As I’ve previously mentioned, I’m not the most athletically inclined person on the planet. And yet, I can still shoot a free-throw in basketball, ace a serve in tennis, and bike up steep hills (not that anyone would want to do this, ever).
But my friends and family make these activities look like child’s play. They can catch fastballs, run long-distance, lift very heavy weights, and tackle giant boys in thick pads and helmets. This is impressive, and I prefer to observe all this impressive-ness from the bleachers.
My boyfriend of nearly a year is a football player, and looks like one too. 6’2 and nearly 250 pounds during football season, standing next to him for pictures was rather humorous, with his towering height and double my width. These days, even though it’s the off-season and he’s dropped nearly 30 pounds, we still enjoy the occasional backyard football game.
A little nervous of a black-eye or a busted tooth, we generally stick to just tossing the ball back and forth, something easier than blinking for him, and simple enough that I can physically manage. When this gets boring however, we play a game called “butter fingers”, something that has come to mean a lot more than just dropping a ball.
Taking a step back with each throw, the first person to drop the football loses. The odds tend to be in his favor, thanks to size and experience, but I’m proud to say that all my writing and typing over the years have made my reflexes rather quick.
I lose less than he does thankfully, but my stomach still drops as the ball accidentally slips between my fingers, usually due to sweat or humidity. Time slows down for less than a second while I fumble to recover my grip, but the ball keeps tumbling toward the grass.
From this game, I’ve learned a few things. One, I am very competitive and will talk massive amounts of trash in hopes of distraction. It’s all a mind game.
And secondly (the more important of the two lessons) is that you can’t catch every pass. No matter how quick you move, no matter how much you want to beat your boyfriend at his own game, everyone gets butter fingers every once in a while. It’s impossible (and unrealistic) to think that you have the power to stop time just to catch a silly old ball.
This lesson has taught me to humbly accept that I’m not in control of anything in my life, and this is the way it’s supposed to be. I’m just following along in the direction gravity pulls me, and if this happens to be toward the wet grass, then so be it.
Some days this comes easier than others, and these are the days I tend to win the backyard football game.
PS: Video is in the process of being filmed for this post..