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Monday, April 25, 2011

Upside-down - A to Z Blog Challenge

High School is a pretty wicked time for just about everyone, with a few exceptions. That's why there are so many movies about it. We're all pretty much nuts in one way or another, worrying about image and such.

You may find it unbelievable, but I was no exception. However, I did things a little differently. I was never much for sports, though I go to one wrestling practice. Actually, I think I left about halfway through. I came to the conclusion that it was really hard. I stopped wanting to do it. Thus, I realized that getting any attention via sports was going to be difficult, cause even being mediocre at a sport is strenuous.

I knew I wasn't going to be Mr. Sports guy, so I had to look elsewhere. I really wasn't into thinking much, so it wasn't going to happen with any of those smart guy things either. Besides, that wasn't really the sort of attention one wanted in high school anyway, except from colleges, but let's face it... I wasn't really interested in that either... but that's another story.

No, I had to carve my own niche, which ended up being a little bit of everything. Everything that wasn't strenous or mentally taxing that is... I was that guy who hung out... I hung out with everyone. I had friends in the Jock group, the goth group, the punk group, the skater group, the white-hat group, the homey group, the nerd group, the geek group, the preppy group, the soccor-jock group, the math group, and both the russian and asian mafia groups. When it came down to it, I SORTA fit in pretty much everywhere. Jack of all cliques, master of none.

This was cool for me, I enjoyed having friends in each group. I think this was the first time I learned the value of social networking, though I wouldn't actually realize that until later. ...actually just now. I only realized that just now. Sort of explains my love for blogging and sharing things with new people.

Anyway...

Being able to bounce around like that was cool, but still there was nothing that I felt like I particularly stood out for. As part of my quest for individuality, I taught myself how to juggle. I spent the better part of a weekend wishing I had bean bags instead of tennis balls, cause more often than not, I ended up chasing said tennis balls as they rolled under my bed, or out of the room and down the stairs. I bent down to pick up tennis balls so much, that by the end of the weekend, my lower back was sore.

I would eventually borrow my brother's juggling pins, and screw around in the back yard until I could get a good juggle going. Truth be told, it was really fun. I can honestly say that although I haven't really juggled anything for more than a couple minutes a month since then, I still have some excellent reflexes from it and can usually catch things I drop or knock off shelves like salt shakers and things from the fridge, etc... It was the most useful unproductive skill I've learned.

For those of you trying to figure it out, it's more about knowing when and where the ball will be, not so much where it is. I recommend it.

In addition to the juggling, I'd found that I actually had some decent upper body strength, so I spent a little time in the weight room, and also did some push ups daily in my room. I'm not even going to begin to wonder how long it's been since the last time I did push ups... But one of (if not THE last time) I did push ups, I had watched "Dragon, The Bruce Lee Story" the night before, and wondered if I might be able to walk on my hands like he did when he broke his back.

First, I'd have to learn the hand stand. My first attempt went well... I set myself up so that if I tossed myself upside-down into the air too hard, I would just hit the wall. I put my hands on the floor, and kicked myself up backwards. My legs went up, and I DID hit the wall, but I recovered. I remained upright for about eight seconds before I chickened out and came back down.

The SECOND attempt went awry in a way I hadn't planned for. I had the "fall over backwards" base covered, but I hadn't considered something else. I put my palms on the floor, and kicked my legs up into the air. About as soon as I got up-right, my elbow buckled and came crashing down into a self-induced pile-driver. My forhead hit first, and my back slid down the wall. As my full weight came down, I sort of skided along the carpet, leaving a bright red rug burn on my forehead.

In a world where image meant sort of a lot, I thanked whatever powers who be that it was summer, and I could hide in my room for a few days. As far as my family was concerned, I told them I fell outta the bed. They bought it, and I'm not sure if I should be offended by that.