You know how sometimes, you’re just really great at something? Let’s dive right in.
- Get started down the right path at a very young age. You can take a stand against athletic achievement before you can even talk. Don’t succumb to peer pressure when a grownup first tries to trick you into sportsing by tossing you that innocent-looking plush ball. Frown at every single tricycle. Flunk out of several YMCA swim classes during your preschool years, refusing to get wet at all and leading instructors to write things like “Courtney needs to work on her confidence” on your progress report.
- Delay those inevitable athletic developments that we all must achieve, eventually. Wait until you are at least 10 years old to learn how to ride a bike or swim. Be diligent in resisting skills like these for as long as you can, because they are marketed to kids as vital to self-improvement and traditional rites of passage but we all know they are actually just sports.
- Display extreme caution when practicing these inevitable athletic developments. This will ensure that you fail to improve, and will make the desired impression on any hopeful adults who may be watching you. For example, when you eventually learn to ride a bike, you’ll want to stick to riding very slowly on flat and vacant surfaces near your home. If you find yourself near another cyclist, a pedestrian, or a mailbox, be sure to weave around erratically in quick jerking motions before tipping slowly over and landing on your side. Cry for several minutes to express the sincere trauma that you feel. Read quietly indoors for the remainder of the day.
- In situations of organized group games in elementary school P.E. class, let your panic take over. Embrace it. It will help you shift your focus toward thinking of ways to avoid playing, which will assist you in your failure to learn even the most basic rules to kickball, basketball, and soccer. Explain to your P.E. teacher that time spent walking safely around the perimeter of sports activities by yourself is a very healthful activity. Reassure her that you are a real “team player” in art class. This will work approximately one in every ten times you try it.
- If absolutely forced to play an organized group game, attempt to use the powers of your mind to keep the ball from coming anywhere near you. This will work approximately zero in every ten times, so when the ball does inevitably come to you, hold it gingerly in outstretched arms as if it is a bomb that might explode at any moment. Walk over and hand it to whichever person is screaming at you the loudest, regardless of teaming arrangements. Excuse yourself to the restroom to ugly cry.
- As you transition to the middle grades, push yourself to fail in new ways. In seventh grade, when all your friends are playing sports after school and on weekends, consider that maybe you have been all wrong about this, and that maybe you could be a killer basketball player who just never realized her true potential. Try out for the seventh grade girls’ basketball team. Feel hopeful when your stepfather tells you everyone makes the seventh grade girls’ basketball team.
- Do not make the seventh grade girls’ basketball team. Sob loudly in the bathroom, ensuring that your lying stepfather can hear you.
- Continue to reach for impossible athletic achievements. In eighth grade, consider that maybe you could be a killer track star who never realized her true potential. Try out for the eighth grade girls’ track team.
- Do not make the eighth grade girls’ track team. Decide that the track coach doesn’t like you and that must definitely be the reason you didn’t make the team.
- Really push yourself to explore the depths of your nonexistent skills, even when you feel that your status as a non-athlete is set in stone. Opt to take the loophole “Introduction to Dance” class instead of P.E. in high school. Discover that you are also terrible at dancing, which is really just walking athletically. Explain to your dance teacher that time spent walking safely around the perimeter of the dance activities by yourself is a very healthful activity.
If you follow my example, you too can enjoy a carefree life based on a complete lack of athletic achievement. I’m living the dream. But don’t ever get too comfortable. Sure, situations involving group games and individual athletic endeavors aren’t as common when you’re an adult, but you’ll still always have that one friend who is forever trying to get you to sign up for a 5k that involves drinking as much beer as possible, and begs you to go with them to a $49 workout class at 5:00 AM that seems to be centered around medieval torture tactics.
So don’t ever catch the keys that are tossed to you. Run from any child who hands you a ball. And whatever you do, please remember to maintain a lifestyle that includes sporadic, low-impact exercise, because… well, heart disease is a silent killer.