Around lunch time today, I went to Academy. For those who know me, I am not a shopper. I do not just shop to shop. I was on a mission. I was going in for one Christmas gift, and I already knew exactly what it was, where it was located, and how much it cost. (I won't give any specifics here, as if you care, in case someone gets bored and decides to read this before Christmas morning.) I parked the truck, grabbed my purse, and strode determinedly into the store.
And then the automatic doors opened, and I had to dive left to get out of the way of an associate driving two little bicycles out the door in front of him. Even with training wheels, he was wobbling....
And then the man in front of me tripped on the rug as he walked in and looked around to make sure no one saw. But I guess he didn't know I was right behind him. I just grinned.
So then I get back on track and start hot-footin' it to the back of the store, when something pushes me off course again. It's this section; this whole entire section of clothes. Clothes for athletic and sporty women. I've known a few in my lifetime, but I still don't know where they come from.
I'd run smack into the girls'/women's clothing racks. See, you have to pass this...this ATHLETIC CLOTHES to get to the back of the store.
Running shorts, short shorts, bicycle shorts, BATHING SUITS, t-shirts, and shorts. Upon shorts. Upon shorts. And then there were these shorts....
And this is where I start having unpleasant flashbacks of 8th grade...and high school. Of Girls' Athletics. (And I've just started sweating again.) I hated the preparation. Going to find the gray t-shirt and green shorts and ankle socks...making sure I had a bag to put it in. And the deodorant and all that other stuff you have to pack.
The whole time, all I thought about was coaches making me run the track while they timed me, coaches asking me to do CHIN-UPS, coaches wanting me to play basketball IN FRONT OF OTHER PEOPLE, coaches saying the words, "Okay...let's split up into teams...."
Did I mention I'm sweating?
These coaches would have had more luck asking me to reconstruct the Taj Mahal with yellow Lego's and melted wax. Because I think maybe I could actually make that happen.
Every time I heard them holler out my last name, I just knew what was coming next: "Your cellulite is slowing you down, and you're the only girl who can't do a chin-up while holding 20 pound weights behind your knees." And then everyone would laugh. Seriously. It happened every day. Well, every other day, at least.
Did I mention that P.E. was the only "B" I ever got on my report card? And that I cried? And that it was in the THIRD GRADE?! That oughtta paint the picture in Technicolor for you.
And then there was that one coach, in the 5th grade. You remember the 5th grade, right? You're still practically a baby...it's one of those really formative years. Well, this coach says to me on the playground one day, and I quote: "Girl, have your legs EVER seen the sun?"
Any doubts I ever had in the past about my physical and athletic abilities were erased in that moment: I was that girl. Coaches could see me coming from a mile away. My aura read: Hi! I take piano lessons and read Anne of Green Gables! If you put me in a team sport, I will most assuredly 1) trip and fall at least once and 2) completely louse it up for you! Insert big grin and chubby cheeks right here....
I all but ran past the Athletic Clothes.
I didn't really start breathing again until I was surrounded by rubber boots and work gloves. Rubber boots and work gloves are more my speed, which is slow, 'cause you just don't have to be all that fast when you're dragging t-posts down the fence line and unrolling wire....