Always A bridesmaid…



Were you always picked last for the team or were you the captain, the one in charge of inflicting your power?

A friend of mine sent me a message the other day about the anniversary of our high school friend who had died young. She was very athletic, the one who passed. She lived in the country and she would jog to school. It was probably around ten miles. Run. To. School. But, it got me thinking about her, I went to school with her for twelve years and we were friends past that.

I wasn’t very athletic, nor did I want to be. I blossomed pretty early, I got my training bra going in to grade five and was well grown out of it before Halloween. I had no need to run around the ball field. I had boobs. Plus, I was funny so that was plenty to get by on.

But gym class was a horror show for me. I wasn’t completely useless, but I was far from athletic and prone to fat. So, when picking teams came around, it was rather mortifying, not just for me but several of us. I tried to hide it but depending on how competitive the captain was, or how much they hated me, it was the long last basketball walk of shame to the already full team. I even wanted to rejoice when I wasn’t picked absolutely last, but I knew too well how it feels, and could never bring my self to be smug.

I wonder now, why would they subject kids to this kind of torture? Did they think, the gym teachers of the time, that shaming us would make us work harder so we would want to get picked first? I didn’t want to. I wanted to be picked early but wasn’t willing to learn how to run or bounce a basketball to do it. It’s like wanting the dancers body but who has that much discipline? I think about exercise but I have high speed internet now so why would I? I look for a video to dance to on youtube and then it’s 1 am.

Our athletic friend was often made captain and she would pick me first. I can’t tell you how much joy it gave me. I would actually try! I would because I didn’t want to let her down. I didn’t even care if it was a pity-pick, I ran and sweat and chase that ball for all I was worth.

For the record I still fight my weight and have been a runner on and off for the past 20 years or so, this being one of the off years, but I get it now. Fitness and all that.

But really, I just wanted to say thanks to my friend for picking me first. It meant the world.

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