Tuesday, August 01, 2006


For some reason I had a flashback to junior high school yesterday. The Junior High in Star Valley is the seventh and eighth grades. In seventh grade, everyone had to take a gym class. Why? I think it’s so they can widen that social gap between the popular kids and the dorky kids. Seriously, is there anything worse than being picked last for a team when you’re twelve? Oh yeah, it’s being the fat kid and having to be on the skins team all the time. Oh the good memories.

Toward the end of the school year, one of the geniuses who worked at SVJHS thought it would be a good idea to have a track meet for all the kids in gym. That’s great if you’re one of the aforementioned popular kids. If you were, you got to show off how speedy and quick you were, and how cool you were. But if you were the type of guy who was picked in the bottom four for every team, it didn’t seem like such a good idea. Being one of the fat slow kids, I didn’t like the idea of confirming my dorkiness to the entire student body by participating in a race that I could barely finish. But since it’s every gym teacher’s goal in life to remind you of how uncool you are, participation was mandatory.

A week or two before the meet, we held tryouts in our gym class to see which event we would compete in. I didn’t even try the high jump, because I really wasn’t coordinated enough to try a Fosbury Flop. Let’s see, the shot putt, discus, and javelin were out because of coordination again. (Childhood is so cruel). Oh wait, I forgot the long jump. On yeah, I couldn’t even make it to the sand box. So that left me with a running event.

The races that you could try out for were the 100 meter, 200m, and 400m if I remember right. If you didn’t qualify for any of those, you were stuck in the 800 m, which is half a mile. Of course the athletic kids took up the first two races. My only chance of not having to run around the freakin’ track twice was the 400m. I gave the 400 m my best shot, but let’s just say I didn’t quite make the cut.

So on the day of the track meet, I was stuck running the 800 meter race. When you’re a twelve year old fat kid, 800 meters might as well be a marathon. On a side note, I blame Nintendo for making me so fat as a kid. Before Nintendo, I played outside, ran around, rode on bikes. Then after Nintendo, I was more interested in getting Mario to save a Princess than going outside. Stupid Nintendo. I would blame it for making me fat as an adult, but that blame falls on Taco Bell and McDonalds. Anyway, The race started, and about half way through my first lap I’m dying and wanting to quit. But you can’t quit. Everyone already knows you’re a dork because you’re in the 800 meter race. If you quit now, you’re just that much more of a dork. So, I “ran” the whole race, and I didn’t come in last. Which was good, because everyone was looking at me, I just know it.

Looking back, I was a geek. But who cares? I get paid to be a geek now. And at least I’m not in prison like the really popular kid from junior high. Some things from childhood may be scarring and embarrassing, but at least now I can look back and laugh at myself. I just hope my kids don’t inherit my social skills and athletic ability.