For context as to why I am constantly re-shocked at my own relatively recent undertaking of running, this conversation actually happened when I was in junior high and we had to run warm-up laps in gym class. In fact, it happened regularly.

I had the same gym teacher two out of three years in high school. He always referred to me by the nickname he gave me based on my last name. He also had had my older brother and I think later my little brother, and we were all “Brooksie.”

For some reason, he really liked me, even though I was arguably the least athletic student in his class, save for my killer spiral I threw during the football unit and my solid keeper skills during the soccer unit. Other than that I was useless. Maybe it was my charmingly sheepish smile, or the sheer hopelessness of exchanges like the following:

Him: “RUN, BROOKSIE! RUN!”

Me: “MR. PARRISH I THINK I AM GOING TO DIE.”

Him: “MAN UP, BROOKSIE!”

Me: “BUT I’M A GIRL [huff] [puff]!”

Him: [throws hat on ground] “GAT DANG IT BROOKSIE!”

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This hot mess is planning to run the Army Ten Miler in October.
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