“Your high school gym teacher would be proud of you.”
That’s what my Nike Running App told me after my run today. I don’t know if my high school gym teacher would be proud of me, but I’m pretty sure he’d be laughing his ass off at me.
See, when I was in high school, juniors and seniors had PE together. Every semester we had to sign up for “electives” which included, but not limited to- bowling, billiards, basketball (which you never took willingly because the Varsity Basketball coach taught it), volleyball (see basketball…), and running. Now some, like bowling and billiards, were the primo choices, and others, like running were the loser choices. The PE teachers did their best to make it fair each semester so that you weren’t always stuck with the loser choices. I tell you all this to give you backstory as to why I was forced into taking running one semester.
Now, I was a fairly active high school student. I was a wrestling cheerleader, I walked to school most days (a mile, uphill, in snow, both ways). But I did not run. And if I’d put as much effort into pretty much anything as I did into not running, well, I’d probably have been a much better student.
Every day we had to run around the track. But not my friend and I. We walked, and sang our favorite songs from our favorite bands. We exasperated our PE teacher to the point that for a week, we weren’t allowed to walk around the track together. We still walked.
Then, because even PE teachers know it gets boring running around a track, he decided to send us running through the neighborhood. And to get us to “prove” we ran, they had pit stops for us to make, and the store owners would give us special rubber bands for us to return to our teacher to prove we ran the route intended. Another friend hid a car around the block.
So, we set off on our “run”. As soon as we were out of sight of the PE teacher, we hopped in the car to make our pit stops. We’d drive up to the store, wait to see who would go in first (of the people who actually ran), then around the middle of the pack, we “run” into the store and get our rubber bands. We kept this up until we had all of the rubber bands needed, then drove back to the school, parking our car just out of sight of the campus. Then we’d run in like we’d been doing the activity the whole time.
Looking back, I don’t understand why no one ever told on us. And I wonder if Mr. Johnson ever knew we cheated. All I know is, I passed PE, and that’s all I cared about.
Every so often, my friends and I laugh about that PE class, but I suppose the laugh is on me. I began to run awhile back (and by awhile, I mean more than a few years). And now I can’t imagine my life without running…