When I was in elementary school, I loved physical education. I loved basketball and dodgeball. But I hated kickball. I don’t know what is was that turned me off so much, but the thought of having a rubber ball being hurled at me while I stood with my white converse in orange clay was not my idea of a fun time. I simply never had a pleasant experience while playing kickball. There was one time in the fifth grade where I tripped and fell in the clay while sprinting to first base, or the time I completely missed the ball and swung my foot into thin air. By the time I hit sixth grade, I had had enough of that stupid game. It was a Wednesday in April, and Ms. Mayhew’s sixth grade class was headed out to the blacktop for an hour of P.E. As soon as we got there, I could see him wheeling out the old Walmart cart of kickballs down to the field and I knew exactly what he had planned for us. “You’ve got to be kidding me” I thought. The sun was relentlessly shining, making the perspiration slide down my forehead, and I hadn’t even done anything yet. No way was I going to walk out on that field and humiliate myself once again. So, my eleven-year-old brain had a plan. A pretty good one too, so I thought. My best friend, Lyric, was walking beside me, complaining about our coach and how he must be out of his right mind to be making us kick around a ball in ninety-two-degree weather. While the boys were fist pumping the air in excitement, and the few girls in that class were scoffing and rolling their eyes, I had internally proclaimed myself a genius for coming up with a way to get out of participating. I leaned over and whispered my plan to Lyric, who gave me kudos for coming up with an idea in such a short amount of time. My plan was to pretend to stumble and twist my ankle in the process. Keyword being pretend. I had to act casual like my accidental stumble was indeed, an accident. About halfway there I let my right ankle go a bit limp, then I would pretend to stumble on my left ankle, and therefore be out of kickball. Well, instead of stumbling, like I had originally planned, I tripped over my right ankle in the process, and fell. On my face. In front of my class. I felt a throbbing pain in my right ankle. For an initial fake fall, this was not a fake pain. My friend knew something had gone wrong since I wasn’t supposed to fall. She helped me up of course, while laughing until tears came out of her eyes, and escorted me to the nurse office. The nurse called my mom, who had to come pick me up from school and take me to the walk-in clinic, to get an x-ray. My mom was pretty much used to my antics by this point, so she thought I was faking. Which technically, was what led to the actual accident, but I wasn’t going to tell that to my mother, who had to leave work early, just to pick me up for something she thought I was faking. When we got to the clinic, one of the nurses came to take me back to the x-ray machine, in a wheel chair. Turns out, I fractured my growth plate. Needless to say, that was not my smartest idea. My mom felt guilty for thinking I was faking it, which made me feel guilty for trying to fake an injury in the first place. I had to wear a boot on my ankle for the next several weeks, which was punishment enough, since I was just pushing five feet, which made the clunky boot fall right below my knee. I looked ridiculous. Maybe it was karma, but it came back to bite me since I had to go to school looking like a fool and living off Aleve for the next couple of weeks. Was I overreacting about having to play kickball? The answer would be yes. Did I regret it? Once again yes. Did I cause myself to be even more embarrassed than I would’ve if I had just played kickball? Of course. So overall, my plan was stupid, and I got what I deserved. Yet, I did get out of P.E. for a month.
February 6, 2018