So I had this flashback to high school PE yesterday. Pretty thought huh? PE "back in the day" at my particular Catholic school was NOT co-ed. We girls had our own gym, locker rooms and teacher. Nary a boy to be found. This should have provided some freedom but really just created an estrogen whine-fest.
So, why did I flash back 25 (shit!) years? Actually, about 29 or 30 years, because this particular flashback went to 8th grade? Well, everyday we walk the track above the gym with our class. Getting some exercise-- walking and chatting a little with our friends. While we walk, the general-ed PE classes are down on the gym floor doing calisthenics -- actually FAKING them. Watching 30 or so high schoolers fake push-ups reminded me of one of the very few high self esteem moments I had in 8th grade.
Imagine if you will, "Alpha Teen". This chick was the bomb in 1979. She had perfectly flipped hair, was one half of the perfect couple, had CLEAR braces -- the only one with them in the school (remember Phoebe Cates on the cover of 17 Magazine in clear braces?), had a teen model contract, too many Pappagallo purse covers, and her parents owned a very popular chain of restaurants. Needless to say, she and I weren't even in the same orbit in high school.
But one day, Presidential Fitness Test Day, I felt like I was the one. Swimming had paid off! I sat and watched while Alpha Teen couldn't do ONE push-up. I can't really explain why this made me feel so good, it's kind of silly when I look back on it. But it did. For one small moment in the most awkward year of my life I felt strong and empowered.
Yesterday a co-worked paid me a compliment and told me I moved like an athlete. What had I been in a past life? Me? It was the best compliment I have gotten in a long time.
OK, YES, I was racing one of our students around the track and he may have been stimming and yelling while running -- making me look like a gazelle. But I'll take a compliment any way I can get one.