I have vivid memories of my elementary school gym class. I'm standing with my back pressed against the red padded mats hanging from the cement wall, waiting for a captain to pick me for a team.
I stare at my feet while name after name is called. Lines of wiggly classmates form behind each captain until finally, I'm the only one left. I'm still looking at my feet, my back pressed against the pads, my face flushed as I try to hold back the tears. The teacher shouts, his voice echoing across the gym, "C'mon, guys! Somebody's gotta take her!"
Such was my early exposure to sports. I wasn't confident to begin with, and being the last to be picked only reinforced the notion that I could never be successful. I muddled along the best I could and even managed to win a race once, on a day when the fastest girl was home sick. But any confidence that might have developed was quickly squelched when the gym teacher bellowed at me, "You're physically unfit!" His words cut me to the core and from that point on, I mentally checked out of gym class.
Fast forward 40+ years. Yesterday I completed Week 5, Day 3 of the C25K program. It's a challenging day for a beginner because the running interval ramps up from eight-minute segments to one long run of 20 minutes.
It has taken me a very long time to undo the hurtful words of my gym teacher and believe that in fact, I CAN be successful. Yesterday as I finished Week 5, Day 3, I had only one thought:
Take THAT, you ***! :)