Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Leave the past in your behind

Andy always makes himself laugh when he says that.

Anyway, this Facebook thing is insane. Or, at least, it's making me go almost insane. I knew that I'd find people on there that I've lost touch with since college and that is really cool. I found a bunch of people from high school, as FB is basically set up to make that happen easily. That's been cool, too.

Today I came into contact with a bunch of people I knew mostly in elementary school and through a bit of middle school.

When I was 7, my mom enrolled me in a once-a-week gymnastics class. I wore my short-sleeved, hot pink leotard and my ringed tube socks, pulled all the way up, as I learned rolls and cartwheels, jumped off the springboard, balanced on the beam and swung on the bars. The parks and rec program I was in had a competitive team for older girls but my teacher said she was going to start a younger team and asked my mom to bring me to the try outs. I remember going through the different skills while different coaches wrote scores and notes on their clipboards. At the end, all of the people who tried out were sitting in a big group on the floor mat while the coach read off the names of the kids who made the team. She listed a bunch of people and I can recall looking over at my mom who was standing in the doorway and she smiled but shook her head a little, like, "Not this time, but oh well." Then I heard my name and both of our faces lit up!

Little did we know that those couple of hours of tryouts were just the beginning of 6 years of countless hours spent in the gym, in the ballet studio and on the road to meets. We practiced 3-4 days a week in the gym, took ballet lessons and had meets on the weekends (not every weekend, but we'd practice when we didn't have a meet.) I went through dozens of leotards, rolls of tape and Ecotrin (ibuprofen wasn't the star of the drug show yet.)

We spent a lot of time with our teammates in the gym and carpooling. We set the bars for each other, rooted each other on, spotted each other, set up the equipment at every practice, cracked each others' backs during warm ups, provided resistance during extra strength and laughed a lot together. Most of us grew up together from being little girls to teenagers.

Tonight on Facebook, I've found a number of the girls - now women - that I spent all those hours with in my youth. It's so bizarre to see them as adults with histories of college classes, friends, roommates, husbands, kids, and countless other experiences that I didn't experience with them and will never know. But I still feel a kinship with them and am excited to find out what's going on in their lives, even if the last time I saw them was 23 years ago.

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