The Turn.

 

Piglet, as he is known by everybody that he knows at school, has always been fairly mediocre at sports. There is always the usual sporty types, who everyone like Piglet refer to as the jocks, these guys seemingly having the monopoly of the school teams and they do not seem to have to try anywhere near as hard as the rest of the class. It would seem that they just had a natural flair for anything to do with games and sport, almost as if they were born with these types of activity in their genes.

Piglet is very average in just about every way. His real name is Karl, but the affectionate nickname had stuck a few years ago, funnily enough made up by somebody else with the nickname of Mouse and it has now become a permanent moniker. Probably his most prominent feature is his belly (possibly helping the nickname), not huge by any means, but rather accentuated by the fact of the rest of his body being somewhat skinny. For instance somebody asked him one day how his legs could hold the rest of him up and pipe cleaners coming out of his sleeves was somewhat of a favourite too. It did not bother him though, sticks and stones and all that, just meant that they were all leaving some other poor sap alone that probably wouldn’t be able to take it.

The throwing of a discus has something of an art to it and Piglet finds totally to his amazement that he has an affinity for this event to some degree, from the very first moment that the P.E. teacher shows the class how to do the turn. Even the usual prima donnas and sports jocks just cannot seem to get the hang of it, even if they do have the monopoly of all the other sports, which in turn usually endears them as favourites of the teacher, even though favouritism is supposedly not encouraged (yeah right, say just about all the high school kids in the country!). They and the rest of the class are falling and tripping all over their own feet, ending up in untidy heaps on the ground, their discuses somewhere in the middle of the melee.  Not Piglet though.

He starts at the back of the cinder circle, standing still, where he swings both arms around his body, straight, in about three-quarters the circumference of his body. On the backward arc the hand with the discus turns palm upwards, as a discus is not actually held rigidly but kept loosely in place by curled fingertips and this swinging motion. If the hand does not turn palm upwards then the discus will just fall to the floor. After three or four swings in this fashion, the turn of the body commences, right foot first, through a quarter spin about a third of the way across the throwing circle. The next half turn takes him about half way across the circle where he now finds himself facing away from the launch area as the last half turn propels him to the front of the throwing circle, ending up on his right leg, this spin making his discus arm extend through the turn to release the discus in an upward trajectory of about forty-five degrees straight out in front of him into the throwing area. The discus launches on its flight to the quite amazing distance that he realises he can throw it with the aid of this turn, which to him is amazing as he has beaten the tapes three times running in previous classes and this throw looks like backing those up as not being flukes..

As the discus flies and soars into the air like a miniature UFO, there is a momentary silence from the rest of the class and the only noise that Piglet is aware of is the really animated and excited shouting of the teacher.

“That’s it! Just like that! That’s how you throw the discus. The rest of you watch this lad!”

Piglet could feel himself swelling with pride as he walks to retrieve his discus, knowing that for once in games that everyone will be watching him as he produces his next throw. It does not even bother him for once that the teacher still does not know his name and still refers to him as “lad” after three years.

 

 

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