Well, if you’ve read any of my older posts you’ve been able to piece together the idea that I’ve experienced some “out of the ordinary” ordeals. What I want to do with this series is explain how I got to the point I’m at in life right now.
To begin with, I have always been a scrawny kid. I think I weighed 145 lbs when I graduated from high school. I was not an athletic type. No football, no baseball, or basketball. It was great growing up during the 70’s and 80’s…you didn’t have to participate in all the organized crap kids are forced into today. I “was” pretty decent at riding a bicycle. (Yes..that was a lousy joke).
As you might imagine, the class I hated the worse during school…gym. Utterly despised it. I kinda enjoyed dodgeball (the younger generation reader might need a dictionary to figure that one out). Do the kids even get to play dodgeball anymore? (Ok…off the soapbox…we’re telling a story here Doug). The reason I liked dodgeball was not that I could throw the ball that well…it was that I could hide behind everyone (thus survive the longest). That would leave me and a fellow named Eddie I believe. Eddie threw the ball like he hated it…or maybe the whole world. When I finally was knocked out…it was usually by him. Logic, survival instincts…those were the lessons I was learning…not learning how to move, and exercise…all that was just necessary.
There was one instance somewhere between 7th and 8th grade where I took on Superman powers. Not sure how it happened…uncanny will power is a possibility…but I didn’t drop.
That particular day, I’m guessing us boys were a little extra loud and rowdy as were dressing for gym. As we exited the locker room, Mr. Melvin Daniels (one of about four gym teachers) decided we would do push-ups because of our rowdiness…and should you fall you’d get the pleasure of being paddled by this arrogant a$$hole. Of course, these were not normal push-ups…these were torture push-ups. He had us stay in the up and/or down position for whatever time frame satisfied his ego. To my surprise, I outlasted many of the jocks, and sub-jocks (guys in better physical shape than myself but not involved in any school sports). As I said, my will power was not going to allow that man the satisfaction of beating me. It’s my understanding that he eventually became either a principal or vice-principal. Yeah.
One of my other feared gym activities was running. It didn’t matter if it was inside or outside…the same problems followed me. I simply was not an athlete. After just a few laps, I’m bent over in pain from what’s now labeled “side stitches“. It’s that horrible feeling you get that feels like major cramps in your side along the diaphragm. Ugh.
The last gym class I would endure was my sophomore year in high school. Wouldn’t you know it…while playing volleyball inside the gymnasium…I managed to fall planting the weight of my upper body on my left hand causing a hair-line fracture up one the bones in my forearm. It’s been too many years to remember which bone. It did make playing the keyboard in our high school band rock band rather difficult with that big clunky cast on my forearm. To add insult to injury…when I went back to Smyrna Hospital to see the doctor who had treated me…his response was “I cast that?” Confidence is high.
One last note before I close this edition…several years earlier (most likely 5th or 6th grade) I was sitting on the top of my neighbors chain-link fence. Just bored…rocking back and forth…my brainless activity for the day. Wouldn’t you know it…I fell backwards off the fence landing with my left hand, wrist and forearm twisted up under my back. Yes, the fall hurt and I had endured a sprain (given in the instant swelling). The fall didn’t scare me…at that instant fear helped build the excuse I would tell my dad so he didn’t beat me for being on the fence in the first place. “I tripped and fell.” Yep.
Until next time…may God bless you and keep you safe. I know I’m not the only scrawny and clumsy kid out there. Stay safe.