Living Vicariously As A Peripatetic Shutterbug

{ More musings from the Cantankerous Old Mule }


When I was in junior school I routinely lost at marbles.

I was useless at sport in general, really, but I tried them all. I finally cracked the first soccer team in grade 7, where I was kicked full in the face with a ball in my first game. In grade 8 I tried field hockey. There I was smacked in the eye with a hockey stick, and never played again. I played rugby for a bit but I was skinny and playing out on the wing was not far enough away from the huge Afrikaners we used to play against. I swear that all of them were shaving by 2nd grade. Cricket was fun. I played in the social league with the smokers and sporting dropouts. Mostly I used the time in the outfield at third-man to catch up on my daydreaming and chatting to the girls who came to watch our games. I was a pretty good runner though and ran for both my school and province. Sadly, I wasn’t a good sport and it would take me many years to learn good sportsmanship.

During my two years in the army I used my running to get off base during basic training. I was as useless at being a soldier as I was at team sports but my running brought some sanity to my life. After that I tried my hand at studying (at university). I did a Sports and English degree but fell on my head while trying a standing back salto (a back flip without using one’s hands). We had been training all afternoon and my two spotters were briefly distracted by a beautiful girl who walked into the gym just as I jumped. Or that’s the story they gave me. I never saw the girl – all I remember was being picked up off the gymnasium mat and dragged to the physiotherapy department where I lived for many months.

Fortunately I didn’t break my neck. (I had in the meantime taken up rock-climbing, archery and kayaking and I was pretty strong.) Also, I didn’t finish my degree. But that’s irrelevant to this story.

As I got older I played sports like tennis, swimming, volleyball and softball – just for enjoyment, because I never won much. But losing at sport was nothing compared to what I lost in my 40s. In fact, I hadn’t even realised until a punk came up to me at church the other day…

“Excuse me, I think you may have lost these.”



6 comments on “Lost

  1. 15yearsandcountingdream
    April 9, 2015

    Wow, I thought I was bad in sports. The only thing I can do is walk and sometimes I fall over my own feet. Hope this is a series as I would like to see where you are going with this 🙂


  2. microyogi
    April 9, 2015

    quite persistent at the sports in spite of everything. Nice ending…very funny 🙂

  3. busy lady
    April 9, 2015

    Enjoyed your post! Good job.

  4. Donna
    April 9, 2015


  5. inidna
    April 9, 2015

    Wow, getting beat up in sports that often is definitely not lucky! You’re a great writer though and I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post – laughed quite a bit too at the imagery! Also, this has nothing to do with your post but I love the grumpy donkey sitting in the upper lefthand corner of your blog 🙂

  6. There_Lot
    April 21, 2015


Comments are closed.


This entry was posted on April 9, 2015 by in Writing and tagged .
%d bloggers like this: