It was pull-up day during gym class and I was up. Around me stood about thirty other freshmen boys and girls, the coach with clipboard in hand and in front of me, the pull-up bar. I remembered the first time I had attempted this feat, to no avail, at the beginning of the semester. Coach whatever his name was said that if we couldn’t do a pull up then, that we’d be able to, by the end of the trimester.
And I believed him. After a whole three months of not being able to make a goal, pull a flag off of some guys ass or dodge that buoyant, rubber smacking ball, I was certain that the daily humiliation of physical ineptitude in front of an audience of my peers, would serve as penance for this one moment of glory, in which, the quivering strands of muscle that hid underneath the skin on my arms, would come through for me, and lift my limp torso up just enough for the peach fuzz on my chin to tap out on the bar. I was wrong. I couldn’t do a pull-up. I don’t even know if I can now.
In that moment, shame was cast upon me, but mostly from myself. At least, it had seemed, that no one in that class was engaged enough to notice, or blog about it years later like I am. One guy did laugh at me, but besides him no one else noticed, I thought.
After class on the black top, in between the trailers that served as I don’t know what and the locker rooms which had their own distinct impact on my formative years, I saw her. She was a pretty girl, blond and smart, into ASB and school spirit and stuff, but what I’d come to respect her for, was the nuanced yet spot-on poignancy that flirted about her seemingly aloof commentary on the perils of adolescence. She was that girl. And there, with about three feet in between us, she shrugged her shoulders and looked right at me through heavy eyelids and said, “So you’re not jocular, whatever.”
How sweet huh. She misused a word just to make me feel better. Because while I’m not very athletic, I would consider myself, given to, characterized by, intended for, or suited to joking or jesting. But just for the sake of exploring new territory to flex my jocularity, I wrote a sports related blog this week at humpdaynewsletter.com.
Are you ready for some football?