Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Monday, October 04, 2010

A Night Of Balls And Sweat

I’ve never really been an athletic guy. In grade school I could never get the hang of dribbling a basketball, or kicking a soccer ball, or even hitting a baseball. But damn it, I took to volleyball like, well, a gay guy. And in a basketball country, what’s gayer than being good at volleyball?

Well actually, I wasn’t the best volleyball player in class—that would be Mark and Ting, the two guys who not only had the talent but also the height. And they were in the varsity team. They could spike. My lack of height, jumping prowess and irrational fear of being good at using my wrists (oh no, a “gay” dead giveaway!) made me an inadequate spiker. So I excelled as a tosser and stopper. But the two were tasked to whip our class team in shape for our intramurals, and they were strict taskmasters. In fact, so strict that they succeeded in leading our grade seven class to volleyball champion. The champion class would then vote who among them is the Most Valuable Player in volleyball. Because the whole class resented Mark and Ting for being taskmasters, and I played the Miss Congeniality the whole quarter, the class voted me. And that’s how I became the volleyball MVP on my last year in grade school.

Ang galing ko pala mambola.

So when the MGGFF people decided to organize a volleyball game, I jumped at the chance to play again. After grade school I never really played again. Well, a few times in high school and college, but that was that.

On my first game I was surprised that my 44-year-old body still remembered most of the moves that my grade school body mastered. It took a while for my body to recall them (“It’s all coming back, all coming back to me noooooow…!”) but after a warm-up game or two I was already diving on the concrete (if at Dumlao Gym) or wooden (once at RFM) floor of the rented court. I was surprised too that I survived two games with nary a mishap.

Yesterday evening at the third MGGFF volleyball get-together, I dove to save a ball and landed much too hard on my right knee. The pain shot up and quickly spread all over my body. For a few seconds my knee was pulsing in pain. Good thing there was a natural pause during the game, and everyone’s attention was on the ball. For a moment I couldn’t bend my knee without pain. But it quickly passed, and soon I was diving again on the floor.

After the game we trooped to Home Depot in Ortigas. After our midnight dinner, some of us headed to O Bar. It was already past 1am, and the place was packed. The moment we entered the front door, what greeted us was a thick wall of noise, heat and sweat. We bullied and squirmed our way to the bar, where we got ourselves Tanduay Ice (which ironically was lukewarm—must be the heat). I sweated buckets during the volleyball game, but a few feet from the entrance to the bar and I was drenched in sweat—mine and I guess everybody else’s whom I passed by on my way. It was like the sauna of Fitness First, but with clothes. Mostly. Good thing dancing was limited to shaking in place; thankfully, my knee wasn’t subjected to further stress.

A game of volleyball followed by dancing and rubbing elbows (among other body parts) at a gay dance club on a Saturday night—what could be gayer than that?


Mac Callister said...

what's MGGFF by the way????

ako,never been sporty at school,lahat ng may kinalaman sa bola!i hated every minute of it,kasi alam kong bading na ko grade 2 palang!hhaha

Ryan said...

Wah, I wasn't here. I passed out in a house party. I was planning to catch up with you guys at O Bar.

Marcus: Bading Down Under said...

Wish I was back home.

*le sigh*