Friday, February 24, 2006

Competitive, Not Smart

I always hated group work.
Mainly because I never trusted anyone else to hold up their end.
Or that their end would be as good as if I had done it alone.
So, in high school, everyone wanted to be in my group.
Because they knew they wouldn’t have to do a thing.
I would do all of it.

Unfortunately, this trait carried over into my sports life.
Particularly in college.
And my stubborn refusal to trust in others earned me at least one semester a year on crutches (or in a sling).
Yes, you read that correctly.
Crutches. Or a sling. One semester. Per year.
Without fail.

Fall ‘98.
Freshman year.
Intramural Volleyball.
Residence hall league.
I was on two separate teams.
An all girl’s team and a mixed team.

The all girl’s team was a disaster.
Mainly because three of us desperately wanted to play - because we loved volleyball.
But the girl’s in our small dorm weren’t very athletic.
Well, that’s a lie.
Some were, but they were the girly athletic type.
If the activity included hurkies and basket catches, they were all for it.
But if a ball was coming at them . . . holy buddha, it was Apocalypse Now.
Duck and cover, ladies, duck and cover.

I had no use for these types of girls, normally.
Jayzus, it’s a ball, hit it.
But . . . we needed a team.
And the good thing about really girly girls is that they tend to be joiners.
Intramural sports activity = social gathering = opportunity to meet males.
They’re in.
Which was fine with me.
I knew Clarissa, Laura and I could handle the ball.
We just had to really watch our formation.
And run like hell if the ball went anywhere near . .
Uh, to protect the somewhat innocent, we’ll call them Buffy, Muffy and Miffy.

Miracle of miracles, we make it to playoffs.
I think I lost 15 lbs running for the ball.
So it was a win-win kinda situation.
Anyway, I digress (per usual, eh?).
Where was I??
Oh yeah.

2nd game of the third set.
The ball heads straight toward . . . Miffy.
Miffy might as well be called Daria.
You guys remember that MTV cartoon?
Where in the opening credits, the volleyball hits directly in front of her feet, bounces away and THEN she balls her fists together and acts like she was trying to hit it?
That’s Miffy.
Delayed Reaction Girl.
About 3 seconds after the ball had already hit the ground, she would aim.
Holy Hell.
Where do these girls come from?

So I call it as it’s coming over the net.
And run at TOP. DAMN. SPEED. for the ball.
And for whatever friggin reason, Miffy goes all Robyn Ahmow-Santos (women’s Olympic volleyball team member - 2004 to . . uhhh) and starts actually trying to go for it.
Ummm, right, like I’m gonna let that happen when I don’t think she’s ever even touched the ball except for the three times she’s magnificently screwed up her turns to serve.
So, you can imagine what happened.

(Theme music here is Powerman 5000 - When Worlds Collide)
We both go down like a load of bricks.
And I hear something in my ankle go SNAP.
Oh holy hell.

Now, a smart girl would have gingerly limped to the sidelines.
Letting the alternate - we’ll call her Biffy - come in.
But I never claimed to be smart.
Competitive, oh yeah, smart, not so much.
Plus, I had Clarissa egging me on “Jayzus, Brittany, walk that shit off, get up!”
So . . I do - brilliant, eh?

I finish this game.
I finish the third game.
We advance.
And do I think “Hmm, you should stop playing now.”
No, I think “WOW! Second bracket, 3 games here, easy peasy and then hit third bracket, another 3 games, and then fourth, 3 games and we win. Dude, 9 more games? I got this!”
And I sure did.
We won the tournament.
And I limped back to the dorm, high on accomplishment.

But I sure as crap didn’t wake up high on accomplishment.
“OH . . . UH . . . OUCH!”
I’m pretty sure those were the exact words I woke up with at around 6 AM.
Kasi, my roommate, looked up from her bed:
“What the fu** is your problem?”
I lifted my leg into her line of vision.
“OH!!! That can’t be good.”
From the bottom of my heel to about the middle of my calf, my leg was a mottling of colors:
Purple, black, red.
And my normally shapely leg . . . well, jeez, let’s just say my ankle was about three times it’s normal size.
In fact, from the middle of my calf to my heel, my leg was swollen as big as my thigh.
“What the hell did you do???”
“Umm, yeah, so we won the intramural volleyball tournament - girls division last night.”
“And the other team jumped you afterwards?”
“Uh, no, I think something snapped in my ankle in the first game.”
“And knowing you - you played every game afterwards.”
“Uh, yeah.”
“Effing brilliant.”

We got the guys to carry me to student health.
Yeah, crutches for 12 weeks.
Woo hoo.

Did this teach me my lesson?
Oh no no no no no.
Competitive, not smart, remember?

I won’t go through all the stories.
Just know that each year there was some other idiot egging me on.

2000 - Softball - Co-Rec - Dylan Chambers - “I don’t give a shit if your knee’s all out broken! By god, this is the championship and we’re only in the second inning! Get your ass back behind that plate, stop your whining and be our catcher! Jesus, when did you turn into one of THOSE girls???” . . . . 12 weeks on crutches. But we won.

2001 - Flag Football - Co-Rec - Jason Pyle - “Brittany! You’re not quitting!! HOLY GOD! You’re the only girl on the team that can actually PLAY! I think you’re the only one who knows what a football really is!!! It’s not dislocated! Get in there!” . . . . shoulder dislocation - 12 weeks in a sling. But we won.

2002 - Tennis - Yes, tennis damnit - doubles tournament - Kelly Hart - “OMG! We’re going to win and you want to stop???? What do you mean your ankle hurts!??!! Is it broken??? We’ve only got 2 more sets!” - 12 weeks on crutches. But we won.

And the list continues.

And after college did I learn?
Hell no.

2004 - White Water Rafting - Olympic course on the Ocoee River in North Carolina/Tennessee.
Class 5 rapid tumps us, and I’m hunkered down but Reed isn’t. 250 lb, 6'4" man slams me sideways, legs still firmly held in the raft, upper body slammed against the large ass boulder that caused us to tump.
Ouch, my shoulder really hurts.
But all the other girls on the trip (and by all the other, I mean the TWO that came with us (12 guys, 3 girls) had bailed two days ago.
No way was I letting girls go down like that.
I rowed my ass off for two more days.
In fact, the last day, it got hot enough to strip the wet suit down to our tank tops when we were carrying the raft back to the Suburban.
Brian’s behind me and screams:
“JESUS H MARY MOTHER OF CHRIST!!! Brittany, have you seen your back?!????!!!” Ummm . .. Do I appear to have eyes in the back of my head?
Have you seen any full length mirrors in our tents???
Turns out that from my clavicle to the small of my back I was black, blue, purple, green and yellow.
This explains why I’ve been sleeping on my stomach for the past two nights.

Competitive, not smart.


Drunken Chud said...

i know the feeling. multiple blow outs (knees). the best was i had blown out my knee in a shitty wreck on an even shittier horse. i came off, landed, got hit by the horse, bad news right? this was in the warm up pen for the reigning (google it, too long to explain)finals at a fairly large show. suffice it to say that reigning involves a lot of lower leg movement and subtle cues with the legs. i went in, took second (on a horse that should have never placed. go me!) and later found out i had torn my ACL, MCL and Miniscus. of course i didn't go to the doctors till about a week later when i couldn't bend my leg anymore.

Ang said...


I feel your pain, that is why I laugh!

When I was 21 I went cliff jumping with a group of the lads and one other girl. We were at some 40 foot cliffs and peering over the edge. The look on the other girls face told me she was not leaping! One of the boys handed me a rock to throw down and see that it wasnt as far as it seemed. I grabbed the rock, gave him my best winning smile and jumped rock in hand. I landed wrong and my ass and upper thigh were black and blue, then yellow and green for weeks!!

But I impressed the boys!

meghansdiscontent said...

Chud - Jeez, Chud, at least I never tore or broke anything! What the buddha were you doing? (and I didn't have to google it . . ummm, well, I'm from the South see . . . and I would do anything for a scholarship, plus I had a huge crush on a cowboy - - I'll just say this: FFA Rodeo. Oh and ummmm, don't tell anyone - - FFA Secretary Brittany M. G*****) It was high school!!! You do stupid shit in high school!

Ang - OMG!! ah ha ha ha ha ha! I did that same thing!! Same exact thing!!!! We go cliff jumping every single summer at Heber. Matt and Massey were too chicken to jump off the Height (great name for a big one, right? real imaginitive) first. WHY do we feel the need to do this crap?? And why are we braver than the guys?? I think part of my swimsuit is STILL lodged up my hindparts. But I am forever a hero in Matt and Massey's minds.

Coyote Mike said...

I got my knee hyper-extended playing football my freshman year of high school. Ever since then, I've stayed out of the competative lime-light.

As for you . . . I recommend ointment. That's right, next time you play a sport, slick yourself up with ointment and instead of being solid and getting hit, you'll just slide away.

Drunken Chud said...

wow, brittany FFA seceratary... nice. heh, yeah, the horse i was riding was a stud colt out of a Champion bucking sire from the PRCA circuit. the owner wanted him to be a reiner out of him. he was athletic as hell, but one rank stubborn bucking son of a bitch. he put me down a few times. lol.

i am slightly aroused by the image of the bathing suit lodged in your hindparts

Drunken Chud said...

err make a reiner... not be a reiner.

Jenni said...

Wow, girl!! You are seriously TOUGH! I'm no whiner by any means...but DAMN. I'm just glad you've got all those great wins to show for the pain.

Bone said...

I spliced some ligaments and liberated a few bone fragments playing softball a couple of years ago. Tried to go back out, but someone saw my ankle and said I should probably go to the hospital.

We lost. But I did successfully break up the double play. Well, I guess that depends on your definition of successfully.

Tenacious T said...

OUCH, girlfriend! And I thought I was bad. I always keep going when I'm hurting, saying I'll just finish this run...and end up in physical therapy. But nothing compared to are da woman! Damn the girly girls. ;)

mrshife said...

You are a stud. And remember dudes dig scars.

beachgirl said...

I think everyone knows how I feel about any form of exercise, including participation in sports, blech... Although I am being forced to join the gym again, I caught a glimpse of myself this morning in the mirror- my wobbly bits are taking over!! YIKES!!

I love watching sports, like no other.. BTW, does everyone realize that my UT Vols are like #1 in the SEC East??
Bone, before you say anything,Bama beating us the other night was a fluke and you all got it handed right back to you thanks to Britt's beloved Hogs!!!

Lizzie said...

I feel your pain. I've broken the pinkies on both hands playing basketball, lost 3 fingernails playing field hockey, had my teeth go through my lip when I got hit in the face with a softball (got a shiner when I got hit in the eye too... the same day!) and chipped two teeth skiing. Although, I'd say it's more clumsiness than competitiveness ;-)

What's a hurkie?

meghansdiscontent said...

Coyote Mike - I can't stay out of it. I love sports too much. I love the competition too much. No ointment. No greasiness. Ugh.

Chud - HUSH! I told you you couldn't bring that up! And ugh . . . why would anyone be aroused by something up someone's . . ugh.

Jenni - I'm not tough. I just have a high pain tolerance thanks to everything I've been through . . and I'm dumb as a brick. I can't give up. Which is the dumbest thing ever.

Bone - JAYZ!!!! Angel, thank heavens someone made you go to the hospital! And good job on that double play! Way to sacrifice for the team.

Tenacious T - LOL, I can't deal with girly girls. Though, I'm kind of one on certain things. But sports - - totally different matter. Glad you're as nuts as I am!

MrShife - Do I want to be a stud? Is a girl stud a good thing?????

Beachgirl - Oh, child, we know. We definitely know how you feel about playing sports. But we LURV YOU because you ADORE SEC sports and will yell and tail gate with the best of them. I think the SEC is just a really tough conference this season (hell, all seasons, in all sports). We're all so hard on each other. Can't we all just get along? (unless it's game day and then you bitches can bite me)

Lizzie - I knew there was something I liked about you. Okay, so there are LOTS of things I like about you . . . but this ranks among the highest. A girl who will sacrifice for the game . . . wow! :) Always nice to realize your friends have similar loyalties.

Bone said...

Beachgirl: Oh, I know you just dih-unt!

I believe that was our seventh straight fluke win over the Vols :-D

You did beat us in women's basketball, though. Congrats ;-)

As for Britt's Hogs, I lost a bet. I paid up.

meghansdiscontent said...

Lizzie - Darn, I knew I forgot something. GURL, you WERE kidding about the hurkie . . right?? Right? That was sarcasm at it's finest. I just know it.

Bone - Ah, yes, yes she did. But she's about to be fed hers (please please please) on Saturday at Noon. I know you hated to lose that bet . .. but, if we beat your boys (damn fine game, by the way) and Florida . . what's some Orange Vol compared to the Crimson Tide??

Beachgirl - umm . . . I have to flirt with the cute boy! I'm sorry. Of course, in the background I'm cheering for . . .well, not the Vols. I have to cheer for MY boys. GO HOGS!

PJ said...

Britt I ended up on crutches at least one semester of each year too. Mine, however, was due to a different type of sport.


I'd party and then I'd walk (as you do) and inevitably I would twist my ankle (the same ankle each time, and very badly I might add)on stairs, a sidewalk, the mountain, on the ladder in the steeple of the chapel on campus, climbing in the dark to get up to the belltower at 2 am cause....that would be fun?

I feel your pain (although I wasn't feeling it so much those nights, hee hee).

meghansdiscontent said...

Pam - That is HILARIOUS. :) Your story may be better than mine. HA HA! Crutches secondary to inebriation. LOVE IT! Every semester????

Coyote Mike said...

Maybe for the next sport you play, we can wrap you in bubblewrap, from neck to toe, then put a helmet on you too. Granted, you might look a bit odd, but better safe than fashionable.

Steph said...

See this is why sports will kill ya! The only time i run now, is for a shoe sale.

janestarr said...

Lol! Oh lordy! I was lucky not to do any major damage until I was in college playing Power Volleyball. I was knocked down mid-air from this moron who thought girls can't hit (fuckin punk). Sure my chest hurt like someone was sitting on it but I damn well kept playing. And it took a few days until I was working at Lowe's and pretty much crying in pain that I went to the doctors for a dislocated rib...sure, whatever.

Laurie (aka buggy) said...

When I read your opinions on group work I felt like I was reading my own thoughts. I was always the EXACT SAME WAY! You didn't want to have to take it all on yourself, but it wouldn't be done correctly if you left it to the idiots in the group. It was a LOSE, LOSE situation in order to WIN, WIN an "A."

I'm afraid, although I wouldn't characterize myself as a Miffy, I was always put "in the outfield" during softball. I never failed to join the team, but I didn't like playing AT ALL.
Yes, I was a "dandy-lion picker," in the outfield, wearing a baseball hat too big for my head. Daydreaming.

But I totally feel for you on your drive and energy to basically pull the whole team together into the 3 of you that COULD play.

I'm sorry about all your injuries! You poor thing! ALWAYS TAKING ONE FOR THE TEAM!!!!!!!!

Doesn't surprise me about your drive and energy though. You are still like that.

auburn said...

I was (still am) exactly the same with group work. Always. Such a ridiculous perfectionist...OCD to boot. Without a doubt, the ONE thing left up to someone else would be sub-standard. Phew, listen to the egos talking...

And girly, you are my idol. I've banged, hurt and broken myself on numerous occasions, in the same vein as you. But you are relentless. You are tough. You are one awesome chick.