Monday, October 5, 2009

Eau de.........Rain?.......

You know how some scents, or sometimes situations, can take you back in time to a certain period of your life?

For example, I can still get a whiff of pine trees in the early summer, accompanied by the chirp of crickets and other night creatures, and I am instantly transported back to the YWCO camp I attended as a girl. I can see the cabins: Dew Drop, Edweda, Hilltop, Crow's Nest, Upper Lodge. I can hear the whack of tennis balls and the bell signaling that rest time was over and we could FINALLY go swimming.

Tonight when I left line dancing class, it was misting just a little bit. There was the very first chill in the air, and immediately I was back in college the semester Amanda and I took an ass-kicker of a P.E. class called Fitness for Life.

It should have been called Fitness If You Can Live Through It.

We took this killer course because it was worth 3 credit hours. We had to have a total of 5 credit hours in P.E., so this one knocked out a chunk. I already had 3 credit hours in P.E. (tennis, roller skating, and tap dance), so taking FFL meant I would have MORE than I needed. (I'm the only person I know who graduated with elective credits in both P.E. and foreign language. The two things that non-majors in those areas take only because they HAVE to.) But it would mean I didn't have to take another P.E. course, and I would be finished. Besides, I would have it with Amanda.

We had a choice between swimming, running, and racquetball. They emphasized that the course was not to TEACH any of those skills, so we chose swimming. I didn't know how to play racquetball (not then - later post), and I knew enough about running to know that I'd rather have my fingernails pulled out. So swimming it was.

I guess we had the idea we would splash around in the pool for a while and gossip about people we went to high school with, and then we would show up for tests and stuff.

They don't give 3 credit hours for that course just for nothing.

We were allowed to start off kind of slow, but we were expected to build up our stamina until we could swim a mile in 30 minutes.

That was 72 laps back and forth across Stegeman Pool. An Olympic-sized swimming pool.

The pool isn't there anymore. It was housed in Stegeman Hall, a dungeon-like building that I think was used by soldiers in World War II. This is NOT one of those times I'm exaggerating. I'm sure more than one student was poisoned by the build-up of chlorine in that musty old building. Now there is relatively new facility with a pool and work-out rooms and tons of equipment, a state-of-the art facility affectionately known as the Ramsey Center.

I want to go back to college just to use Ramsey.

Anyway, Amanda and I had our routine. We actually had to show up and swim (I think it was two nights a week), because we never knew when our instructor would drop in. The smart ones were the ones who chose running -- at least they could duck through the woods. He couldn't watch EVERY runner at the same time.

We showed up to swim, we left Stegeman with our hair wet because we had only so much time between swimming and the classroom portion of the course. It was winter, and remember this was night school, so it was dark and cold when we left the pool.

We had to hurry, because we usually went straight from the pool to Schlotsky's. They had the best sandwich in the world, and I use the singular form because that was all they had. One sandwich. Oh, I take that back ... you could get the regular size or the big one.

And after we finished eating, we smoked our cigarettes on the way back to class.

We were fit for life, all right.

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