But by far the worst of all was the 440-yard, oval, running track. They made us run around this track until my side was killing me and my head swam. I was always last, huffing and puffing in sweaty pain, and needless to say I didn't get much respect in P.E.
I won. While the others kids complimented me, congratulated me, or still found some reasons to tease me in their disgrace, all of them shocked and surprised that little Dale had come in first, I walked around holding my aching side, trying my best not to vomit.
After that day, I went back to being the last runner, huffing and puffing and hurting, but no more did anyone tease me or put me down, on the track at least.
Sometimes we just have to defend our own dignity. It needn't be a permanent change; it can take only a moment to set things right. I've known, ever since that day, that regardless of pain or frequent failure, if I had to...I could.
And it's a good thing to know.
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