ordinary

I’m icing my knees. Skinned ’em good tonight.

Dad’s laughing at me right now- well, he should be. If our positions were reversed, I would. It would be a mirthful chuckle, one born of experience watching another one have that experience.

Our rec league basketball team hasn’t won a game, which was more frustrating than most on this night, if just because of how we lost. To an intense, chippy team (and I would know chippy), who didn’t let up at any point.

Really, it’s frustrating because we couldn’t stay with them- we were outmanned, and they had a system that broke us apart, had us sniping about options and what to do. It was a game that brought out my chippy, youthful, easily prodded side, and in retrospect, I think I was looking for an excuse to be that way.

I’ve had an interesting few days at work- alternating between slack and stressful as if an infant was yanking on the chain, with Tuesday in particular playing havoc with my rattled mind. Inexperience at my new position reared it’s ugly head, and that gets me defensive, gets my ‘little man syndrome’ going even more than usual. So I was feeling frustration, and needed to vent it.

I wanted that excuse, and they gave it to me.

I think stress and exertion forces us to be more honest, poking and prodding inner conflicts to the surface. As an analytical man, I think it’s part of my fascination with sports- the competition, the immediacy of the moment, reveals more than a prepared statement and prepared interactions do. You find out more about their inner nature when they’re under that strain, in events and circumstances that they can’t control, than in a moment where they set the parameters.

But then, the ability to step back, to see the whole picture, would have helped me. I could have said “You’re getting rattled- dial it back.” But I couldn’t. I pushed on, feeling the baser instinct to ‘defend teammates’, or some other hogwash that athletes use to disguise the desire to be physical, to establish ‘dominance’. Is that a man thing? Or a sports thing? Probably a little of both.

Even knowing this now, I’ll be at half court the next game it gets chippy, ready to throw a forearm on a pick to set the tone. Because no amount of analysis can change my nature THAT much at once, in the moment.

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