So today is Thursday and in the social media word that means throwing back (and no I’m not talking about shots!). Therefore, this next post will take us back… oh… approximately… 27 years… yikes!
Back to my days of living in Florida. The wonderful south! Simpler days of childhood that we don’t really appreciate until we reach adulthood. Heck I missed kindergarten when I entered the 1st grade. Man I longed for those nap times after lunch. However, two words… No. Bills. That is my favorite memory! Instead you were the bill! Parents you know what I’m talking about. Childhood had no major responsibilities except maybe helping your mother clean the house and doing your homework. I for one enjoyed school so no sweat there. The cleaning the house part you might have to ask her!
I digress… This throw back goes out to all the people who have been littler people. Littler people who may have ever felt down on themselves. For anyone who has ever allowed the opinions of others absorb deep down under their skin. Those who festered on these opinions until they formed mental pictures of themselves that reflected back others poor choice of words or actions. It may not have been intentional on their part. After all, good intentions are often laced with bad executions. However, for some of us, we took things to heart.
The photo attached to this post is me about age 7 with my sister. I’m the one in the cheerleading uniform. I don’t know why I look annoyed. Majority of my cheerleading memories are good ones. I remember the smell of the grass, the football players we cheered for, the cool nights, the cheer-off competition with the other squads (one year we won the wildcard), and learning how to do gymnastics. As I sit here writing I’m recalling all the front walkovers I used to do. I could also do cartwheels, backbends, various jumps, splits, straddles, make my body into a triangle. I was very flexible. Still am to a degree at 33.
When I look at this photo I see a pretty healthy looking child. In my minds eye though I might as well have been 100 pounds. Call me super sensitive if you like… but the one thing that was always was an awkward situation… pyramid building. I was always the kid on the bottom. I was told I was too big or heavy to be anywhere but the base. This made me feel ginormous. Yes I understand the smaller the better when it comes to pyramids but there must be a better way to convey that to children.
So here I am feeling like a fat tub of lard when a girl joined the squad that must have been bigger than me… I honestly can’t recall but since I thought I was an elephant… well you get the trend. The reason I say this? I was teamed up with her in a pyramid formation. I had to jump up and sit on her back. It was the first time I was ever to be at the top of a pyramid. I remember feeling scared. I was afraid by sitting on this poor girl’s back that I was going to break it. It took me several tries before I could do the jump up without falling over. I got nervous when we had to do it during a game. That I was going to mess it up. That I’d make a fool out of us. That I’d be an embarrassment.
I let the words of adults get into my head. I was ashamed of my body even at such a young age. I’m sure I’m not the only one. Anyone else have such an experience?