When I watch today’s award-winning female athletes I am in awe of their talent. My personal athletic history is a bit checkered. I flunked tap class at the age of 5. While riding my bicycle at age 9, I managed to take out a mailbox and part of a hedge of pittosporum. In high school, in the “olden days,” the only competitive sport women could participate in at my school was softball. No one kept the bench warmer than I did.
I believe I may have reached my athletic peak in college where I managed to eke out a B in badminton. Fortunately, none of the other students I might have accidentally clipped with my racquet knew any good personal injury attorneys.
I did once give snow skiing a try, but anyone who has a serious fear of heights, speed and hates the cold does not have much of a shot at downhill. Water skiing? Let’s just say that the driver of the boat who tried to get me up only pulled out part of his hair. Golf, you say? I am considering that sport when I find an indoor air-conditioned course that you can play in less than half a day. Tennis? Actually, I did try tennis and I had a dynamite serve. The only issue I had was confining it to that teeny tiny court they where they make you play.
I have accepted the fact that I will never be known for my athletic abilities. Just putting one foot in front of the other without tripping is a fine accomplishment, but I don’t think they give awards for that.
There is one physical activity where I do have a certain expertise that has been honed over a lifetime, although I have not seen it listed in any specific award category. Although maybe it is time that there was an award competition for people with more unique talents.
All modesty aside, I am one heck of an amazing ironer. Give me a hot iron and a can of spray starch and I can blow away the competition. I discovered my gift for ironing early on as a teen when I found out that by offering to iron my family’s clothes, I could not only earn $1 a day from my mom, I could completely avoid Saturday yard work. As a bonus I could also watch all my favorite TV shows at the same time. Over the years, I have taken on frilly blouses, tuxedo shirts with French cuffs, delicate silks and the most challenging of all, 100 percent cotton khaki work pants with heavy starch.
There aren’t many of us left to compete in this category what with dry cleaners' coupons, the popular wrinkled look, knit golf shorts and wash and wear. But just know, that if there is enough of a demand, I will be available for either classes or private tutoring. Some gifts just need to be passed on.