I was an extra shy kid, taller than your average bear…actually way taller, I wore very big glasses, and I stuck out like a sore thumb, much like Napoleon Dynamite. At my new school, I had only one friend. He was in a different class and the only time I could talk to him was during recess at the white line that divided the playground between the boys and the girls. Our conversations were generally very short as he rushed off to join a game of kickball that had already commenced. My older sister often came to my rescue but she was coming of age by that time and was a social butterfly herself so I more times than not, found myself standing alone, hoping I would get asked to play a game of volleyball or kickball, neither of which I was good at. But then…
I discovered TETHERBALL.
Not only could I play it by myself, but when someone would challenge me, I ROCKED! The secret to my success was my height. I rocked this game so hard because I was so tall. Unlike basketball, a sport which many insisted I should be good at but never was, tetherball did not require running, speed, good distance vision, or even full body coordination. It only required hand eye coordination, which thanks to my video gaming and drawing skills, I had developed a lot of and add to that my height! I was a lean mean tetherballin’ machine.
All I had to do was keep the ball just above my opponents reach . As you can imagine, this infuriated many of my school mates and it in no way helped me win any cool points or friends for that matter. Regardless, I look back at that time very fondly and embrace the lessons that were learned. What those lessons were exactly, I haven’t got the vaguest idea.
The following year, I moved to sunny Jacksonville, FL and my new school did not have a tetherball thingamajig. My self-proclaimed title of reigning Tetherball Champion of the South meant nothing to my new classmates, but at least I was in a new school, where I could make new friends, and make a new beginning for myself and since my awkward school years, I have learned to embrace my quirkiness, my height, and even my ability to entertain myself 🙂