I sucked at gym class.
Maybe it was because it wasn’t until I was 18 that some one finally told me in order to catch a ball I actually had to be looking at it, rather than holding my hands hopefully out in the air, while cringing in the other direction with my eyes squeezed shut.
Maybe it was because even after a 6 week course and the personal assistance of 3 individual gym teachers, I still couldn’t bowl over a 37.
Maybe it was because I could never remember which direction to run in basketball, or baseball, or soccer, and because I could never figure out why someone would want to put their body between the floor and a volleyball hurtling towards them like a death-sphere.
But maybe, just maybe, it was because of this...
My high school had a football team. That means we had a special room full of weights and cardiovascular equipment. That also meant we didn’t have textbooks that knew of the Korean War or sometimes even classrooms with real walls.
And thanks to this weight room, we had to do circuit training.
Now before I can go further, I must explain that I have eczema. Horrible ugly itchy eczema that I’d itch until it bled. Seriously, bleeding was better than the itchiness.
One day the class was doing circuit training and I was doing “circuit training” (i.e. sitting on the equipment and trying to look like I knew what I was doing.) At some point I had absentmindedly scratched at my leg, and unknowingly left a small drop of blood on the seat of some bench-pressing-torture-device contraption.
Gym Teacher noticed and FLIPPED OUT, screaming about how dirty and filthy this was and how this is how people get HIV/AIDS and maybe even ebola or monkey pox or dysentery. WHO KNEW? Meanwhile I tried to harness my powers of invisibility.
Just as I could feel my molecules becoming noticeably more opaque, one boy, who I’ve known ever since kindergarten and was kind of a bad ass in a scrawny fifteen-year-old boy sort of way, looked straight at me and silently mouthed with a smirk, “I KNOW IT WAS YOU-OU!”
Except to me it sounded more like this:
Now, I know Gym Teacher was right - blood is gross. But to my defense, we weren’t given time to properly wipe down the equipment in-between circuits.
Yeah, gym class sucked.