The Friend Zone and Football….yes, football, for me.

Workout notes: pretty day..and I had a painfully slow 10K recovery effort run. I got it in and enjoyed the day; that is about it. I had no “flight phase” to my gait, at all; it was more of a shuffle really. No stopwatch; I really didn’t want to know how slow it was; my guess it was a 11:45 mpm pace or thereabouts.

Afterward, I did some yard work; cutting, and cutting down the jungle that grows in our back yard, seemingly every 2 weeks or so. Warm weather plus a lot of rain, plus the very fertile Illinois soil = “jungle”.

The Friend Zone
Someone posted a “Friend Zone” meme on my wall and I had to chuckle.


No, it wasn’t this one. If you haven’t heard about it: it is the situation when there are two people; one wants a romantic relationship and the other is willing to be a friend (in some cases, with “benefits”, i. e. sex or sexual conduct) but not enter into a romantic relationship. Some feminists complain that this is a type of misogyny in that women are expected to give sex when the guy wants it, but I don’t see it that way. I see it as a result of the human courtship ritual, and the fact that “there is no guarantee that the one you love is going to love you”, as the Main Ingredient sang about in Everybody Plays the Fool:

That song makes me smile and wince at the same time.

And yes, there is this darker side of human nature in which the person who isn’t interested in the romantic relationship does small things to keep the attraction alive (taking advantage of “hope springs eternal”) because the ENJOY the fact that someone is attracted to them. I know that this sometimes happens because women have told me that they’ve done this, though I don’t know how often it happens. I suppose it is natural to like being wanted by someone. And on the flip side, I KNOW that some men will string a woman along because they like the sex that they are getting, though they have no interest in a relationship, at all. They have said as much.

This post isn’t really about any of this though (even if this “ha ha ha, you didn’t want a nice guy then and now you want one?” reply, which made me chuckle a bit, which is a tongue in cheek reply to this “ok, we are now ready for you Mr. Nice Guy” article).

No, my post is about my being friend zoned by FOOTBALL.

Here is what I mean: I grew up loving football. I followed it on TV (when I was in the US) and on the newspapers. Even prior to my 8’th grade season, I TRAINED for it in the off season, lifting weights and running wind sprints. This got me one year of JV and one year of varsity while in Japan (Air Force High School), and one year of JV and one year as a reserve (played enough to letter) on the varsity at Travis High School in Austin, TX.

I never got within an astronomical unit of being a college player (any division); I simply didn’t have the genetics ..I had no fast twitch muscle fiber, at all.

Example: at 215-220 lbs, I could run a 5:54 mile but…a 5.8 40 on a GOOD day. The coaches even taunted me with cries of “old grandpa” when I tried to sprint. I was just so f***ing slow. In the weight room, I was one who could do, say, 4-5 reps with a weight on the bench press, but be unable to do ONE rep with a weight that was only 15 pounds heavier. That is a classic sign of having slow-twitch muscle fiber, which sucks for football.

Oh, how I was disgusted that the guys who did nothing at all ended up with bodies like Godzilla and attention from the coaches and scouts.

Ironically, I can now see that I actually got more than a fair shake from my genes; but at the time, the ability to make an A in calculus without studying at all was lost on me. I really believed it was merely a matter of paying attention in class. The fact that I was accepted by Yale, Rice and two service academies was a bit lost on me too; I figured that others simply had not put forth effort in their college applications. No, I wasn’t a genius; I was merely a “Commended Student” and not a National Merit Scholar, but I had enough ability to get the appropriate degrees and credentials to earn a middle class living. I didn’t see that at that time.

But alas, football still calls me, though at my age, I realize that I’ll be in the stands, cheering my favorite teams on and wondering what it would have been like had I had the talent to make one of those teams.

And yes, I am a fan of live football; I just love being at the stadium on game day (or court, or baseball diamond).


July 30, 2015 - Posted by | running, social/political | , , ,

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