Tuesday, October 26, 2010

fat kid flash back.

My birth-father and me at a 5km race.
This morning, after I dropped Max off at school, I drove past the Grade 6 Girl's gym class who were out running cross country on a route around the school neighbourhood.  Seeing them brought me back to my days at Unionville Public School, running around Toogood Pond for my Grade 6 gym class. I despised gym with all my heart. 

And then I saw her. 

She was walking by herself, huffing and puffing, her much-too-big-for-her gym shirt hanging almost to her knees.  Girls jogged in small groups ahead of her, laughing at each other's jokes.  Girls walked in small groups behind her, completely absorbed in what was clearly important gossip.  She could have been me.  Talk about a fat kid flash back. 

I was a chunky kid. I wore glasses. I had buck teeth. My face broke out. Insult to injury? I was smart too. As you can imagine, I was not popular. Not at all.  I wore baggy clothes to try to hide my body, thinking that if I wore something ill fitting, it would bring less attention to the fact that I was not skinny like the cool girls.  Grade 6 girls are mean jerks when they travel in packs.  That was true when I was a kid, and it's true to this day. 

It was on one of those "runs" for Canada Fitness testing, where we had to do laps around pylons on the field behind the school that I decided if I had to run alone, it would be because I was at the front of the class and none of the other girls could keep up with me.  At least then I could hold my head high and not feel like the class loser who nobody wanted to be seen with.  

From that day forward, no matter how much my legs were burning, my lungs felt like they were going to explode, or how red my face got, I made sure to be the first girl to clock in. I remember the shocked look on my gym teacher, Mrs. Manley's face, the first time I rounded the corner of the pond and appeared on the school field, with no other girl even in sight.  She nodded curtly at me, and I thought to myself "yeah, that's right, I may be fat but I can still hustle".  That was the day I became a runner.


  1. I did my 1st 5K at the beginning of Oct. Ran my 2nd two days ago. I still do walk/run intervals, I still am nowhere near a 35 min/5K. But I'm a runner :)

  2. Anonymous12:51 p.m.

    Thanks for sharing... I love that every runner has a story of when they knew they were a runner for life... Keep it up Kat

  3. Anonymous1:26 p.m.

    I was just thinking about Canada Fitness the other day... I used to kill it back then. These days, I won't even run for a bus.

  4. I hated Canada Fitness. Especially the standing long jump. Wtf does that have to do with anything??!!!

  5. What about the freakin' flexed arm hang. Horrid!