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I slammed my locker shut and ran to catch up with one of my best friends, Paige Hyland. The bell rang announcing the beginning of sixth period, our gym class. We walked through the door and I starred in horror at the rope mockingly swinging from side to side. A heavy sigh escaped my chest as we hurried into the girl’s locker room.
“So you girls ready to do some serious climbing?”
I listened to the gym teacher while I pulled my gym shirt over my head. I starred at my pink Nike running shoes and listened as the other girls bragged about how good they were at rope climbing. I knew Paige was nervous but no where near as nervous as me. The girls in the locker room dressed quickly and ran out into the gym.
‘Do you want me to wait for you?” Paige asked.
“Nah, you can go ahead and go without me, i'm gonna take my time.”
“Ok, then ill see you out there.”
I watched silently as Paige left the room. The locker room had never been so quiet. The girls in the gym cheered as each of them made it to the top of the rope. I tried to tell myself I had nothing to worry about, but it was useless. I knew I wasn’t going to make it to the top and that everyone was going to make fun of me. No matter what I told myself I knew that my life was over.
“Megan, you in there? It’s your turn, hurry!”
Brand new panic spread through out my body. I urged my feet to move but they didn’t. I told myself I needed to get this over with, to face my fears. So, I mustered up all my courage and ran out to the gym. Everyone fell silent and just stared at me. As I hurried up to the rope, I tried to keep myself from paying attention to their expressions, because if I did I knew I would chicken out. I took a deep breath and using all my strength, I began to climb the rope. It wasn’t what I thought it would be; actually to my surprise it was easy. My panic began to fade away.
I was almost halfway up when I heard a giggle. I was self conscious again, I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong. Then I heard another giggle followed by another and another. Then it turned into hysterical laughter. It felt like I was the only one who didn’t get the joke. I looked down humiliated and I caught a glimpse of Paige’s wide-eyed and bright red face. I immediately let go of the rope and fell flat on the mat below me with a thud. I got up as fast as I could and ran into the girls’ locker room.
As I passed the big mirror outside the bathroom I noticed my tear-stained face. Then what I saw almost made me faint: I had forgotten to put my gym shorts on! I didn’t know what to do. Should I cry, laugh, or what? Then without warning, laughter exploded from inside me and I couldn’t control it.
“Are you ok? Look I am so sorry that…..” Paige stared at me in confusion.
“Yeah i'm ok...it’s just that I find it funny how nervous I get sometimes. I probably got what I deserved.” I finally answered, getting my laughter under control.
“Maybe next time you won’t get so freaked out over nothing.”
“Hopefully you’re right and I won’t get embarrassed like I do constantly.”
“Hey, do you mind putting your pants back on its kind of weird you know.”
I looked at Paige and we both starting laughing.
“You know what, Paige,” I said “I think that hiding from your fears won’t help you at all, but if you face your fears you wont have to spend your whole life hiding from anything.”
She smiled at me and after I put my shorts on, we walked proudly back into the gym together.