TO CATCH OR NOT TO CATCH




Ever since I was a child I have had this FEAR of CATCHING things ...because I have never been very good at it. (My hand-eye coordination is not my strongest side) This of course meant that as a child I really didn't like any games including a BALL ...except bowling.. and maybe volleyball because there you don't need to catch ..you kind of just hit the ball and the ball is kind of big. I have also always hated when people have tried to THROW me things. It's such a natural and small thing, but  I still remember that I feared as a child. I was so bad that I remember that some SUMMERS my mom would ask me if we should PRACTICE ..and so we did, standing outside out cabin throwing a tiny ball back and forth. (Of course my SISTER didn't have any problems with catching, instead she was SUPER GOOD in all ballgames, at least that's the way I remember it) As I became a TEENAGER I kind of just refused to catch stuff if people wanted to throw me something.. saying that they shouldn't because there were no way that I was gonna catch it. Around this time I also figured out that my bad catching skills could have something to do with my EYESIGHT. Having this excuse together with just saying to people that I was a terrible catcher actually made it easier. Saying that I really coulden't catch made people APPLAUD when I did ..instead of me feeling like a complete IDIOT when I didn't. 

The reason why I came to think of this is because on my sister's BIRTHDAY we played BASKETBALL before her birthday brunch and then some TABLE TENNIS after. My sister's boyfriend was there and was kind of surprised that I didn't totally SUCK. He hadn't seen me play ball since school and I think he kind of remembered me as a CATASTROPHE. The thing is not that I have miraculously become a great ATHLETE since then.. because I have not...the only reason I can figure is that I am no longer afraid that I will not be able to catch the ball.. so I can concentrate on actually catching the ball instead of fearing it... and that makes it all a whole lot easier. 






I think the last time I thought of my childhood fear of catching was in GERMAN CLASS last autumn. The first day the teacher picked up a STUFFED PLAY MOUSE from her bag. She wanted us to throw the mouse to each other and ask each other questions. If felt just like first grade all over again. Not only did I have to catch a some sort of toy in front of all the other students...  I also had to ask and answer questions in german (answering stuff in front of my class was also something I did not like as a child.. I think there might be a pattern here of me being afraid to fail in front of others ..but enough about that). Of course I was the first one the TEACHER decided to throw the mouse to ...and I instantly turned into myself almost TWENTY YEARS ago ...and REFUSED to catch the mouse. With my poor german skills... together with the the obvious; who thinks someone refuses to catch a stuffed play mouse because they are afraid they will not  be able to catch it ....I think the teacher thought I refused to catch the mouse because I was afraid of mice... so she rightfully ignored my fears and threw it to me. I caught it. I answered the question. I asked a new student a question and I threw the mouse. It was not scary at all. Later that day i didn't catch it, and it still was not scary. It had all just been an unpleasant dejavu from my childhood. I was glad to be reminded that some things you actually grow out of. That things that I feared and was so embarrassed about as a child, really are not that important anymore.