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In my Junior High Chronicles, I talked about my tendency to jump from boyfriend to boyfriend. I “dated” more boys than any one girl should have by time I finished 8th grade and never found self-worth through dating. Of course it’s not surprising that it didn’t boost my self-worth since you cannot find self-worth through other people. Well, my charades of always being in a relationship continued while I was in high school. I dated a kid, we’ll call him Bud, 2 years older than me for some of my freshman year and most of my sophomore year. He was an OK guy, and I would say he treated me fairly well. To be honest, even though we dated all of that time, I don’t remember a lot about the relationship. We broke up when he was getting ready to graduate mostly because he was getting ready to graduate and wanted to move on. What was the main reason he wanted to move on? He got a Calvin Klein modeling gig and thought he could get any girl his heart desired. See Bud was approached by some scouts leaving a concert one night. If you knew this guy, you may be a little surprised that someone approached him, but back then Calvin Klein scouts were looking for extremely slender young men to model for their ads. Bud was definitely slender. He didn’t go looking for this job; it came to him which inflated his ego exponentially. Fast forward a few months…I am over the relationship, hanging out with my summer soccer pals at camp. One of the girls is flipping through a Seventeen magazine during lunch, stops at a Calvin Klein ad and says, “Wow! That’s an ugly model!” And my partner-in-crime through all of those weeks at summer camp, Lola, said, “LJ, isn’t that Bud?!” And to my utter embarrassment with my head hung low, I mumbled, “Yes…” I couldn’t believe he actually made it into a national, mainstream publication. On top of that, I discover it at soccer camp with my summer-time friends, and they think he is hideous! It was probably the most embarrassing moment of my life! Even thinking about that ad now, I am uncomfortable. It was so hard in that moment; I felt like they were calling me ugly. It was as though I was inadequate and ugly because the guy who had broken up with me was considered unattractive by a few summer-time friends. My self-esteem really took a hit that day which made me feel even more unattractive and too “athletic” or “big-boned” to have an average looking boyfriend, never mind a good looking one! How do you recover from those feelings of inadequacy? It’s not an easy feat. As an adult I would say, “You have to realize the summer-time friend didn’t say anything negative about you. Your self-worth does not depend on the opinion of a single comment. Even more, it doesn’t depend on one person’s opinion on the looks of your ex-boyfriend.” As a teenager, I am certain my coping mechanism that night was to go home and eat my way into pathetic self-pity party. Of course this is not actually coping with anything, rather trying to satisfy my emotions with food which doesn’t work...my next blog we’ll talk about the stress eating nightmare that has existed as long as I can remember... Until then, healthy regards.
As I was writing my first high school blog, I started thinking about this one story I had to share. It’s also the perfect time of year to share this with our high school athletes. Let me paint the scene for you…It was late August, and I was beginning my freshman year of high school. Since I was playing on the soccer team, I had to start doubles practices. For my non-athletes who may not know about those, they are conditioning practices 2 times a day for 2 weeks- GOOD TIMES! In late August in NJ, it’s about 98-100 degrees and 99% humidity. It’s just enough humidity that it will never rain, no matter how many rain dances you perform, and it feels like you are breathing into a hot, wet wash cloth.
…You may or may not know, I am the third child of 4, and we are all very close in age. My oldest sister, Adrian, played soccer when she was younger, so many of the seniors knew me as her little sister. They actually called me “Lil’ Poach” (Pocsi was my last name, pronounced Poachie in Hungarian) so they didn’t confuse me with Adrian. Like I said, many of the seniors knew me and my family quite well, so they knew what to expect out of my competitive attitude, and I believe they shared that with the varsity coach. So that meant, I had an expectation to live up to….
One of our practices late in the doubles training, we were undertaking some serious conditioning work. At the time, I played goal keeper and enjoyed only sprinting for short periods of time; running wasn’t my game. Coach had us running, no, sprinting the hundred yard field, doing push-ups, sprinting back, doing sit ups, sprinting back, doing squats, etc.…what I would call a Tuesday afternoon nowadays. Back to freshman year, I was tired and I seriously milked the push-ups. Boy was that a mistake! Coach called me out! He said, “Lil’ Poach if you don’t figure out how to do push-ups, I’m going to have the seniors teach you.” It’s amazing how quickly I learned how to do push-ups correctly. See, I enjoy soaking up the attention for being fantastic at something; being highlighted for sucking is unacceptable. Oh, the things I have learned how to do in my life by sucking; it’s impressive really. I guess the moral of this story is to always give life your all or someone is going to call you out. Or maybe even worse, they will allow you to just keep cruising through life rather than making the best of what you’re given.
To finish off this story, I just wanted to share one more side note: Jumping ahead to my senior year of high school, I did discover that my varsity soccer coach was a US Marine during Vietnam and forever. That explained so much. Marines love push-ups…Semper Fidelis.