Spectacular embarrassment is my specialty. Ever since elementary school, I was good at embarrassing myself in astounding ways. Sometimes life likes to show me that I haven’t lost my touch. Last week I was provided the opportunity to prove that I haven’t lost my magic.
I’m at No. 2’s second football camp for the summer, the Roddy White Pro Camp. As I’m watching the kids run through drills, in between their glances around the field to locate Roddy, one of the camp workers came up to me and asked if I would like to participate in a game to possibly win a $100 gift card to a sports store. Showcase my skills in front of all these people and give my oldest son a chance to say “Yep, that’s MY dad!”? Without hesitation I reply, “Of course I would!”
I was to be competing against three other parents, two moms and one other dad. I thought, “This will be a piece of cake! After all, I’ve taken circuit training classes at Greubel’s Mixed Martial Arts!” Never mind that I stopped going regularly last October. But that shouldn’t matter right? Boy, was I about to find out.
To make matters worse, each parent was assigned a camper to compete for, meaning whatever place we came in the camper won the prize for our efforts, as did I. My camper was a little red-headed boy name Tyler. He seemed to be about 7 or 8. He was very excited at the opportunity to win a $100 gift card, not knowing that his champion seriously lacked athletic ability and has not exercised regularly for quite some time. All the same, with a fist-bump, I assured young Tyler, “We got this!”
I play it cool as I step on the field, making eye contact with Roddy at the same time. I gave him the old “what’s up” nod. The cool, Butler High School, what’s up nod, like we’ve known each other for years and we’re cool enough to nod to say “what’s up.” Then I proceed to stretch out like it’s the summer Olympics and I’m lining up for the 400m.
Luckily, I’m going last in the competition, so I could watch everyone go through the obstacle course to see where they mess up. The moms get through the course at a respectable 11 point something seconds. They add two seconds for missing the target at the end. So they both scored 13s. The other dad scored a 12. My thoughts are “piece of cake! This has nothing on some of the exercises I have done at GMMA… y’know, last fall.”
As I’m stretching out and limbering up, I envision myself weaving through the first section with ease. I’m even checking my footing on the Astroturf. By the way, high schools have Astroturf?? When did this happen?
Well, I never bothered to envision myself doing the next few steps of the obstacle course, which included running around a cone, catching a football at the same time, using “quick feet” to tap through some rings and then throwing the football accurately into a target as I run through the end of the obstacle course.
Roddy asks if I’m ready, then starts the clock. As I’m weaving through the first obstacles, Roddy says on the microphone, “Uh-oh! Kris came to WIN!” Then I head for the cone and remember that I have to catch a football somewhere. I remember this because the football I was supposed to catch hit me in the face. After the second throw, I finally catch the ball. I then navigate the “quick feet” rings and turn to head for the end of the course and the target. My pass? Nowhere near the target. Any of the 200 camp kids watching could have come closer. My time? 15 point something something seconds. Roddy was saying “Kriiiis, Kriiiis, Kriiiiis… oh, man! What happened?” Kind of the same thing I’ve screamed at him on select Sundays. Except with fewer expletives.
I wanted to crawl under a rock, but there were no rocks. It’s Astroturf, remember? It was now very apparent to me that I probably need to head back to those circuit training classes. With my head hung low, I turn to Tyler and muster out an, “I’m sorry, buddy.” We were awarded our last-place $25 gift cards. I thought the only right thing to do would be to give my gift card to him so he’d have $50 to spend at the sports store.
But I didn’t. I kept that sucker!