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Getting in shape for school

August 23, 2005|by KATY HAUPT

I almost dropped dead when I realized how close the first day of school was. I could not believe it. It seemed as if summer had been only a few short weeks. I was very unprepared for school, but I was determined to change that.

Getting prepared for the beginning of a brand new school year was, to me, more than just getting hot new clothes and cool school supplies. It meant getting in shape for my favorite sport: soccer. I knew that soccer tryouts were usually a week or two ahead of the first day of school.

I checked my soccer equipment. I was not surprised. My shinguards and cleated shoes were too small. My abused ball was flat. My soccer bag was all beat up due to hard usage.

My mother took me shopping. We picked up new shinguards and a shiny silver ball at Dick's Sporting Goods in The Centre at Hagerstown. At Shank and Tittle in Valley Mall, we bought new soccer cleats (after a never-ending search for cleated shoes in my size) and a new, bright blue Adidas soccer bag.

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Once all of my soccer equipment was replaced, I focused on getting back into shape. Two whole months with little running and unhealthy foods can change a person for the worse.

With one week before soccer tryouts, and two weeks before school, I decided that every night I would go out and run at least two miles. Thankfully, I stuck to this program. I sometimes even brought a friend, who also wanted to play soccer.

With summer winding down, I couldn't delay getting back-to-school basics. I braced myself for a long search - last year, I had a horrible time finding jeans that actually fit me. But we went to Kohl's and were lucky enough to find a couple pairs right away. J.C. Penney had an array of jeans that fit. Next was Aropostale, where I found polo shirts, graphic Ts and other trendy shirts to accompany my new jeans.

I looked over my checklist. Sports equipment: check. Regained fitness: check. Awesome new clothes: check. School supplies: nada.

I consulted some friends and made a list of the usual school-supply suspects - pens, notebooks, a new binder, pencils, a new compass and protractor. My mother and I set out on yet another excursion to get everything.

So, feeling together, I'm ready for whatever comes my way this year. Soccer tryouts, challenging math courses, staying trendy at school - all I have to say is, "Bring it on!"

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