This is true; as a kid, I was usually running to try to keep up with Crochet Renee. I have vivid memories of my Raggedy Ann metal lunch box skittering across the gravel, along with the taste of dirt in my mouth as I watched Renee trot away from me in the post-bus ride afternoons. My knees kind of stayed perpetually skinned.
As an adult, I relived this memory. My nephew Ben was drum major that year, and I--for no logical reason, but out of some Pavlovian response--took off after Renee as she ran through the bank parking lot to get back in front of the band to video tape more footage of her one and only leading them up the street in the Turkey Trot Parade. As I hit a mud patch and fell on one knee, I started laughing about how little things had changed in some 30 odd years or so. There was also the 4th of July weekend where I sported skinned adult knees through the French Quarter after Stacy and I had played tennis. I learned that after a gin and tonic, one should not play tennis (after more than one, you should also not attempt Yoga, but that's another story). You think you can leap into the air and hit the ball. Which I did--I made a flying horizontal leap, got the ball over the net, and continued to slide, sickeningly, over the court. I continued to play for a few more volleys, blood running down my shins. I guess it was self-punishment for my own stupidity. I mean, we had driven over there, ready to play, and I was gonna play, dang it.
So, when I started running, it was with a bit of fear of falling down. I found that when I was actually running to run, I'm not quite as clumsy. But, I still feared the treadmill; on crappy days, I would either skip working out or do step at home (perhaps that's why I'm steadier on my feet as I get older--miss the step and that would hurt). If I was reluctant to run in the beginning, I was even MORE resistant to going to a gym.
But, as of yesterday, we're gym members. With my over-trained foot (which is just about healed up from the over training in vibrams on the day we got lost) and the dark cold mornings where the park guys are getting slower and slower about opening the gate (we've had to crawl under it a time or two when they were late), we decided it was time to go to the gym. Besides, we said, we want to get in some weight training. We're not getting any younger, and upper body strength is important to little old ladies like me.
My gym experience is very limited. The cardio part was an easy adjustment--I no longer fear the treadmill (and have decided once we move to the boonies, I'm gonna have one at home), and I have discovered eliptical machines, which are evil. This morning, we went to the weight room and I realized that part of my weirdness goes back to gym class when I was a kid. I was good at Jane Fonda work outs (I could do it in the back of the room, feeling safe that no one was paying attention to me), but we rarely got to do those. So, gym class was mostly about sitting in the bleachers, not working out. As near sighted as I am, I make a pretty good target for dodge ball and the like, so I was not really interested in playing the unorganized games that kids put together while the coach hid in the office, doing whatever it was coaches do when they are stuck with the non-athlete kids.
Standing in the weight room this morning, I realized why I feel so incompetent in those situations--we rarely were "allowed" to use the weights when I was in school. The weight room was the property of the football and basketball guys (and yes, I mean "guys" in the male sense. I am not sure the girls' basketball team even really got to use it on any kind of regular basis). Thankfully, I'm old enough that I don't really care anymore if I look silly. I just kind of expect to look silly most of the time. But, here's hoping I look silly and toned some day.