“So just in keeping with who I am as a person, have absolutely no chill, whatsoever. Do not know how to turn it off.”

I was counseling at a camp — I think I’ve told this story before here — and I was leading a team. They did a tournament throughout the entire week of camp. So each day your team would play a different sport and then they would do a different activity. And depending on if they won or lost by how much they would get team points and the team with the most points at the end of the week would win a trip to get ice cream. It was very exciting. So one of the games that we played was soccer. And at the time, I think I was playing in college. So just in keeping with who I am as a person, have absolutely no chill, whatsoever. Do not know how to turn it off. I’m going — and like you know, there is a piece of, “You’re supposed to be competitive, like, as the counselors,” and the kids were always stoked if you were like a ringer for whatever the sport was. But most adult counselors kind of took it semi-easy, some of the time.  But anyway, so I’m playing soccer. I, obviously, have my soccer cleats in my car. So I’m like wearing cleats, literally no one else is, or like, maybe three people are. And as I’m walking onto the field the counselor from the other team just in passing mentions, “Hey, this kid is a little bit intimidated or scared of soccer so, you know, just welcome him with open arms.” So he’s on the other team. And this kid is a freshman or going i- — maybe going into freshman year, and just so tiny like, he probably hasn’t hit puberty, just a really little guy. And I’m sure, you know, give him a summer and he’ll be six foot — feet tall but he was not at that point. So I said “Oh, yeah, of course! Totally, no problem.” 

And we go onto the field and we’re playing and it’s fine. And I am playing defense, as I do, and I go to clear the ball, which means kick it very, very far. And I do that and he kind of steps and jumps at the right exact time to get just blasted in the face. I just completely blasted this child in the face. I — he immediately starts to cry. I am feeling bad, just questioning all of my life decisions. What is wrong with me? Who knows? Could not tell you. I put my arm around him. “Are you okay? Let me take you to the nurse. I’m so sorry.”  You know. So I walk off the field with him and we’re walking down to the infirmary and I’m just trying to distract him, just saying words. I don’t really remember all of the words that I said, but one of the things I said was “Are you having an okay time here?” You know, in between me apologizing, I say this. And he says, “Yes,” he’s crying, “yes.” I say “Oh, why? Like, okay cool. Wha- — why?” “Oh, I’ve just been making so many friends,” sobbing. So I’m feeling just worse and worse. I bring him to the infirmary and they make sure his face is not broken, his nose is not broken. And it wasn’t, so that’s good. But I did make him cry in front of twenty to thirty other peers. So, um, you would think after that story — ‘cause I was rightfully embarrassed and ashamed, felt like a big idiot. Was flexing too hard, was trying to be real competitive, was not playing against other college students, did not need to do that. So you’d think that like “Okay, this happened many years ago, I have now amended my ways. I am able to casually play a game of Backgammon.” Well, you would be wrong because it’s just not in me.

Recent Stories