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I'm a racecar. I am sexy, loud, fast, and graceful, but I have a two-inch ground clearance. If my life depended upon my ability to jump, you would be looking at a purged Livejournal account.

I don't know what that's about. My ancestors must have been the basis for those video game characters that can walk for 170 hours but can't climb over a log.

We find our heroine as a high school freshman in a new town. It's Humiliation Gym Class.
If you're old like me, then you recall the National Fitness Requirement.
You had to run a mile, do so many pull-ups, jump so many hurdles.
Yes, I said jump hurdles.
I stumbled over two hurdles like a deer launching itself over suburban fencing.
Then, I took out the entire third hurdle apparatus like a psychotic giraffe crashing through burning scaffolding.

As the gym teacher ran to examine me, I leapt from the rubble...and collapsed. My ankle wouldn't hold me.
"Oh god, no," I said, looking at my creepy touchy teacher in real terror of being fondled to death.
"I'll carry you!" he said.
"I'm fine!" I argued. Up. Fall.
"No, really!" Up. Fall.
Shock, pain, and panic released adrenaline. I was in full-on Friday the 13th camp counselor mode, frantically dragging myself across the gymnasium floor like I was about to get hacked by a machete. My gym-teaching homicidal maniac plodded after me.

My girlfriend broke line formation and rushed to my side, steadying me on my remaining ankle.
"She needs to go to the nurse's office. I'll take her," said Jason Voorhees the Gym Pedo.
"I'll take her," my friend protested.
"You leave and you'll get detention," he ordered.
She sneered and proceeded to walk me to the nurse's office. I stopped her at the gymnasium door.
"Don't. You'll get stuck with him all afternoon. I'll be fine. I just need a minute. Get back to class."
She left me in the doorway and I braced myself to walk down the hall.

I tested my ankle. It hurt. A lot. But I could feel it, and that was something.
If I could feel it, I could stand on it. Right? RIGHT?!
Considering the alternative, I was going to walk until I had to crawl. Then I would have crawled until I found someone significantly less creepy to carry me.

This, by the way, is why I was unafraid to walk myself into the hospital with a broken foot in 2006.

I held my head high, threw my shoulders back, pulled my stomach in, held my breath, clenched my teeth, and walked down the hallway like I was the Queen of Earth walking the Green Mile.
It felt like I had a knife attached to a taser sticking in the bottom of my right foot.
"Pain is in the mind," I said, "You're not going to die. Walk."

"At least I'm alone and no one can see me," I thought, steeling my gaze to avoid ruining my make-up as the pain leaked out my eyes.

The upper-classman I'd had a crush on all year turned the corner.

"Really, God?" I snarled under my breath.
I was vibrating with pain. I could hear my heart beating. The perimeter of my vision was darkening. I bolstered myself and walked like a runway model, head high and hips swaying.
You only get one chance to make a first impression.

I think he said "Hi."
I couldn't hear anything over the nonstop "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!" of my internal monologue.
I walked past him and didn't look back.
Didn't even pause.
Reminded myself that Marilyn Monroe developed her signature walk after a shoe broke.
That's almost like a busted ankle, right? Right? Sure it is.
OH GOD THE PAIN.
I played it cool until I turned the corner and collapsed.

Rock Dude remembers this moment, that I was this cold, hard-to-get incredibly hot girl with a mane and red lips and a walk that he remembers to this day.

Moral of the chapter? It doesn't matter that the worst possible thing always happens. The results still count. Also, if you push yourself when you are young, it will still hurt when you are old.
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