The best part of moving to a new country where no one really knows you is that you can reinvent yourself as much (or as little) as you want. I’ve talked about this a little here and wrote an article about it while I was in Australia. This time, along with trying to change all the deep ish (meaning issues, not the other word) I wade through most of the time, I’m also pushing myself out of a few of my less serious boxes.
Case in point: team sports. I’ve always hated them…sitcom-worthy experiences in elementary and junior high school continued to reinforce my loathing.
But in college I realized how much my aversion to team sports was affecting my quality of life. Senior year, almost every night my friends would hang out in the gym playing volleyball. It wasn’t serious at all, yet I could not bring myself to play. I figured my poor depth perception, lack of hand-eye coordination, and slow reflexes disqualified me from being anything but a nuisance or a laughing stock on the court. (Maybe if I looked like Kiera Knightley in a sports bra, I might be more keen).
Until. Until I came to Norway and lived on a YWAM base in the country, where I started to go stir crazy after about 5 days. And thats when I heard about KRIK, a Christian athletes’ club for university students. They get together on Monday nights, play some sports, do a short Bible study, then play some more. Sometimes they have pizza parties. Oh how I wished I could go to KRIK! So why not? The time had come to see if there’s anything more to my silly fear of team sports than just that – fear.
I decided to try KRIK for 4 weeks and then decide whether I liked it or not. It’s totally confusing because everything’s in Norwegian and I’m not always near a friend who can translate. Also, they play sports and games I’ve never heard of. But you know what? I’m actually having fun! The one thing I’ve got working for me is that my running keeps me in shape, so at least I can keep up. And you know what else? I’m really not that bad. I’m no superstar, but I can hold my own…at least once I figure out the object of the game. Oh, and I realized that everyone, even the best athletes, makes dumb mistakes sometimes, like shooting an airball or accidentally passing right into the hands of the other team.
Plus, everyone at KRIK is really nice and they don’t take the games too seriously. They’re pretty encouraging and always act politely shocked when I say I never play team sports, God bless ’em. And the other night? I scored a goal while playing soccer. And everyone in the room, even the opposing team, let out a cheer for me like I was a one-legged 3rd grader scoring her first point. Whatever. It was nice.
I feel so free now…like, if I’m at the beach and friends start up a game of volleyball, I can actually join in! And since life coaching is a possible career direction for me, I figured that I could be my first client, firmly coaxing myself to step out of my comfort zone so I can really live my life. I think we’ve done pretty well.