Once upon a time there was a girl that had a man as a weight coach. This man was different. He wore Hawaiian shirts, brown (golden) zip booties, and polyester pants every day. The man was made fun of and hated at times. He was tough yet fair, stern and unconventional. His job was history/social studies teacher, football coach and weight coach. This man came into this girls life when she was an outsider, new and not being treated well. He was very tough on her. He flunked her yet praised her abilities on paper. He changed tests to see what was this girls downfalls in class. He spoke to the school and parents about seeing if there were more issues in school than what was on the surface. He was an interesting guy. Teachers didn't seem to talk to him much, kids really didn't like him...he was tough!
After years of being around this guy the girl started to learn more about him. He had a daughter and a set of twin boys. He had moved to that town the year after the girl did and was obviously seen as different. He walked with a bouncy strut with his arms out to his sides like he carried pickle bottles in his arm pits. He eventually changed his test style to essay with few multiple choice. This girl had him for classes for years. One year the girl showed interest and talent in weight lifting. The teacher took her under his wing and taught her the do's and don'ts of weight lifting. Every day he would set her up in the weight room, turn on Paula Abdul as loud as he could and give her goals to aim for. She enjoyed this time to get stronger and empower herself. He one day told her he changed his style of test to help her. He said he believed in her and knew she was a diamond that was just buried in the situation around her and just needed a little help to get through. This meant so much to this girl because she was drowning in social issues, family issues and learning issues. And she keeps that man in her thoughts to this day.
That girl was me. That man was a teacher I had for many years. Yes, he was hard but fair. He believed in position 1 sit-ups, push-ups or leg ups if you got the answer wrong. To which I did a massive amount of but he saw I was trying my best. Even with tutors and studying, I had issues. He believed in me and for that I am thankful because not many did at that time in my life.
You may wonder why I bring this story out today. Well I have been laughing all morning about this man. I started weights the other day but over did it a couple days ago and my left triceps has been killing me! I know I am not injured just sore. I walk like that teacher! I can visualize him! Him in his Hawaiian shirt that was too tight on his arms always, polyester bell bottom pants, golden zip up booties, wavy brown hair, glasses so thick he would catch it from the kids, coffee cup in one hand and lessons in the other doing his jiggle, bouncy strut as confident as can be no matter what is hurled at him. His mannerisms always reminded me of an out there Elvis in a way. I wonder if he walked with his arms out like he's carrying pickles under them because his muscles were sore like mine. Maybe they were just too big! His shirt never fit his arms after all.
My thanks to this teacher, Mr. Larson, who got me through more times in my life than he will ever know, in school and out of school in more ways than I can count. I know many hated this man but I treasured him. Still do.
Biked today 40 minutes and will do stretching and maybe abs too. Gotta get that arm feeling better! I got weights to lift!!! And when I do lift again, I will work my way back up and not over do it like this last time. I am not that young any more! Just in spirit!