How is it possible that I can be an otherwise healthy and mature adult, and upon being told I’ve been put on a team, suddenly revert to the non-athletic youth feeling sick to my stomach? What does it say about me? What does it say about the way competition affects individuals and society in general?
We will get the question of me out-of-the-way first. I am not now, nor have I ever been, an athlete. Three of my siblings were great athletes, which is how I came to know that I was not! I am not a total klutz, but I don’t enjoy competition. I think a large part of that comes from the relay races we had to do for years in gym classes. You know the ones, “when the whole team has gone sit down,” they would say. You became very unpopular if you were the one who “made the team lose.” I particularly disliked when the teacher would then make our team run laps because we came last in the fun race! As soon as they told us to line up on one side of the gym I was already feeling sick, and to this day I avoid the situation at almost any cost.
For me, the word team is associated with such terms and phrases as; letting down the side, holding the team back, winner, loser, last picked, bench warmer and “oh no, not her!” I think I am supposed to think about things like; two heads are better than one, teamwork, support, sense of belonging, productivity, and fun”