For the longest time, the head coach of the varsity football team has been recruiting Sam to join. Just for as long, she has been saying no. In one sense, her decision is a complete surprise to me. In another sense, I completely understand. Confusing? It’s like this.
Since childhood, Sam has been the more athletic of my two daughters. She was into every kind of activity that required physical prowess. She liked sports. In fact, she took up figure skating lessons for about two years and enjoyed the sport immensely.
That’s her below during a figure skating competition. Pardon the grainy resolution of the photos — I was using a 1.3 megapixel camera at the time.
Above, Sam and co-competitor Jessica in a light moment before the second event of the competition started.
Speedy and I were so thrilled that she was serious about figure skating that we were juggling our schedules to make sure we could bring her to the SM Megamall for her training. I was still working at the time and you can just imagine how toxic it all was. If Sunday is rest day, we didn’t have a rest day for a long time because we spent Sundays at the skating rink. And when she competed, I was very much the stage mommy. When my boss went to Germany for a conference, I asked for a favor (pakapalan ng face) and had her buy Sam’s ski shoes (they were the same shoe size). She was the motherly type so she was very obliging and I really appreciated her support.
See Sam’s blue velvet costume in the photo? There was a red one too… In short, I spent tons on her figure skating craze. We did everything to support and encourage her. Then, I quit working and figure skating lessons weren’t affordable all of a sudden. By the time we had recovered financially and Sam could resume her skating lessons, she was no longer interested. What happened? The way I figured, she make the transition from girl to young woman — you know, the monthly period. And I could sympathize.
I was very athletic too when I was in grade school. You couldn’t keep me off the volleyball court even under the midday sun. Then, I started menstruating and all I wanted was to sit under the shade and make sure I didn’t perspire. I wouldn’t get over the lethargic feeling until a few years later when I started playing tennis. I was training at Celebrity Sports Plaza, a stone’s throw from U.P. Diliman and, my bad, but I was skipping classes just to be on the court.
So, the fact the Sam is being wishy-washy about joining the varsity football team is both surprising and understandable. It is surprising because she’s a natural athlete; it’s understandable because I went through the same thing myself. I can only wish that her period of lethargy won’t be as long as mine.
See, I am sorry that I took so long before taking up sports again. I think that love for sports is a habit that should be developed. And the best time to make it into a habit is the early teen years. If she misses out, she might not learn to appreciate sports in her adult years as a necessary balance for a holistic personality.
My friend, Chris, a sports freak and writer, was just telling me the other day to write about sports too. I said what did I know about it? He said, everyone knows something about sports. I think he’s right. All I need is a good incentive. When Sam joins her school’s varsity football team, I will have that incentive. I hope she does. Of course, it’s her decision — hers and hers alone.