Does anyone remember that song by Bowling for Soup? It is epic. Well, I was reminded of its existence this morning when I got hollered at by a construction worker on my way to the office. Let's revisit the one of the best / worst days of gym class during my sophomore year of high school. Come along with me, on a magical journey.
(cue the wiggly screen and dream sequence harp music)
Once upon a time at dear old Davis High School, I had to take "fit for life"... You know. The gym class lovingly referred to as "fit for death" and "run for you life" by all the ill fated underclassman who abandoned hope, all those who entered the field house.
I rarely ever wore shorts to gym class, because I was ashamed of my white legs and bodacious hips. But one week toward the end of the school year it was soo blazingly hotter than hades that I had no choice.
Most of our class time this fateful day was spent out on the track. We had a scheduled 25 minute run during which we were not allowed to stop to walk or take a rest. Jogging for 25 minutes? Anyone who knows me knows that this is not my style. I would rather exercise by riding a bike or playing sports. I truly believe that running is only good for running for your life, so I try to avoid it at all costs. My fastest mile run on record in the history of the world was 9 minutes flat, even as a spry young 8th grader. You can imagine the kind of mood I was already in when minute 15 rolled around.
My pace was always crazy slow and I rarely jogged along side anyone else. So there I was, just trudging away on the track in my seldom worn gym shorts all by my white self when I heard a raucous group of boys coming up behind me. They were lapping me for the 2nd time. Right as they passed me the ring leader of the idiot troop asked in a less than subtle voice:
"Who is that girl?! .... Look at her butt jiggle!"
I kid you not. This was not a kid I had ever been fond of, EVER, because he bullied shy awkward people. Even shy awkward adults and old people. I gave him a piece of my mind probably once a week, but this time I was seriously dumb founded. By the time I thought of something equally rude to say to him he was already 50 yards in front of me, and I'd be darned if I started sprinting to say even one word to the jerk. So I just let it pass.
I kept on running for the rest of the period and tried to will my bum to stop jiggling, but to no avail. I went in to the locker room and changed back into my regular clothes after class as always, but this time I was very aware of my bodily imperfections. After I changed I didn't try very hard to redo my makeup or fix my hair because the self confidence gods were already frowning on me that day. Frowning and shooting spit wads.
Defeated and thirsty, I quickly walked out of the locker room into the commons room in the "old" Davis High building to get a drink. Unluckily for me, I was going to have to walk straight through a clearing in the commons area most commonly inhabited by the most obnoxious senior guys ever, because they had long ago dibsed ALL the benches around the drinking fountain for themselves.
(Pause dream sequence... wiggly picture, harp music)
Back to the song. It's crucial to the ending of this story. Please take a moment to view the music video, courtesy the Tube of You (and the weird kid who decided to add the lyrics. Whatever. It suits my purpose magnificently.)
And it really isn't a fake video, it just takes a second to start.
Anyway. Now that the lyrics are fresh in your head. I'll finish my story.
(Resume dream sequence.)
So there I was, a single girl bravely taking a risky walk through a room filled with jack-aces. Most of the girls were still in the locker room because they were trying to un-sweaty themselves, but there were plenty of guys lined up against the walls everywhere. As I passed through this gauntlet of self consciousness toward the drinking fountain, it got really quiet, and some guy dramatically belted out the following words:
"... And when she waaaaaaalks.... all the wind blows annnnd the Angels Siiiiingggg......!!!"
But no one laughed or made any kind of negative comment about my posterior. I finished getting my drink and walked away, my head a little higher than it had been on the way out of the locker room. If ever there were a confidence booster, that was the best one I had ever heard.
And so, it was one of the best/worst days of my life for my confidence/self consciousness ever. Thank you, dirty construction worker, for reminding me of this memorable treasure of an experience.