Hope you didn't miss me too much in my sojourn away from all things internet. It was a much needed break. One that gave me time to decompress and get ready to attack this blog with a renewed vigor.
Anyway, if you've been around these parts for a while then you know that Ryan and I started dating all the way back in high school. And he was all popular athlete with his varsity letters and his hemp necklace and his free nachos courtesy of his adoring lunch lady fans. And I was all science nerd with my many Science Olympiad medals (which I totally wore to school the Monday after the state tournament even though no one else on the team did. I was like Queen of the Nerds, not because they respected me or listened to me or because I was the smartest but because I had the most regal medal-covered nerd costumes.) We were not a match made in Seven Minutes In Heaven.
So as you can imagine our high school experiences were very different. Ryan, because he was cool or something, didn't even carry a backpack. He got by with a graphing calculator and a pencil tucked into the pouch of his hoodie. Whereas my backpack was one worthy of warnings to parents on the nightly news, a veritable health hazard. It weighed approximately forty pounds and contained all of my textbooks plus a five subject notebook for each class as well as the brown bag lunch my daddy made me since no one gave me free nachos. I had to hunch halfway over to be able to lug that thing around the halls of our ridiculously large school.**
**Our high school was enormous. Like we had an Olympic sized pool and approximately ten different actual buildings including an ice rink enormous.
Also, Ryan was excellent at gym class and I was...I would say less than excellent but that doesn't quite grasp it...What is the opposite of excellent? Yeah. Less than that.
Unfortunately gym was mandatory for three of the four years of high school. And it was a regular class so getting anything less than an A+ would have destroyed my GPA. Luckily, though I was not great at somersaults and jumping jacks (true story, once I hit myself in the ear so hard it bled a little and I had to go to the nurse) I was fantastic at gym teacher espionage. That is not the correct word.
So without further ado, here is a partial list of how I managed to get an A+ in every gym class I ever took without even being able to stand on one foot.
--As my school housed an ice arena, all students were required to take a two week ice skating unit. Worse than that, 20% of your grade was based on a skills checklist. I spent the first week watching, usually with my butt and/or face on the ice, while everyone else checked off their skills. Once I fell sort of both backwards and forwards at the same time and ended up in a half split with my arms in the air and shouted "Mrs T. Look at me! This has GOT to be a skill!" But sadly it was not. So I may or may not have gotten a doctor's note (from my dentist who was a close personal friend and lived next door) saying I had weak ankles and should be kept off the ice as much as possible. I was allowed to take a written skills test. I'm sort of ashamed of this but in my defense if I had continued that unit I almost certainly would have broken my ankle or sliced off the tip of my index finger.
|This is a professional ice skater doing exactly what I did except her arms don't look as good. It was definitely a skill.|
--I always volunteered to lead the stretches at the beginning of class. As I am somewhat double-jointed I can appear to be very flexible. I would say things like "Ok now clasp your hands behind your lower back. If you're extremely flexible and good at gym class like me, you might want to take this stretch further by pulling your arms up over your shoulders and head. Oh? Only I can do that? It must be because I am excellent at gym and should get an A+ no matter what my performance at volleyball today."
-- Freshmen year when my male teacher was holding my weak ankles and counting how many sit ups I could do... After two sit ups I accidentally umm.. farted a teensy bit and then burst into tears. He was all flustered and said "Let's just say you did 50 sit ups," which was great because honestly I was done at two. I then considered something like this approach in the following years and even practiced sit ups at home while making fake noises with my mouth and then fake tears with my eyes but couldn't bring myself to do it again. Luckily all the practicing meant I was surprisingly good at sit ups all of a sudden.
--Junior year I convinced my teacher to let me run two four minute half miles on consecutive days instead of one eight minute mile in one day. Then I got a tee shirt from the President of the United States himself for being an excellent runner. Or something like that. It looked like this. I wore it to future gym classes instead of my gym shirt to alert my teachers that I was an excellent athlete and not one they needed to watch but could just give an A+.