Thursday, October 4, 2007

Fat Chicks in Polyester Basketball Uniforms

Okay, this post has been brewing in my head for quite some time, and I'm not sure I will be able to adequately express my thoughts on the following subject, but hopefully I can extract a chuckle or two in the process.

When I was in college, I dated this guy that was an aspiring poet. One of his greatest works, "Fat Chicks in Spandex"©, had us chortling down the dorm halls more than once. You see, those were the days of 3-hour basketball practices, and buying pints of Ben & Jerry's everyday, without worrying about the fact that you didn't have a freezer, because you were going to eat the whole thing in one sitting - every time. So, with metabolism to spare, we giggled and laughed about fat chicks who dared to wear spandex.

Then, we grew up. And some of us became fat chicks. In an ironic twist of fate, in which God's chuckle still echoes through the dorm halls of our youth, the aspiring poet married a fat chick. Luckily, God also gave him a cup overflowing with love for his fair maiden, and he is able to look past her earthly flaws with devotion in his eyes - plus, she doesn't wear spandex - ever - unless you count the 5% spandex content of her favorite jeans, because that's just smart shopping, and not a fashion faux-pas whatsoever!

Anyway, two weeks ago I get an e-mail from another alumni of my college basketball team. It seems there is to be an alumni game at our mighty Alma mater on Thanksgiving weekend. In the interest of fairness to the rest of the post, the gal that sent the e-mail has done a commendable job of keeping her little body in shape, running triathlons and the like, so this idea does not seem to be so far-fetched in her world.

I will now take it upon myself to speak for the other 90% of the washed-up, female college athlete crowd.

We're moms.

Most of us have multiple children.

This means that more than once in our lives, we have gained at least 50 pounds.

And each time, a little bit more stayed put.

We're out of shape.

It also means that we put about 100 miles on various mini-vans and SUV's everyday.

We're busy.

Daily walks and Jazzercise have entered our minds, but we are juggling so many other balls in the air that adding the exercise ball to the equation seems next to impossible.

Besides all that, our children are now old enough to laugh at us if we try to run up and down a basketball court.

And you know our husbands would be laughing right along with them - louder, in fact.

Because, being in shape for basketball is a special kind of thing. Even for a 20-year-old, it takes weeks of 2-a-days to get your body ready for that kind of abuse. I don't care if you've been dragging your mid-thirties body to Jazzercise for the last year, you are still in no shape to sprint down a basketball court and try to jump for a rebound. By this time in our lives, we're as likely to strain a hip joint as we are to make a free throw!

In addition, the e-mail actually said to eat a "light" Thanksgiving dinner. What?!? Even if I did get to the point where I could picture myself shooting a basketball in a public setting again, do you really think I'd give up a perfectly good Thanksgiving feast for the privilege? Maybe that's why I'm the fat girl and the other one's the tri-athlete. Can anyone else see a pattern here?

But really, am I completely missing the boat on this? I mean, I know most guys hold onto that athlete role pretty much forever - playing church-league basketball much longer than their knee and hip joints would recommend, if knee and hip joints could talk. But, I thought most chicks kind of got beyond this. And are there really fans out there that would pay to watch old, slow, athlete has-beens try to play basketball again? If so, where are they? I've got a bridge to sell them . . .

There will be no glory playing girls 15 years younger than us, who have been conditioning for 3 months, can run faster, jump higher, and shoot better than we probably ever could.

Any fun that might be anticipated is quickly drowned out by the pain my muscles and joints know they will experience the next day. Not to mention my bum ankle - I can't even walk down my gravel road without twisting it about twice a week. . .

I can picture it now - I sky up for a rebound (hopefully getting high enough to slip a credit-card under my shoes) - and I come down on some young punks foot - twisting my ankle - there I lay, on the hardwood, writhing in pain - a fat chick in polyester - some has-been basketball player who thought she could still keep up with the young chicks.

No thanks.

I can barely keep up with my 4-year-old, and he can't even dunk yet.

©"Fat Chicks in Spandex" Copyright 1992, JAM Productions, Matt Messer, Author


Cynthia said...

Heather, this seriously is my favorite post out of ANY that I've EVER read! You truly had me smiling and laughing through this entire thing and your writing skills are great, just like you were sitting next to me talking. By the that why you were at the school today.....practicing your sprints?!

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

Heather, this is hilarious! Oh, this is funny. You hit the nail on the head...I remember playing in an alumni game several years lungs were NOT cut out for it...oh, it was painful. It's painful even thinking I did it. Where oh where was your wisdom when I needed it.

kristi brooke said...

heather, whatever you think you may have lost in athletic ability you have more than made up for in your writing. i read this in jp newsletter this morning and it was incredible.
forget the sports arena and get a publisher and write a book!

Darla said...

Heather this is awesome...I am so
glad you decided to do the post...
I'm still laughing...

But being the true friend I am, I wouldn't paint my face, or your number on my body but i definately would be there to cheer you on...

Great post!!!!

Darla said...

Heather this is awesome...I am so
glad you decided to do the post...
I'm still laughing...

But being the true friend I am, I wouldn't paint my face, or your number on my body but i definately would be there to cheer you on...

Great post!!!!

Anonymous said...

So does this mean your not playing?