Category Archives: Sports
I spent the last two years of high school with this grueling schedule:
7am – 8am: color guard practice
8am – 4pm: honors courses
4pm – 6pm: marching band practice
7pm – 2am: work at my brother’s store
3am – 6am: homework and maybe sleep
You can imagine how difficult it was for me to have a semblance of a balanced life then!
The nights I was not scheduled for work, I took myself to Red Team Gym, a fitness facility located on Fort Hood. This was my favorite place to pump out the stress of my so-called life.
Red Team was not the family-friendly gym; Red Team was for the serious body sculptors, the gals and guys who, after dismissed from duty, didn’t run straight to the barracks to their game consoles, but instead, to their sweats and back supports.
The gym was my happy place. Women weren’t segregated from men and everyone shared the equipment respectfully. Amongst my kindred I pressed, pushed, and howled through reps until I felt deflated, which meant, I felt good. The entire gymnasium was alive with random shouts and applause of positive affirmations. Gym rats, the lot of us, but we all felt worlds better after a challenging workout.
A year into university, on the first day of Weightlifting class, I simmered in quiet dismay as I absorbed my new free weight comrades: scrawny, nerdish, physically unwell, insecure. All males. No ladies. Not at all what I was used to! Guess SWTSU didn’t have any other warrior women on campus that semester?
Every class day I experienced disappointment. Since the boys wanted to keep it insular, the instructor had to force students to pair with me. The only guy who would throw just a minimal amount of shade my way had a heavy foreign accent and spoke completely indiscernible English. He also suffered from constant workout boners, and his strict adherence to tight pants certainly did not improve our partnering situation!
The scary part was pairing with someone who was so dedicated to his insecurity, he’d overload the bars. I knew deep down in my heart the weight was crippling him, but, as I’d slide my hands under the bar ready to catch, they’d scoff or tell me to back off, while their arms or legs wiggled for mercy!
Most the time, I spent Weightlifting class arms folded, waiting for my turn at the bar or bench, while the fellas chummed it up, curling Gatorade into their faces like dumb bells, using the benches as recliners, the bars as towel holders. I would’ve been completely content to work out on my own, but class rules required pairing. I left every session feeling less accomplished and more frustrated.
I signed up for Weightlifting class naively assuming the camaraderie and support I experienced at Red Team was universal, only to find extremely unmotivated, apprehensive people. That experience brought to light a fitness surety: no matter what weight, no matter what experience level, self-discipline is what begets success in body sculpting. Support comes from equally self-disciplined people.
After making an A in the course, I invested in the campus recreational facility, abandoning the nostalgia of Red Team Gym and focusing on my health, which was and still is the priority.
The moderator of my new writing group was kind enough to edit my latest horror story’s opening gore scene two weeks ago. Finally, after a week of not-so-great moments, I pulled myself together to address her notes, as I’ve given myself a personal deadline of completing a first draft by Sunday, 5 October.
But how to go about it? On Saturday, Texas A&M played against Mississippi State (you can never get tired of typing Mississippi…Mississippi…Missississp..oops!),Ole Miss against Alabama, LSU played Auburn, and Michigan State played Nebraska. I usually hunker down when intense writing – telly vision and phone off, mood music, tea kettle on perpetual boil – but there’s a deadline AND football! What to do, what to dooooo…?
I decided to give distracted writing a chance. I left the ArtHouse, arrived at the poolhouse, set the telly to Game 1 and began to review edits. By the time Mississippi State posted 24 points over the Aggies, I finished her notes, and expanded in ever so gruesome detail the horrors of that particular scene, channeling my frustration with Kenny Hill and the entire Aggie offense, and yes, even you Seals-Jones!, into Scrivener.
While Game 2 was on, a gaggle of tween girls entered the house to use the computer terminals. No biggie; as long as they didn’t interrupt my football watching or my train of thought. They loudly looped a very popular song, much to my chagrin, then started to sing boisterously along with it! I tell ya, nothing will get your skin crawling, nay, UNDULATING, like 11 year old girls singing, “I’m gonna love youuu/until you hate meee…” at the top of their just-started-menstruating lungs. Which inspired another gore scene. Thanks creepy girls!
Between Game 2 and Game 3 I got into a heated text-fight with the BF. To comfort myself, I sought either a bowl of cheese or a burger, to which a visit to Local Family-Friendly Sports Bar was in order. I got the manager to kindly put Auburn-LSU on the top screen, Michigan State-Nebraska on the lower screen, ordered a medium rare Angus beef burger, and continued drafting hate-fueled sequences in my writing journal.
All at once, I was eating, watching plays, writing scenes, fact checking data, web searching points of reference, maintaining all at a constant flow:
As Auburn was metaphorically stomping LSU’s nuts, I took to physically macerating a character’s genitals. Nebraska and Michigan State were putting up such a frenzy, I used the excitable energy around me to describe a shoot out. Not trying to be an entire asshole, I text-apologized the BF between burger bites. By Nebraska-Michigan State’s half, I had finished my first draft!
Man, do I feel accomplished! And happier with the SEC. Big 10, well, you know I’ll always love you, heck, my protagonist’s family hails from East Lansing, Michigan! Kenny, get it together for next week, or at least, fail so miserably I’ll have no choice but to kill a character in my next story.
Ya never know what’ll work until you try it!
You bought my book? AWESOME! Wanna tell me what to do next? Also awesome!
Go RIGHT NOW to Make Contact and select FOCUS GROUP from the pull-down menu.
I’m collecting information to help me decide my next move in the book game.
As always, thanks for playing along!