The chronicles of my day as a 6th Grader continue. To read the previous installments, you can follow these links:
On my way to gym class, I listened in horror as the girl walking with me cheerfully stated that we would be running the mile in gym class. I have long held the belief that the only good reason to run is if you are being chased by something with large, sharp teeth and/or a deadly weapon. The last time I had run the mile in school, I spent the last 4 laps running with one hand clamped to a stitch in my side, only to discover upon crossing the finish line that I still had one more lap to go.
However, I soon learned that fortune was smiling on me, because when we arrived in the gym we were told that the mile run had been postponed until next week because it was too windy. Most of the parents and even some of the kids breathed audible sighs of relief at this news. Instead we were to do a pushup assessment, then would walk four laps, then return to the gym for a mystery activity. The elation of my escape from the mile run had clearly affected my brain power because I actually volunteered to do pushups with the kids, even though the parents were told we did not have to participate. One of the dads and another mom also joined me in line while the rest of the parents shook their heads and said “No thanks, maybe next time!” The teacher had an audio recording so everyone went down/up at the same time, making it easier for her to monitor and make sure the pushups were being done correctly. There was also a small cone set on the floor which was meant to be the stopping point – when you lower yourself, your chest had to touch the cone. The teacher informed us the goals for the girls was at least 5-10 pushups, and the boys’ goal was at least 10-15. We all lined up behind the 6 cones to wait our turn. In the first group, one boy did more than 30 pushups before stopping! There was also a dad in my group; I figured I would not be able to do more pushups than him, but I had set a goal for myself to get at least 15 (highher than the boys’ minimum goal). I made it to 17 before I finally gave in to the desperate plea of my upper arms. Further down the row, the dad was still doing military-perfect pushups with complete ease. When SuperDad got to 46, the teacher said “I wonder how many he could do with someone sitting on his back?” One of the smaller boys happily obliged and it turned out the answer to the teachers question was “None.”
After the pushups, we were sent outside to walk 4 laps around the track. Since I was in the last group, I only had time to do one lap before we went back inside. But as I rounded the corner, I saw a group of older kids who had finished running the mile and were waiting on the sidelines for their classmates to finish. As each of the parents passed the kids, they all cheered “Yay Parents! Feel the burn!” and applauded as if we had all run the mile ourselves. Not a bad reception for finishing one measly lap around the track.
When we got back in the gym, the teacher was splitting everyone into two groups and was holding the kind of red ball which triggers horrifying memories of games like dodgeball. She invited the parents to play too but I declined. However, when the kids started playing I saw they were actually playing kickball – a much more benign and significantly less frightening game. So I changed my mind and joined in, filling an empty spot between first and second bases. The first ball that came to my rolled right past me before it occured to me that I should probably pick it up. By that time, SuperDad had already caught it and thrown to first base. The next couple of balls didn’t come anywhere near me, so I was off the hook. When my turn “at bat” came around, I was lucky enough to kick it in the direction of third base and got to first before the ball was thrown there. The next kid kicked it straight back to second base so I was really pleased with myself when I made it to second without getting tagged. Imagine my surprise when the boy on second base tagged me with the ball and said I was out. “But my foot is on the base!” I said. “They caught it in the air,” I was told matter of factly. I’m sure most of you probably know that in baseball, if the ball is caught in the air, the runner has to return to the base they came from. Embarrassment number one of the day: I did not know this. Not that it would have mattered, because I didn’t see that they had caught it in the air, so I still wouldn’t have run back to first. Embarrassment number two of the day came in our next inning when I was back in the outfield; this time I opted to stand between 2nd and 3rd bases, because it didn’t seem like anyone kicked it over there. Well wouldn’t you know it, the first ball came straight at me. Thank goodness I didn’t fumble it, but when I attempted to throw it across the gym to first base, I remembered why I was always picked last for sports as I watched my best attempt at a throw flop lamely to the ground halfway across the room. And it was at this point also that I realized my third embarrassment of the day – at some point during class, my bra had become completely unhooked. I was mortified, and completely unable to concentrate for the rest of the inning, thinking only about whether the bell was EVER going to ring so I could run to the bathroom and fix my wardrobe malfunction before someone other than myself noticed. Thankfully the bell released me from class within a few minutes and I sprinted to the bathroom thinking that 4 minutes was not nearly enough time between classes.
In the next installment: We have a snowball fight in Math class.