Tags: athletic, college, fitness, flexibility, gymnastics, high school, sports, strength, working out
When I was young, I was very athletic. I played soccer, softball, danced, swam. I was good at any sport I tried. In fifth grade, I was awarded the Presidential Physical Fitness Award – I was the only girl that got this award that year, which tested speed, agility, strength, and flexibility against a national standard. In 4th grade, I had a good friend who took gymnastics. During recess, she would teach me new moves. I could do hand stands, cartwheels, round-offs, splits. I was pretty good for not having any training. She tried to teach me how to do a front handspring, and what we ended up with was a hybrid of a handspring and a flip. It kind of became my signature move. It looked pretty cool, especially when I got the landing perfectly (it was easy to over shoot it, and sometimes, under shoot it). I used this special trick in our 6th grade talent show, and probably pulled it out a few more times over the years.
But as I got older, I became less and less flexible. I didn’t keep up with sports in high school. I had better things to do – at least more interesting things to do – at the time. I didn’t totally give up on fitness. In college, I took several gym courses and even taught one. I worked at a gym near my hometown and went there regularly for a number of years. I really loved to take classes and lift weights.
When I was away in college, I worked at a nearby elementary school in their after school program. Somehow, I got myself looped into doing my special trick in a gymnastics routine for their talent show. Mind you – I am about 20 or 21 years old at this point. I started doing this thing when I was like 9. When I found that I could still do it, I was in shock. But it took a lot more nerve to do it. I was so much more afraid than I was when I was young. When does that fear develop? So strange.
So yes, I could still do this move, even with the fear. But what it did to my body was just insane. I literally could not move for days. My back, my spine was just killing me. I felt like an actual old person. I don’t think that if I kept up with any of my sports activities, it would have made a difference. I think (gulp) I’m just too old for this kind of behavior.
I will always remember my athletic triumphs. How I beat all the boys in the rope climbing competition in 4th grade, my amazing high pop catch in a split in 5th grade which landed me a much coveted spot on the in field. But I have to understand that my body isn’t what it used to be. I’m not a kid anymore! Sigh.
Tags: clothing, dress, high school, yearbook
Ah yes, the question asked of every high school senior since what seems like the beginning of time. Where will you be in ten years? A page out of my yearbook takes a stab at it for every graduating senior. It’s actually more like a jab since most of the answers are meant to be funny like the guy who will be a Chippendales dancer in Vegas, or kind of mean like the girl who discovers she’s not where it’s at. Mine too was sort of a personal jab that I guess might offend some people, but it takes a lot to offend me which I think is a pretty well known fact. It also helps that I happen to have an idea of just who may have written the one for me. This guy and I had this sort of kindergarten crush relationship all throughout school where he would try to say mean things to me but I never would get offended, but then he’d say something nice a second later. This is just a reminder of that interesting piece in my history.
Anyways, back to what it said. Ready? Dana stops shopping in the Kiddie dept. That’s it. To be fair, when I was in high school baby tees were popular. I didn’t dress any differently than anyone else. It just so happens I am a small person, and I haven’t grown since high school, but the point has been taken.
So how accurate is this statement? Well, I still shop in the juniors’ section of department stores and such, but I have added some more sophisticated stores to my list. I was given some advice at my last job regarding this topic. My old boss was a little girl like me, and since we were consultants, we needed to look worth the money. Being little is a disadvantage when it comes to trying to look older than you are. Luckily, I’m back in mainstream non-profit where the dress codes are a little more lax. With that said, I have tried to at least look my age, and on the rare occasion that I need to look more sophisticated, I am more prepared to do that.
I’m not gonna lie. I still have some tee shirts from when I was a kid. Would you believe that my elementary school tee shirt still fits me? Sure it fits differently, but it still looks fine for a weekend hang around the house shirt.
It’s still one more year until this ten year mark, but I don’t know how much will change in that one year. I think that I dress appropriately for my age though. I no longer wear shirts that show my stomach and most of my clothes are not as tight or short as they used to be.
So I guess I have started to stop shopping in the kiddie department. Good prediction!
Tags: dating, double dating, friends, guys, relationships
When it comes to my friends, I am very protective of them and critical of who they date. I really gotta size the guy up. My best friend from high school can definitely attest to this. I absolutely HATED one of her boyfriends and didn’t even try to hide it. Let’s just say we never went out on a double date when they were together.
We did do a lot of “double dating” if you will, when we were in high school. If I dated someone, my best friend just had to date one of his friends, and visa versa. My favorite was when she literally handed me a photo of a group of guys (all friends of her boyfriend’s) and told me to pick one and she’d set me up with him. I think guys liked dating friends too because it worked , like a charm every time.
Now that we are older, the goal has shifted a bit. It’s not easy to date within the same group. Now, prospects have to be able to become friends with my friends and visa versa. The group dynamic has to change and the change has to work. But that’s just me. I have friends whose boyfriends don’t like to go out as much as their counterparts, but that works for them.
Beyond this shift in goal, there is a shift in attitude. Now I find myself becoming critical only when I see one of my friends being hurt, or dating somebody who is so clearly a fucked up individual. Now I feel like I’m much more supportive of my friends’ decisions, though I never pass up a chance to say how I really feel.
What it really comes down to is this: there is no magic formula for a good relationship. You can’t compare yours with your friends. Some things just work for some people and not for others. When it comes to your friends’ relationships, you can give all the advice under the sun (solicited or not) and at the end of the day, your friend is going to follow his/her heart. All you can do, is be there to support your friends in whatever decision they make.