Learning to love the HUP.

All my life I’ve been told to keep quiet and not draw attention to myself. This was many adult’s helpful advice to save me from bullying. Since my autistic brothers draw a LOT of attention without meaning to, I was told to be quiet and keep my head down so I wouldn’t be noticed.

While this advice was given with the best of intentions, being the fat girl with disabled brothers and divorced parents was always going to get a lot of negative attention from her peers (and even adults).

I was always going to get that attention. I realise now I should have just accepted that and done my own thing anyway.

I remember playing passball for sports carnivals. My sports teachers would tell me to grunt loudly to throw the ball to make me pass better.

I could barely make a whimper. I wasn’t used to making a fool of myself.

Even though I was now the odd one out because I wasn’t grunting, I couldn’t make myself do it.

It just wasn’t in my nature to draw attention to myself.

I just wanted to be invisible.

But like many girls will know there isn’t enough slouching and shapeless black clothes in the world to make you invisible. If people want to hurt you- your appearance is enough ammo for them.

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When I started attending Body Attack classes, the instructors would call us athletes. The instructors were there to cheer us on. And, like it first seemed to me, to make idiots of ourselves.

Running around and clapping your hands, yelling “HUP, HUP, HUP” as you kick your legs, joining in on a silly dance move- I couldn’t that in a group full of people that I didn’t know.

Body attack can be quite an intimidating class anyway as it’s high intensity and is usually full of people who have been attending these classes for years. So they know all the routines. They never seem to put a foot out of place.

They could HUP but I wouldn’t.

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This girl never HUPPED a day in her life. But she’s still trying.

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After a while, I noticed how I was turning into one of those people who knew all of the routines. A large part of it was acting without thinking. If you overthink it, you miss the opportunity to do an awesome burpee and tuck jump combo.

Those intimidating people were kind. They’d come up to me at the end of the class and tell me that they had to do a double take as I was looking so different or that they could see how much effort I was putting into my high knees. Even a smile and a high five. It’s not much but it meant so much to me.

It meant I was accepted.

I could start HUPPing as I kicked my legs. Quietly at first then shouting louder and louder until I was the loudest one in the class.

So learn to love the HUP. It might look and sound silly but some people might think you’re silly anyway. And you’ll never know that you don’t like HUPing if you don’t try.

 

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A regular HUPPer. HUP HUP HUP!

 

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