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High School Is A Strenuous Experience

| Learning | July 31, 2013

(I discover I have scoliosis at a very young age and it has a visible impact on my flexibility and posture. It also leaves me with headaches, cramping, and uncontrollable muscle spasms. This is all on my school records due to multiple visits to the nurse and doctors notes from missing school. My junior ROTC instructor appears to be unaware of my condition as we do special stretches.)

Instructor: “Come on [my name]! You can bend farther then that! Really stretch into it!”

Me: “Yes sir, I’m doing my best.”

Instructor: “I know you can do better then that! Fine, since you want to slack off, you’ll be helping me demonstrate the next stretch. You’ll really be able to feel it in your lower back.”

Me: “Sir, I’m not sure that’s a good idea.”

Instructor: “I said move it Private!”

(Not wanting to get in trouble, I step forward. He instructs me to lay face-up on the mat on the floor.)

Instructor: “Alright, for the next one you have to tuck your hand under your back, right at your hips. Then, keeping your legs perfectly straight, lift your feet up six inches from the floor and hold it.”

(I try to do as he instructs, but after a few seconds my feet drop.)

Instructor: “You’ll have to do better then that. Everybody on the floor. Get into position, and we’ll hold for a count of one hundred! On my count!”

(I keep trying to hold it, but it’s putting to much strain on my back. Even though I’m having muscle spasms, I try to soldier through but I start crying loudly from the pain.)

Instructor: “Alright [my name], if that was too hard for you, we’re going to run a mile instead. Everyone on your feet! [My name], I said on your feet!”

Me: “I can’t… I can’t move!”

(Our class commander is really worried now, and decides to step in.)

Class Commander: “Sir, I don’t think she can stand on her own. May I take her to the nurse?”

Instructor: “She’s fine! You see girls like this every year; they want to join the Junior ROTC program but they don’t want to do any hard work. Well, it’s my job to whip them into shape!”

Class Commander: “If you haven’t noticed sir, Private [my name] is crying uncontrollably, and convulsing on the floor at your feet. I’m pretty sure she’s in serious pain, and not just trying to get out of a little exercise. I’m taking her to the nurse now.”

(The incident is brought to the attention of our principal, who has a little chat with my instructor. I get a free write-off on any and all exercises I deem too difficult or strenuous to my condition.)

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