Sunday 11 February 2024

My DNA Lacks the Sports Gene

    Today is the Super Bowl.  I could care less, but it is hard not to be aware of it because it is so hyped-up and is saturating all of the media.  Over my lifetime, I have become aware that in their DNA, most males possess the sports gene.  They love sports, talk about sports, follow sports, they are glued to the television set when big sport events are on.  I recognized long ago, that I am missing that sports gene.  

    As a child, my family would gather around the television to watch the “Big Game” and I was there in front of the TV with them.  When I was in high school, I did enjoy the excitement of our basketball and football games, plus going to those events was a wonderful excuse to be away from home and meet up with girls after the game.

    As a child, playing sports in the neighborhood was my primary activity.  I played softball, basketball, and football with my neighborhood friends, and loved it.  I think one of the reasons I enjoyed it so much was that I was blessed with a really athletic body.  I was fast, and could jump really high.  When I was in the 6th grade, I won the 100 yard dash for my age in the City Track Meet.

    In high school, I was on the track team and made it to the Indiana Regional Track Meet as a high hurdler.   I was the school’s Decathlon Champion in 1964, after competing in all of the track events except pole vaulting.  I was very good at sports, but my tastes were slowly changing.

     I started to realize that I didn’t really care that much about sports, and by the time I started university, I was brave enough to tell my father that I wasn’t going to go out for any more sports.  I knew that would make him unhappy, and throughout my life I have always felt like because of that decision, I had become a disappointment to him,  but by that age, I knew what I really loved:   The Arts.   The visual arts and especially music, which was exploding into new directions among my generation of “Baby Boomers”.  

    In university, I participated drama, I came to love literature, took a few art classes, discovered photography and film, and played rhythm guitar and sang in a rock and roll band.  I left sports totally behind.   Since university, I followed the arts, the same way sports fans follow sports teams.

    I am sure many of my male friends can’t understand my enthusiasm for the arts, just as I can’t understand their excitement for corporate sports. 

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