When I was in seventh grade, I decided to try out for the middle school intramural basketball team. I'm not sure why. I was well under 5 feet tall at that age. Had zero athletic ability. And could not make a basket even if they lowered the hoop down low enough so I could touch it. But it was supposed to be a non-competitive team and I thought it would be fun since I had friends who played.
I didn't make the team.
When I was a freshman in high school I decided I was going to be a cheerleader. I'm not sure why. The cute skirt? The sweater with the big letter on the front? The saddle shoes? In any event I wanted to be a cheerleader.
I practiced the cheers and went to all the practices before the official try-out. I could do the splits and cartwheels and stiff armed clapping, and at a small private school in the mid 80s that really was the extent of the required ability. Out of the 25 girls that tried out for the squad, 23 made it. I was not one of those 23. I was crushed because I knew it had more to do with being popular than it had to do with actual stiff arm clapping ability.
I don't recall ever trying out for anything again.
Tonight I have to bring my son to baseball try-outs. Whenever I have to do this I can't help but relive those experiences, though my internal angst greatly surpasses that of my children. And their athletic ability greatly surpasses mine.
Maybe tonight I will make myself feel better by doing some stiff arm clapping and cheering on the sidelines. It couldn't hurt, right? As long as I don't attempt to do any splits that is.