Red Rover, Red Rover, send Michelle right over...
Of all the phrases that elementary school students hear, and they hear a lot, no phrase was able to strike fear into my heart in such a way that these eight little words did. Besides the fact that the emphasis was inevitably placed on the wrong syllable of my name, hearing this evil chant was the signal that within a few seconds I would look like the greatest fool in the class. Upon hearing my name, I would run as fast as I possibly could towards the waiting chain of arms on the other side of the field. I don't know why I even bothered to run; I never made it through the wall of hands, arms and torsos. I guess it made me feel less foolish if it looked like I was being a good sport about it. I wasn't, though. I hated it more than anything else. The worst part was that the humiliation was far from over. After becoming part of the opposing team, we continue the game by calling a classmate over. This classmate would, far more often than not, choose me as the weakest link and choose my poor, weak arms to break through in order to avoid the same fate that I had unwillingly succumbed to. You would think this was enough, but no! The very next round (or maybe a few rounds later) I would get called to run at the team that I had started on. I would of course be held from breaking through, and from then on I would be caught in a vicious cycle of running at other teams and having other teams run at me. My arms would be incredibly sore by the time recess/gym class was over and we returned to the safe haven of knowledge and learning that was the classroom.
But Red Rover was not my only schoolyard torture: perhaps you have heard of a little game called dodgeball? Well, I have. The technique for this game was a bit different. Since no one ever saw me as a threat, none of my classmates even attempted to get me out during the heat of the game; instead, each team picked off the strong members of the other team. I was left until the very end, when every other viable player had been placed in the prison and could no longer pose a threat. It was at this point that each player on the opposite team would throw their various foam dodgeballs and air-filled kickballs at me....and then I would be out.
There is, I suppose, a deeper reason for me not liking sports-playing. Apart from the whole being haunted by my past thing, I also tend to avoid situations where there is a chance of me looking like a fool. I'm not really comfortable enough with myself to look downright, ridiculously stupid. Now, those of you who know me may say, "But Michelle, you look like an idiot all the time. You constantly trip on your own shoes, and I've seen your dance moves. You dance like a crazy person!" To you I say, you are absolutely right. I do look like a fool on a regular basis, but this is different. I know, when going into a dancing situation, that I will look dumb. I have accepted that I look dumb, but the main point is that I'm having fun. There is no fun is sports. I hate running, and I hate losing, which always happens when I play sports. I'm not especially competitive, but I only like to play games that I can win. Well, maybe I'm a bit competitive. The point is, I don't play sports, and that is that.