March 30, 2006

Just Call Me Ziggy....

You know, there comes a time when you just have to resign yourself to the fact that you aren't athletic. I think my time came somewhere in 1979 or 1980. Actually it may have even started earlier than that, back when I earned the nickname of The Catnapper during neighborhood badminton games. Why was I called The Catnapper? Because apparently, in the time it took my racket to connect with the birdie on serve--drop. swish. drop. swish. drop. swish.--you could take a good long catnap.

What made it worse was the fact that my brother bestowed said nickname on me:

"Oh hey, the Catnapper's up. Time for forty winks. No, make that eighty."

"Aw man, this game is going to take forever...The Catnapper's up!"

"Hey, it's the Catna--zzzzzzzzzzz"

So I wasn't a 7-year-old badminton prodigy...who is?? All the teasing just made me take up the sport with a renewed passion when I was 12-15. I left The Catnapper behind, and could serve, volley and make games last forever just by continuing to return the birdie. (Ok, there wasn't a net this time, and it was just a blacktop game, but hey, I'm taking my athletic props where I can.)

The only other sport I could deal with was tennis. I took a couple of lessons back in the day (where I was most assuredly not a least, not really) and got to a point where I could volley a little. I was never much for the running to get to the ball, though. (Damn sports and the running they involve. Yeesh.)

Sure, I had dreams where I was the fastest runner in the class and wasn't picked very close to last, but they obviously weren't enough to make me take up track or softball or anything. Sports scholarships? I don't think so.

Anyhoo, this past fall, some friends suggested that we sign up for ice skating lessons. Now, okay, maybe ice skating isn't necessarily a big-time sport reserved for those with athletic prowess, but it does involve some skill, strong ankles, and a good sense of balance. I decided that it might be fun, so I agreed to go for it.

The last time I was on ice skates was at my classmate Tom's 6th birthday party. I remember wearing a blue dress my grandma knitted for me, and hanging on the rail for all of 6 minutes before I left the ice. The only people not on the ice at that party? Me and the girl who had cerebral palsy. So it was a pretty big deal for me to give it another whirl 28 years later.

How did it go?

1. I pretty much sucked at lacing up my skates. (Hey, it's really hard!)

2. The drive up to the suburban rink was fun.

3. The kids who played hockey there smelled like rotted feet, and their stench managed to permeate the waiting area sometimes. It was really gnarly and yarp-inducing.

4. I didn't yarp though.

5. The hot dogs at the snack bar were pretty good.

6. I only fell once or twice during the 12-week session.

7. The skates kind of hurt. The right skate did anyway. It sometimes felt like there was no room for all of my toes, and they were mushed up funny together.

8. Actually they only started hurting towards the end of the session. It was so bad I had to leave the ice. And there wasn't even a girl with cerebral palsy to talk to this time, although there was a lady there snapping pictures of her husband in the beginners class. (I was in the intermediate class, go figure. Promotion is not necessarily based on talent, kind of like how promotions at work aren't either.)

Anyhoo..not to get graphic, but about a month ago, I noticed that my right pinky toe's (that's what doctors call it, too) nail seemed to have a gap at the cuticle. But I didn't do anything about it until a few weeks later when the nail was the color of an oyster. Then I freaked out and went to the doctor, who was happy to have "an easy case...all of [her] problem patients had come in that morning." It just kind of makes me wonder what the doctor says after I leave.

Before I went to the doctor, though, I did some web searching. I found some interesting sites, the most promising of which was Seriously, take a look at it. They say the secret formula is ingredients found in your kitchen. I don't think they mean my kitchen, though; I highly doubt that frozen dinners are involved in the making of it.

Anyhoo, it turns out that I have a toenail fungus on my pinky toe from wearing ice skates that were too small. And rectifying the problem will take about 6 months. In addition to a prescription topical, the doctor also gave me some advice if I ever go skating again: get a larger size skate, and put lambswool or some kind of padding around my pinky toe. Ha. As if I will ever go ice skating again. I mean, come on....The one time I try to be athletic, I get a fungus?

On the bright side, at least it's not sandal weather. :)


Anonymous Lesli said...

I applaud your attempt at any sport. I never even tried tennis. I did like badminton and maybe one day we can strike up a game. I prefer grass to blacktop though.

Best wishes with the fungus. They make some cute sandals that cover the toe area these days.

9:01 AM  
Blogger h. said...

Badminton on the grass would be great!! That's actually where I was dubbed The day I will write about the Grass Road all the kiddies played on. It was coolio.

Good point about the sandals, too. I just feel that the toe would radiate a "hey, lookit me, under here! I'm all grayish!"


9:57 AM  

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