I was never an athlete in high school.
I did, however, secretly want to join the girl’s lacrosse team — solely because they got to wear plaid skirts that I totally would’ve rocked on a regular day, a la “Clueless,” and because I thought the idea of running around a field with sticks felt very tribal-chic.
Needless to say, I was kind of a lost, albeit fabulously dressed, as far as athletics went. More Prada than Puma, more M.A.C. than NFL and more ballerina than baller, I seemed to have no place on the terrain regularly dominated by the strong and the agile.
Yet, it was one fateful day at the Rec Cen as I attempted to burn off some of the day’s calories on a stationary bike that I couldn’t help but watch the pair of guys darting across the racquetball court in front of me with impressive finesse. The ball bounced off the walls and the floor with bulletlike speed, each player returning it in the most intense dance of sorts I had ever seen off a theatrical stage. It was mesmerizing.
I was determined to make this game, whatever it was, the next thing I conquered. I signed up for Elementary Racquetball, made a quick trip to Sportmart for a quasi-athletic wardrobe and began my venture into the scary world of sports.
Granted, it wasn’t an easy task. It took weeks of feeling like a clumsy ass, countless hours spent practicing at the Rec Cen and a whole lot of swallowing my pride to get to a point where I felt like I was playing the sport and the sport wasn’t playing me.
But to finally reach that point of both competence and confidence, to finally work your ass off in a game and emerge victorious, to be able to prove to all those people who laughed in my face when I told them I was playing a sport that involved racquets and balls and tennis shoes — well, that was worth scores more than the pair of red patent leather sandals I scored on sale last weekend.
So here I am, frequently caught within the strange paradox of wanting to slaughter my opponent and wanting to do so while still looking cute. But I guess any time you can add another dimension to a personality you think you have all figured out is a good thing. Not to mention the fact that shocking people is always kind of fun.
My favorite sounds a year ago: the swipe of a credit card, the spritz of a perfume bottle and the sound of newly purchased shoes clicking on the pavement for the first time.
My favorite sounds now: the swipe of a credit card, the spritz of a perfume bottle, the sound of newly purchased shoes clicking on the pavement for the first time and the sound the ball makes against the wall when I manage to pull off an exquisitely executed kill shot.
If we can put a man on the moon, if Michael Jackson can be on his way to acquittal and if Meghan Palma can dominate on a racquetball court every so often, then can world peace really be that far away?
Daily Nexus opinion editor Meghan Palma still gets a good percentage of her cardio from shopping on State Street.