Middle school was rough for everyone. There is one particular moment that keeps replaying in my head this week. At my middle school, in PE, the coaches required us to run two laps before we moved onto the activity for the day. If someone did not complete those laps, we had to run one more. Having finished my laps, which need mind you, were not easy to do in three minutes for someone overweight; I hated hearing we had to go one more time on a typical day.
However, on the day I remember, it was not a typical day. I felt something in my knee. Something was wrong. I told one of the teachers, I don’t know what is going on with my knee, but I need to sit down. I can’t do another lap. She told me to do it anyway. As I went around with a friend of mine, who would not leave my side, we didn’t finish because when I neared the finish line, I could feel my knee starting to give way. I knew if I ran for it that I would fall flat on my face.
Need mind you, I was not in the first group that did not finish. They did not punish thee people who did not finish the walk the first time. Instead, they punished my friend, four others, and me to walk the entire period. This incident got to the point that the assistant principal called us over as she talked with one of the coaches. Let me explain one thing to all of you. I never talked to back to a teacher, yet alone anyone else higher up. I was a good student, and I behaved. I was rarely in trouble in school.
With that in mind, she asked us why we didn’t finish our laps. Then she got extremely rude with us and said, “This is not a rhetorical question.” And it was like something in my eighth-grade brain snapped, and I answered. My tone was rude, I probably came off as a snotty little brat that day, but I remember saying, “We did finish our laps why don’t you go ask the students who didn’t and walk another one?” I knew I was going to go to the office, and my parents were going to get called.
Everyone around me looked at defiant me because they knew me, and even the assistant and the coach did as well. She brushed us off and told us that we should continue walking. My knee continued to ache. By the time I finished walking alongside my friend, we were sweaty, gross, and almost late to our next class. I almost asked to call home that day because my knee was hurting so bad, but I didn’t. As soon as I got home that afternoon, I told my mom my knee hurt. She immediately made an appointment for me with my primary care doctor.
The next day I learned that I had dislocated my knee, and I had not only stretched the ligaments in my ankle, but I also strained the ligaments in my ankle. When I told my doctor what had happened, he was so angry he called the school himself. If that was not bad enough, my mom then proceeded to call up there because no one would listen to me. No one listened to my concerns.
I’ve thought of this story a lot the past week or so because I feel like I’m back in school, continually getting everything taken away from me because no one wants to listen. I understand that we all want to get out and go places. I miss the movie theater. I miss it something fierce, guys. I am sad all these concerts I was going to attend this spring had to cancel. I’ll be okay with these reschedulings because at least everyone stands a chance of not contracting this virus. So I get the need and urge to get out of the house.
I do not understand people’s urge to be out constantly. I encourage supporting local businesses as much as you humanly can. I know we have to go out and get groceries. I do not understand people hoarding items. I also hate seeing videos of people who are licking things. Why would you lick boxes of medicine? Why would you like a toilet seat? How does that help anyone? How does it make sense?
The fact of the matter is it doesn’t. You are one person not finishing the lap. Or, in this case, you are one person spreading the germs you have and making a situation a thousand times worse. Stay inside. Stay safe. And please, for the love of God, don’t lick a doorknob or any other surface.
Oh and one more thing. Go support an artist whose design gave me the idea for my headline here.