How to not play basketball

Physical exercise is really not my thing.

I had this epiphany a week ago when I was peer-pressured into playing basketball with some friends at school. I knew this day would eventually come and I was hoping like mad that something would stop it from happening, like rain. Or God. Or a runaway ostrich on the school court.

But none of that happened.

I don’t blame God, see? I understand why God would want to watch me play a sport. In fact, If I were God, I would do everything in My Power to ensure that a person with my sporting skills would have to play basketball every day of his/ her life. If they made a reality TV show called Mushroomsup attempts to play basketball (or rather Mushroomsup tries not to get hit in the face by a basketball) it would have higher viewer ratings than Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

It didn’t start too badly. For a while, I stood at a safe distance and focused on camouflaging with the scenery. I was convinced that by expertly pretending to be a malfunctioning chameleon, I would not get hit by the ball. That strategy worked surprisingly well. For a while.

We (*they*) weren’t really playing basketball – rather, they were taking turns trying to get the basketball through the hoop from the farthest distance possible. Eventually, though, a friend noticed that I was standing yards away, perfectly still, wearing a distinctly reptilian expression. Slightly alarmed, she invited me to play. I walked towards the players reluctantly. They smiled at me patronizingly and handed over the basketball. When I say ‘handed over’, I mean ‘threw it directly at me with no warning whatsoever’.

Long story short, I offered to retire hurt because I didn’t want my serious injury to disrupt their game.

My kindly, considerate friends however, did not see this as an option. A few minutes later, I was standing in front of the basket, basketball in hand, looking up at the heavens for any signs of divine laughter. All around me so-called friends were encouraging me to “throw”.

So I threw.

I can assure you, I did everything right. I aimed at the hoop. I bent my knees slightly. I put in all my upper arm strength. I really have no idea why the ball hit a small child playing in the adjacent football field.

Anyway, after some apologizing, my friends and a teacher who had been asked to supervise the game following the unprecedented attack that I had been responsible for, tried to nurture some semblance of hand-eye co-ordination into me. I had to be taught how to hold the ball in the correct position, how keep my wrists steady and how to avoid throwing the ball at the hapless kindergarteners playing on the far end of the school field.

Their tutoring worked to an extent. I managed to get the ball within ten feet of the hoop, at least.

Impressed by my progress, my friends began to play again. While they stood fifteen and twenty feet from the basket and managed to get five baskets in a row, backwards, I stood minus two feet from the basket and practiced throwing the ball up into the air and then running away quickly to avoid the ball landing directly on my head.

I’ll have you know that I was (for the most part) quite successful at this.

Eventually, my attempts at the game attracted a large crowd and my failure became a spectator sport. Cheers of ‘You can do it’ and ‘Go on, throw the ball!’ resonated around me and inspired by all the encouragement, I threw the ball towards the hoop with all my might. It touched the rim and then bounced away towards the crowd, the members of which quickly scattered out of fear for their lives.

But I had managed to touch the rim of the basket! It was a proud moment (especially because I’m rather short).

My friends and the teacher were less impressed than I expected. The teacher booed me as I triumphantly strode away from the court and my friends laughed at me from behind some trees (where they had taken shelter in lieu of my haphazard throwing). I, however, was unperturbed. I said (and you can quote me) – “I don’t need to do any physical exercise. I exercise my mind.”

I found out today that my mother does NOT agree with that.

I’ve been on vacation and after a few days of loitering around the house aimlessly, I was thrown out and told to not return until I ‘get some some fresh air.’ I can do that standing at the window, but I wisely decided not to say anything. Also, I had already been locked out of the house by then.

So I went to the park and walked around a bit. And then I got in over my head and tried to overtake elderly ladies to fuel my self-esteem. That was a bad idea.

By the time I got home, I was half-dead. I couldn’t move a muscle. There were aches and pains everywhere. To think that exercise is supposed to make you feel better.

I’ve decided that I’ve now had enough physical exercise to last a lifetime.

If anyone needs me, I’ll be playing on the Wii Fit.


18 comments on “How to not play basketball

  1. Akshita says:

    “…wearing a distinctly reptilian expression..”! 😀

  2. technophile9 says:

    I am not known for my hand eye coordination, but I’ve somehow managed to enrol myself into Sports Day. D: Luckily I’m OK at running, but I sympathise. :3

      • franhunne4u says:

        My grannie used to tell me to go and play outside – when all I ever wanted was to read the book I had in front of me. And I suck(ed) at any kind of games which involved throwing things … In fact, sports has the same kind of effect on me that is has on you. Far from the rewarding euphoria …
        Sorry for that, younger self, you will cope – and one day you might even learn that it is not as important as everybody tells you, that you live your life like they do theirs!

      • mushroomsup says:

        Hahaha 🙂 I sure hope so!
        I’m glad to see that there are others like me when it comes to physical activity…and I’m glad you could relate! Thank you 😀

  3. cringing says:

    This is just like me and running. I was on cross country, so my teammates would consistently tell me “You can do it!” during races, you know, as I vicariously “run” a mile per decade and breath so rapidly that you’d think I was having an asthma attack.

  4. Siqi says:

    Your posts always leave me smiling like an idiot at the phone. I have learnt not to read them in public. Wii boxing is a really good sport! Sort of 🙂

  5. Someone FINALLY understands my pain.
    Playing basketball has always been a traumatic experience for me, and it doesn’t help that most of my friends consider basketball a religion.
    Somehow or the other, I’m always roped into playing it. And I barely return alive.
    It definitely doesn’t help when most of the school seems to feel the need to present at the gym at the very moment I make a fool out of myself.
    Ah, high school.
    But this was great blog post! Had fun reading it 🙂 (whilst remembering all my basketball-related injuries).

    • mushroomsup says:

      Hahaha, this definitely sounds like me. What can I say, maybe some of us just aren’t built for sports!
      And thank you so much, I’m glad you could relate 🙂 I also apologise for bringing up any traumatic sport-related memories 😛

  6. speakingwins says:

    I especially like your zoological references – ostrich, chameleon – clearly you are a nature lover. Too bad nature is outdoors.

    • mushroomsup says:

      You caught me – I do enjoy nature and the Great Outdoors. In fact, I like it so much that I often sit by the (shut) window and look outside for a minute or two before my daily round of Wii tennis.

  7. Anshita says:

    This is so cute ;’)
    But you’re not bad at all in basketball 😛

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