Mind you--I was not "fat" or overweight, but I always carried a few extra pounds and had the desire to be thinner. Not so much skinny. but in shape.
The acronym "P.E." to me had always been a four letter word. I HATED P.E. in every grade of school that I attended.
In grade school, it was fingers being ran over by stupid square boards with wheels attached to them. It was about climbing some damn ass stupid rope to see if you could get to the top in front of all your classmates (which, of course, I could not). And, it was about these silly stations that involved you going around the gym in some crazy ass time limit and see how many of the motions you could do at each station only to then have to report your results, so they could be recorded with the rest of the class and you could have proper, near-instant humiliation. No matter how young I was, it was always the same for me... "You want me to do what?" and "What is the purpose of this?"
In junior high, or what we now call middle school, it was all about dressing down, who was NOT taking showers in the locker room, and running. P.E. also became known as "gym". I swear my gym teacher was a marathon runner so she would use class time to train for her runs and make us run too. At the time I attended a school called Ickes Jr. High (no that is not a typo that was the name of the school). Ickes had this large grassy area behind the school, and our gym teacher would have us doing laps out there. Mind you, being Milwaukie, there was no track. It was a typical grass and weed mixture, and it was full of holes, rocks and bumps. My ankles would twist and turn and that gym teacher did not care if it was 50 degrees and raining, or one degree shy of instant heat stroke. We were running. Luckily, there was also a small, nondescript building out in that field and it quickly became my safe haven. I would run the distance required to get to that location (considerably less than the directed half-marathon by teach), and then I would stand behind the building and wait. I was simply waiting for the person that I had picked out from the crowd of half marathon runners to pass me the number of times required for laps that day. Once I saw that target I would happily jump back into place and make my way in.
I had some pretty remarkable timed-runs for a girl that hated gym.
By time I hit 17 and got married, yes I was married at 17 but that is the subject for another blog
Since I had successfully avoided P.E. all throughout high school, one of my senior year requirements was in fact P.E. I am sure in my mind I was hoping, maybe even expecting, my counselor to forget and let me graduate without subjecting me to this hell.
He did not.
So rather than being bored and facing the fact that I might have to run around the high school track (or at a minimum find another nondescript building to hide behind), I chose to take weight lifting in high school.
My weight lifting teacher was short and stocky, and I swear he was always on something (and I don't mean V-8). For the most part, the weight lifting teachers had a reputation of being known as the "meat heads." So I assumed going into this class if I just muddled around the room with my cute smile on he would leave me alone and give me a passing grade.
When I think of my weight lifting teacher back then this commercial always comes to mind:
Upon my first arrival into the weight lifting room, I was overwhelmed with the smell of stinky, teenage boys. There were classmates everywhere lifting and grunting and throwing things down and high fiving each other. I literally felt my breast shrinking as I walked into that room due to the testosterone. Okay, not really--but you get my point. As it turned out, my weight lifting teacher was more than a meat head. He was interested in goals and helping me understand what my goals were. At the time of course it was only to graduate and get the heck out of there. But as the weeks passed he helped introduce me into fitness and setting goals for myself.
I can't really say that he had a huge impact on my life, since it took me MANY years to find my way back into a gym. But looking back on it now, I realized what an opportunity I wasted during that time of my life. I was young, I had energy, I had no time restrictions, no kids and I really could have done something more with my fitness, if only I would have applied myself.
But I do not live in regret.
I think it's important to be able to look back on our past at any moment of time that we choose and see what lesson is there to be learned. I heard a quote this last week from a very inspirational woman that I learned about, Robin Roberts. She said:
"The tragedy is not so much the experience that your having. The tragedy is we don't take the time to understand the meaning and the purpose of what we are going through." -Robin Roberts
We have so much to learn from the experiences we are having, and we have so much to learn from the experience we have had. I think it's a good idea to recall some moments in our lives, good or bad, and really meditate on what the lesson is for that time. I think it is better to be open to understanding and change then just be closed down and say that is the past let it go. I don't think it's ever too late to change who you are if you are changing to improve yourself. Life is a book and the chapters are up to us to write.
I would like to see my next chapter be better than the one before it.
Make it a great day!