I am not a very sporty gal. I am not a girly girl either but I guess I’m more into academics than sports. I’m okay at athletics and badminton, I want to swim but can’t (ear surgery screwed that up for me) and like to cycle. I’d rate myself 4 out of 10 on being good at sports. To add to that, I haven’t really been playing any sports since the last two years because school plus preparing for med school entrance exams doesn’t leave much time for that. As you can imagine, if I didn’t have a naturally high BMR, I’d be flabby right now. My muscles are actually very loose and I’m not in the best shape I can be.
So, I had my Physical Education practical. It’s an exam for 30 marks where we do different tasks and are evaluated by an examiner from another school. These, with the 70 marks theory exam, decide our grade in the subject. The activities we were supposed to do were (each for 5 marks): 10 minutes jogging/running, exercises, 100 m sprint, display of skills by playing a chosen game, broad/long jump (no running from a distance was allowed) and viva (includes Q/A, our practical files and performing a yoga asana). I was okay with only the viva part because, as I said, I’m not a sporty gal.
On the day of the practical, we were already tired after the run. The exercises were exhausting too. We had to do the sprint in batches of five students at a time. My bad luck was that I was in the batch with athletic girls. I was surprised when I came first in the sprint. But then the PE teacher said, “how did you come first?” I am still unsure whether it was a compliment or a taunt. In the long jump, there were different lines marked by chalk, one for qualifying, other for 4 marks and those who crossed the 4 marker line got 5. There were separate lines for boys and girls, because, you know, biology. Anyways, last year I barely qualified and got 3 marks, so imagine my surprise when I got to 5 marks! I think I’d have to thank my long legs for these two feats.
But what I realised was that I’m not that bad at sports. If I try hard enough, I might even be good. This made me think (yes, I know I think too much) that more often than not, it is we ourselves who stop us from achieving what we can. We often underestimate our abilities, the end result being, our not trying and hence, not achieving. So, if I can be okay at sports, you too can do whatever you’ve been thinking about but being too scared to attempt.