Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

Sweat Suits

By
From pre-school until 7th grade, I was the man in black. I was horrified by the idea of jeans; I couldn't even do a sit up in gym class without keeping the studs on my back pockets from digging into my rear! It was all about functionality for me. I could pull on a black sweat shirt and sweat pants every morning and not worry about dirt or crumbs showing up, and I didn't even have to change for gym class. They were convenient and most of all, they were me. I was comfortable and happy in my cotton-based slice of heaven. I was defined by black; there was nothing my parents could say or do that would make me change. I knew it couldn't last forever, but I also knew that change had to come from me.

I never really realized it, but just the idea of wearing my black counterpart day after day was holding me back. As long as my wardrobe was always the same, no other aspect of my personality had to change either. I continued my life in oblivious ignorance, playing video games and not doing much else. I never stepped out of my shell or made any attempt to become a contributing member of my community.

I knew it couldn't always be so easy, though. As I grew up and went to middle school, my loyalty to everything cotton wasn't always so acceptable. I started getting looks from my classmates (most importantly the girls) and teachers, often wondering why I refused to dress myself like a self-respecting individual. I knew it was time to change and become the person I wanted to be. I didn't do it because my parents told me to, because my friends made fun of me, or because I wanted the respect of others—I did it for myself.

In fact, it really wasn't just about looking better or dressing more fashionably. I wanted to completely overhaul my life; make more friends, be more involved in the community, and start living up to the academic potential I knew I was capable of. This was about becoming a better person, not just looking like a better person. I couldn't respect myself knowing what I could be.

Moving on, I joined the ranks of high school freshmen, taking a huge step (at least for me) in becoming a more mature individual. Now, I could wear mostly all the colors of the rainbow (except yellow, but really, who likes yellow). I joined the IB diploma program and signed up for soccer, lacrosse, rowing, skiing and the math team among other things. Along with my more colorful wardrobe, I dove into the realm of foreignness that is high school; embracing everything that was new.

One day in the fall of my junior year, my childhood jumped back at me. While scrounging through my closet looking for clothes to donate, my mom came across a stuffed, industrial size garbage bag. "Taylor, what are these?" she asked.


Suddenly, it dawned on me. "My sweat suits!" I exclaimed. Although old and unwashed, my sweat pants were exactly as I had left them.


As I tenderly examined them, I realized how far I had come. While I have been subject to more difficult academic challenges, strenuous athletic activities and trying social relationships, I am still the same 8 year old smitten by the comfort and functionality of the black sweat suit. The foundation of my character has remained constant since my sweat suit childhood, but I have become a much more diverse and complete individual with something to contribute to society. Although my days of sweat pant bliss were cut short, I am ever appreciative for the growth that they forced me to accept. For this color-wearing 18 year old, black isn't enough anymore; I'm ready to put on some Big Red.





Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback