Fat Woman wanted to play a team sport. Fat Woman has often acknowledged that she is externally motivated and the activities which have stuck with her - personal training, aquarobics, BoxFit - all have great people whose company she enjoys. Fat Woman wanted to take part in a game rather than just another kind of exercise.
Fat Woman researched the sports available and chose netball. Fat Woman doesn't like football, thinks hockey has too much running and is a bit scared of the very good local rugby team. Fat Woman played netball at school and had nice memories of being able to shoot goals. Oldest Friend plays on a netball team and said that it was mostly thirty and forty something women all having fun. Fat Woman liked the idea of playing a game with people who might become friends so signed up to the village netball club after some correspondence where she was assured that the club was very friendly and there was space for people who weren't very good.
Fat Woman hadn't realised just how much Personal Trainer had protected her.
The village netball club had just incorporated the "junior" section. This meant that instead of middle aged ladies Fat Woman was playing with two dozen 16 to 19 year olds, all fit and experienced players and in the physical prime of their lives. Fat Woman's heart sank rather, but there were some older players as well.
Warm ups involved a lot of running. Fat Woman doesn't mind running, but she is still very slow and simply cannot keep up. Fat Woman thanked her stars that Personal Trainer had decided to put running in to BoxFit class for the last couple of weeks so she was used to trailing along behind everyone. Fat Woman was fit enough to run, she was just very, very last all the time. Fat Woman is too used to this to find it demoralising but she was surprised to find that she simply wasn't expecting it.
Fat Woman was slightly surprised to find that the whole club operated at one level and that the level was reasonably high. The Coach made no quarter for the fact that there were some people there who knew nothing about netball. Fat Woman remembered her games teacher at school who always taught to the majority. Oldest Friend says that she remembered how the games teacher treated Fat Woman and when Oldest Friend became a PE teacher she practised inclusiveness. Fat Woman thinks that a club situation must be rather different.
Fat Woman didn't break much of a sweat playing netball because there is just one court for four teams until next month and everyone had to take turns. Of the new people Fat Woman was the last to be asked what she liked to play so she ended up as Goal Keeper. Fat Woman felt useless and pointless as Goal Keeper, especially when marking someone in the first team. Fat Woman feels it is much easier to play an attacking position as you can take the initiative.
Fat Woman is wondering what to say to the Netball Coach. Fat Woman doesn't want to end up as Goal Keeper. Fat Woman would rather be a useless Wing Attack and get some exercise. At the end of the ninety minute session Fat Woman didn't feel like she'd done more than fifteen minutes of exercise, ten of which were in the warm up. Fat Woman considers that as she won't be playing in a match situation it shouldn't be necessary to minimise the amount of damage she does or compensate for her weaknesses.
Fat Woman was made welcome, but not as welcome as her friend who came along on the spur of the moment. Fat Woman's friend is tall and likes running and was invited to matches that night. Fat Woman's treatment was rather different. Fat Woman felt the sting a little bit, but wasn't entirely surprised.
Fat Woman is going back to Netball Club tomorrow. At the very least Fat Woman is going to take a little pleasure in confounding expectations.