I hated it.

I was one of those girls who absolutely dreaded the whole shebang. In our junior high school, we had to get dressed in a smelly locker room into our school issued gym clothes. school issued gym clothes! Okay fine. Maybe it's no big deal, but it was never really my idea of a good time right from the get-go. Once we filed out to the gym, we were with the boys, too. Still no big deal? HA! toldya.

Then we'd start with some activity that left me feeling mediocre at best. I wasn't naturally athletic. Well, that's what I always thought, anyway. I never played group sports (with the exception of volleyball, and not on the school team either, only on the beach). I didn't have the strength to do the pull-ups required for the state testing we did twice a year. I could barely, not at all do the flexed-arm-hang either. And don't even get me started on the moans and groans when we had to run the dreaded 'mile'. or climb that %$#@+* rope!

Everyone was watching you. The fast kid who runs the 5:40 mile just sits there all easy-breezy, not a drop of sweat on her head and watches you frumpily run past for only the first time, meanwhile she's done. You try to act like it's no big thing but inside you're dying and just want to walk and talk with your friends and pretend you're too cool to do this running thing anyway.

When we played group games, I hung to the back. And honestly? If there was some excuse to miss high school gym class? AWWW HECK YEA. That was a good day in my world. Bring on the dentist appointments. or my monthly visitor.

I feel like I have conquered a lot of the fears I had as a kid, some of my insecurities, now as an adult.

I didn't play team sports. I knew I was missing out, but I didn't play because I was insecure and 'not athletic'.

If I had to go back and redo junior high gym class it would be so different. The mile ain't no big thing. I would play the heck out of those group games. I would keep up with, and kick some butt. Now? I participate more in group activities. Instead of always hiding standing in the back, I'm ok with being up front. I missed out on a lot as a kid and teen because of my insecurities. But I sure as heck haven't missed out as an adult. And maybe it's a little late in life to conquer all the insecurities, but at least I'm trying.

  A few days ago I heard an old song that made my heart race, my mind embrace every little tidbit and my tears come fast. The lyrics hit me square in the chest and made me ache that awesome ache when truth collides with words, creating timeless art. My heart as a road map, would look something like a mess of green and blue and brown and life igniting reds and oranges. Conflicting colors and emotions, all swirling together as my chapters continue to unfold. One thing pulling me forward as something else catches my eye or attention and I veer in an entirely new direction on a whim of nostalgia, chasing after a pipe dream as fast as my breath can carry me. October is notorious to me for being a month of change. I believe this year will be no different.

just sayin'.

Arugula, Corn, Tomato + Avocado Salad
hearty lunch for 2; side salads for 4
4 generous cups arugula
1 heaping cup cherry tomatoes, halved (or 1 large summer beefsteak, chopped)
1 small avocado, diced
1 large, juicy ear of summer corn
1/2 red pepper, chopped (optional)
1/3 cup almonds, chopped
+ oil + vinegar + salt

In a wide, shallow salad bowl, stand corn ear on end, then shave kernels directly into bowl. Break up any big bits with your fingers. Add arugula, chopped tomatoes, chopped peppers (if using), and the avocado and almonds. Drizzle 3-4 Tbs. of your house vinaigrette (or if you're me, a broken vinaigrette: plenty of sherry vinegar, a gloss of olive oil, and plenty of fleur de sel, all asunder) over all. Toss gently, thoroughly to coat. Test for seasoning, and devour.


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