Sunday, July 29

Useless failure

A regular reader of this blog, if there were such a thing, might have got the impression that I was quite the sporty type. This is actually wrong; although I do regularly take part in a number of sports I am in fact useless as just about all of them, and merely passable at one or two. At rowing, I have even successfully achieved the ranks of the slightly above mediocre before slipping back (well, I did get in a University crew that qualified for Henley Royal Regatta, but I was only in because someone else got injured and all the undergraduates had gone home already. However, I was in the boat when we did the time that qualified us, so I feel I am justified in claiming some small iota of talent in this field)

I had for many years believed the sport I was worst at was cricket. The combination of hand-eye co-ordination and confident, controlled actions needed to be a successful cricketer come as naturally to me as taking to the wing does to certain birds - emus, kiwis and the dodo come to mind. The emu is large, ugly and annoyed, the kiwi occasionally forgets that it can't fly and makes a fool of itself hitting the ground, and the dodo is just dead. At the crease, I combine the lack of talent of all three.

But my abysmal cricketing, where I once achieved a rustic hoik that missed all the fielders, is nothing compared to my utter pathetic travesty of an attempt at water skiing. I never even got as far as the water skiing, you have to be good at the kneeboarding first before you can go onto the skiis, and I wasn't.

I didn't get around the course.

I didn't get around the first corner

I didn't get *to* the first corner.

I lasted two seconds.

I went about five metres, fell in, swallowed half the pond, and strained my left calf. My friends were considering diving in to rescue me as a swam to the board (did I say I'm bad at swimming? I thought I was merely poor, turns out that I swim about as well as an anchor) while choking from the foul weed-ridden water.

If I'd merely fallen in, I could have gone again - repeated, determined abject failure can win you plaudits from some circles for showing determination in the face of utter inadequacy. But I was crocked. So that was it - today I was not just crap, I was a quitter too.

It better be one of my good days at work tomorrow (one of the "this is brilliant, we've got a paper here" days, rather than another "oh. That didn't work. Oh well. Err. Sorry, I don't think this is possible"), or I'm going to be completely unbearable the rest of the week.

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