You may have surmised this about me by now, but I’m slightly competitive. And by slightly, I mean I’m a freak who feels the need to turn even the slightest task into a competition. I’m also extremely hard on myself when I’m not playing up to par. That’s just the way I’m wired and I’ve been that way since I was a kid. I played baseball, basketball, soccer, tennis and I ran cross-country growing up. I love sports, still do, but I was a little soresport asshole even as a 6-year-old.
Seriously, I was obnoxious and then some. If I struck out in baseball, I cried and threw a fit when I got back to the bench. But then if I hit a double, I cried and whined while standing on second base for not hitting a homerun. Anything short of perfection just wasn’t good enough in my book so I’d consistently whine, cry, throw things and act like a spoiled little brat when I played. I could’ve gone 1 for 3 with a double and 2 RBIs, which is a good day. But if I struck out those other two at-bats, I’d be a wreck. Those two strikeouts would stay with me for the rest of the week and I’d dwell on them and beat myself up.
One time, when I was playing on the 11-year-old all star team, we won first place in a tournament. Yet in the picture, I have tear stains on my face because I had a horrible game. WE WON FIRST PLACE AND I WAS CRYING.
But that was when I was young and stupid and hadn’t learned better right? As you all know, I’ve started to get into the sport of curling and I really like it. It’s harder than I thought but I’m enjoying it and I’ve been happy because I’ve been making good progress every week. Yesterday I went into my match with a lot of confidence because I thought I was finally mastering the game and honing my skills.
I sucked last night. I mean, I was horrible. I had a hard time putting any of my stones in play. I couldn’t read the ice for shit and I was either throwing my stones too light or too heavy. As a result, I was dragging my team down with me and we got slaughtered. Then, halfway through the game as I was trying to focus and bear down to improve, I actually slipped and fell during my throw.
That was all I could take.
I felt like putting a hole in the wall with my broom. I wanted to let loose a stream of profanity that would’ve made Andrew Dice Clay blush. I wanted to hit something or someone. But I knew I couldn’t and I didn’t want to make a scene in front of all these people who I’m just getting to know. So I tried to reign in my homicidal thoughts and I thought I was doing a good job.
Until I caught my reflection in the glass.
And at that point, I felt like someone punched me right in the gut. It stopped me in my tracks. I stared at myself for a few moments in disbelief, shock — and frankly — slight amusement. There I was with this scowl, gritting my teeth, wringing my hands tightly in frustration. Kind of like this:
No, he’s not my kid. Not at all.