trying my best to be athletic and kick the soccer ball.
In 5th grade, i wasn't really a big fan of the whole sports scene. In fact, i always got picked last in PE (unless my brother was choosing team members either because he felt sorry for me or because our mom had told him not to "choose your sister last!").
Today, the boys and girls had been segregated, and the girls were playing soccer on the upper field while the boys played on the lower field. For some reason, our teacher hadn't made us change for PE that day, and so all us girls were skipping around in our skirts and dresses looking just like a bunch of Christian school kids (which i was, but that's a blog for another day). I was doing my best to run in my "2 inches below the knee but at least 3 inches above the ankle" jumper. It was denim (and fabulous). My shirt matched the pockets on the jumper, and the straps secured themselves over my shoulders like suspenders. I was wearing white keds and white socks folded neatly in half.
I had been waiting for a chance to prove my athletic prowress to my best friend, who is good at ALL sports. For me, most of the game was spent watching everyone else play and making sure i didn't get dirt on my new, white tennis shoes. I may have been a weakling and uncordinated, but i was also determined. So i determined to prove myself, should the opportunity come my way. Granted, i wasn't going out and looking for any opportunities, but if the ball happened to roll in my direction and stop in front of me, i was going to make the most of it. Boy, did i ever.
The ball rolled my direction and stopped in front of me. Gulp. I pushed my butterflies and my insecurities aside and started running and kicking and kicking and running. Amazingly, no one stole the ball from me. They were probably in shock at the sight of ME with the BALL....or so i thought. Shocked they were, but not at the sight of me with the ball. Simply shocked at the sight of me.
I was so focused on looking like i could play soccer that i took notice of nothing else. Unfortunately for me, i ran right out of my jumper (those supsenders straps were a bad idea) and now i was halfway down the field, my slip and my skinny, white, freckly legs blinding everyone. If ever i have had a moment of sheer terror, this was it. I was mortified. I was already self-conscience enough, being the only "practically albino" girl in school. And now, i had completely exposed myself to the whole world in PE by running around in my slip and tennis shoes kicking a soccer ball like a lunatic. I probably ran the fastest i have ever run in my whole life as i turned and raced back to my crumpled heap of a jumper. I don't remember the details, but somehow i was able to put my clothing back in it's proper place and survive until the end of PE.
You know, I had always hated the rule in our dresscode manual that said "girls must wear slips," but that day, i was so thankful that rule was there. And even more thankful that male/female segregation had been practiced for that PE class.
And to think that i'm now a PE teacher...will wonders never cease???