ready to rumble.

“Buuuuuuterfingers! Buuuuuuuterfingers!” the crowd repeated as I hung my head in shame.

Decked in cleats, shin guards, and gloves I borrowed from the girl who should have been in my position, I guarded that soccer goal like a chihuahua guards its master’s home–with a heart of ferociousness and a laughable lack of intimidation. Our team was down 14-1 thanks in large part to me, a ball had just hit me in the face, and I left the game with a sprained knee from the opposing team’s forward. My knee must have resembled the ball in the moment of impact. Ouch. Sadly, her missed kick saved us from being down 15-1. Score! No pun intended.

This is just one example of when my lack of athleticism really shined in high school. I was horribly uncoordinated and ridiculously bad at sports. If we had fun during practice or a game, I was all smiles. Who cares that we never won a game? Didn’t everyone have fun?! It’s no wonder that I always won “Best Attitude” at the end of the year. Which may be worse than the participation award. It’s like, “Hey, thanks for trying. You made us look bad, but you smiled about it and we feel bad not giving you something. So, here’s a cheap trophy. Please don’t join the team next year.”

I am still not competitive by nature. If I win at anything, I stop while I’m ahead because beginner’s luck is my only advantage.

But there is an exception: CAMP. For four hot, humid, and perfectly epic Indiana summers, I worked at SpringHill Camps. I was totally that counselor my first summer. Overly competitive, obnoxiously loud, and probably most co-counselor’s worst nightmares. Except for the fact that, if you were in my cabin, it was likely you would win the week-end spirit award because I made my campers do things like this with me:

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We dressed up. We yelled catchy chants I still remember. We painted our faces. We were every cabin’s envy and worst enemy all at the same time. I was determined to win and have fun doing it. I can’t tell you how freeing it was for many of my campers to just LET LOOSE and be stupid with me. And clearly, I spared no one’s dignity to win. Not even my own. 

I’m mostly about fun, not winning. If I can win in the process, that’s not so bad either. But for the most part, I’m probably ok with you beating me at whatever competition is before us.

This weekend, señor (my overly-competitive companion fo’ life) had a genius idea: A Cider Off. “What, pre tell, is that?” you ask. Why, a competition of the best ciders this side of the internet–that’s what!

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Apples were sliced, spices were mixed, vanilla syrup was added (don’t judge ’til you try it), and we battled to find the perfect hot apple cider recipe for our upcoming Thanksgiving meal. Blindfolded.

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Four recipes, four taste testers, and lots of overly-dramatic reactions to each cider. I believe “sultry” was one descriptor. We’re all basically cider connoisseurs now. Trust us.

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Kudos belong to señor in this competition. He kicked butt with this winning recipeHis secret: maple syrup. Way to go, babe. 

You’re my apple cider hero.

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2 thoughts on “ready to rumble.

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