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Monday, January 30, 2023

Real Life – Trainers and Heels


The first time I realized that I had a competitive athletic streak was during Field Day in elementary school. 

Small for my age, and more of an avid student than a sports enthusiast, I had suffered that special humiliation of being picked last for various gym teams. Field Day, which focused on individual skills, was different.

In the Softball Throw event, I got my first taste of sporting victory. Credit goes to the example of my first coach, my father. Since orthopedic surgery requires strength, he lifted weights every morning at home. He bought us all baseball gloves and hats, and in the warm months, we spent hours playing catch. Come fall, our back yard football games began with passing practice.

Once I got to sixth grade and switched to private school, our entire student body was assigned to either the Red or the White team. Throughout the year, we competed in gym against each other for points. I eventually became president of The Committee of Games, tallying up rewards and accelerating my competitive fever. In girls’ intramural sports, though I was no star, I also played wing on the JV field hockey team, as well as a rotating position in JV basketball.

School sports did not bleed into weekends, as they do today, but at home, playing tennis, skating, skiing and biking were simply normal fare.

During downtime, magazines were also quite popular for us teens. These regularly featured articles on calisthenics. Somehow, my college roommate and I took up the habit of completing Royal Canadian Air Force exercises every day, a practice that continued into my marriage, when we had no spare funds to support joining a gym.

So though it shocks some of our friends, that early foundation evolved in adulthood into a sports and fitness focus, considered essential even on vacation.  

I love reading, the arts, and formal events, too.

However, life is most rich with my feet in two worlds. (c)

Patti Koltes
Patti Koltes
Real Life © by Patti Koltes. Contact her at pkoltes@gmail.com.