runners at 7 o'clock.
I can't do a push-up. I can't touch my toes. Actually, I kind of have a hard time wrestling a gallon of milk from the fridge to my cart at the grocery store. Oh, and sometimes I fart when I do squats.
This is basically the equivalent of me hosting a book club meeting about anything longer than 89 pages. Or teaching an Intro to Etiquette class.
All I keep saying to myself is, "Welp, at least they won't be intimidated by my strength and skill."
I will admit that I'm having some crazy flashbacks to my tween years as a result of this insane idea. You see, once upon a time in 1989, my dad bought me a forest green tennis racket from Caldor. I couldn't hit a tennis ball to save my life, but honestly--honestly--I thought I might have had a chance at Wimbledon. If I practiced enough.
And practice I did.
Lots of afternoons--especially during middle school--I'd get home, grab my racket, and walk up to the elementary school, where I'd hit a ball against the outside wall of the school gym for a zillion minutes straight. You know, the brick wall that said, NO GAME PLAYING AGAINST THIS WALL? (Really now, the swearing Mormon thing shouldn't surprise you one bit. Even back then I had no respect for the rules.)
Despite my hours and hours and hours spent at that wall, I never could get a handle on the backhand. Or the serve. Or making contact with the ball in any way, shape, or form. I was a huge, clumsy mess. One time, I actually walked home with the racket tangled to high heaven in my ponytail. That's how awesome I was.
One day, as I was leaving for the elementary school, my neighbor across the street came out to her front stoop and called my name. She was all, "Amy! Aaaaamy! I'm wondering if you'd be willing to teach Matthew some tennis lessons."
I was like, "Uhhhmmmmmm. Yes?"
And she said, "Great. Can you do it twice a week? I can pay you five dollars a week."
And I was like, "Uhhhmmmmmm. Yes?"
And then she said, "Can you start today? Matthew's really anxious to learn the basics."
And I said, "Uhhhmmmmmm. Yes?"
So off we went, me and the token neighborhood chunky kid. We were about to have our first tennis lesson. This, I recall, was also the first time I crapped my pants in public.
We walked up to the school mostly in silence, and when we got there I turned to him and asked, "So what do you want to learn first."
He said nothing.
Not knowing the names of any tennis-related skills and absolutely dying to break the awkward silence, I said something like, "Well Matt, how about the double loop-de-loo? That's a really good one."
His eyes lit up, so I showed him how to do it.
For those of you who are curious, basically all you do is throw the tennis ball as high as you can, do two giant arm circles with your racket, miss the ball, and go get it out of the ditch.
That spring we also learned the triple loop-de-loo, the quadruple loop-de-loo, the mega-slam....and yeah, I'm pretty sure that's it.
Needless to say, those were the only tennis lessons I ever taught.
So tonight? My Strength Training for Runners group? It could be the first and only. Just please pray that no one gets hurt.