I am one of those people who experienced the shame and degradation that came along with gym class in high school. Just the idea of of going to gym class, having to change, get sweaty and gross… I mean, really, who can be bothered? The whole girls’ locker room smelled like bath and body works, which was only slightly less offensive than plain body odor. Add on top of that the fact that I was a fat girl. I still remember the high school gym teacher telling me, “You should be good at shot put. The chunky ones always are.” ….. There was the other time he called me and my friend lesbians who should get a room. Yup. Gym was not fun.
Moving back to the present, my parents live near the high school and as of late I have seen the high school track and other teams run around our neighborhood. The horror! If I ended up on the road as the same time as them, it was like some kind of LSD flashback to high school, right down to smelling bath and body works and hearing *nsync. I became really self conscious and just knew they were talking sh^t about me. Not a good feeling. So I started running at 5:00pm, when the rush hour traffic from a large office complex reached its height. Somehow, being potentially hit by a fast moving car was deemed preferable to being on the road with high schoolers.
But yesterday, I conquered my fears. I changed up my schedule to accommodate next week’s Disney World trip so it became my 9 mile run. On mile 2 as I turned a corner I saw them… The pack. But I didn’t back down. I had a Disneyland 1/2 marathon medal at home, I was no longer who I was in high school. I held my head high, picked one, and I passed her. I ran alongside them for an uphill mile then turned off to another street. If I could talk to my high school self at this moment, she’d probably say, “Big deal. I’m still a loser when it actually counted! Thanks for nothing.” She’d also probably disapprove of the time I spend in Disney. Man, she was a pain.