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Western Pennsylvania Mensa presents.... Psycho Skipper

By Chris Sartori

It started innocently enough. I never planned to lead a group of rebels. All I wanted was a little fresh air and exercise…

A few days ago I was walking the track at the high school. What a beautiful morning-not a cloud in the sky. It was early and the faculty was just starting to arrive. On this nice sunny day I was inspired to be a little more strenuous and get my heart rate up. I didn't feel like going the whole way and running, so I just skipped. It felt very good. I bet it's been years since I skipped. Nothing like skipping on a sunny day.

So there I was, just skipping around the football field with a big smile on my face because it felt very good to skip on a nice sunny day. I had done about two laps when I noticed the crowd of spectators gathered at the fence. There stood most of the senior high faculty, staring at me. I smiled and waved as I skipped by. The guidance counselor ran out to me and asked if I needed someone to talk to. I said no thank you and skipped away. This compassionate, conscientious (and overzealous) social worker was not going to give up easily. Apparently, she saw me as a dysfunctional athlete on school property and took it as her duty to rehabilitate me into either a runner or a walker. Ms. Guidance counselor caught up with me and asked, "Why are you skipping? Is it a need to fulfill a childhood urge? Are you doing this as a cry for help? Do you want me to call someone?"

That's when I stopped skipping and explained to her that I just wanted to get some exercise. I should have quit there, but my mouth runneth over. I was steamed and let her have it: "I had no idea skipping was in any way anti-social! Is there a law against it? Maybe you're the one with the problem, COMRADE! If you can't tolerated my skipping lifestyle, you should sign up for some diversity training."

This outburst, much to my surprise, brought a smattering of applause from some of the teachers. Obviously they'd had their fill of this particular guidance counselor, too. One of the coaches even came out to the field to discuss skipping with me. He could appreciate what a challenging exercise skipping is for coordination, balance, timing, and endurance. In fact, he plans to start the basketball team on a skipping program right away.

Yesterday when I was up there skipping, I was joined by an art teacher, a calculus teacher, and two music teachers. This morning three more teachers joined us. But they're extreme right wingers who just want to tick off the guidance counselor. I don't expect they'll be skipping with us much longer. We're probably all in Ms. Guidance counselor's "At Risk" file right now. I guess there's always been a rebellious streak in me-though I never thought it would surface in the form of skipping.

Reprinted from the October, 1999 issue of THE PHOENIX,
the monthly newsletter of Western Pennsylvania Mensa,
Tamara Wardell, editor.   Reprinted with permission.

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© 1999 Amby Duncan-Carr   and   Chris Sartori   All rights reserved.

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