A Donkey Walk

The school rugby games took place in the winter season. During that time every Saturday morning, under the sun or pouring rain, every school had rugby teams playing matches against one another.

Bugs and I together with our team mates, prepared ourselves body and mind and practiced very hard in order to tackle the games that lay ahead.

Three afternoons a week we practiced on the school rugby fields, where with the help of a coach we tried new tactics. Furthermore he made us do all kinds of exercises to strengthen our bodies. In particular we ran through an obstacle course which included running through a tunnel pushing tyres with our shoulders to get through to the other side. A heavy machine laden with big stones was pushed around the field to strengthen our leg muscles. This helped those of us who played in the scrum during the matches, because we could better confront our rivals and gain the ball first to pass down to our back line.

For another two days a week we practiced in a gym which was situated in the centre of town, where we mostly used weights. In that gym we were trained singularly by a coach and he sometimes made us do strange exercises that always had a very precise aim and we therefore did them very seriously, no matter how odd they seemed. In this way we usually got very good results.

During a winter, when half the rugby season had gone by, a new coach took over the gym. He was a young blond man, with a bored look stamped on his face.

This change made no significant changes. Bugs and I followed his instructions as we did before, with the same seriousness as always.

One day, unexpectedly, the coach chose Bugs and I to perform a new exercise that, after our performance, should have been done by the others

My part was to lean over and put my hands on my knees. Bugs had to take a run and jump on my back in a sitting position. Holding his legs with my hands I had to run slowly around the gym.

Bugs jumped on my back, I caught his legs and tried to go forward. It was not at all easy. The going got harder with every step, but nevertheless I managed to go around the gym till I reached the starting point, where I collapsed to the ground out of breath and with a terrible back ache.

While I was running around the gym, I noticed that the other athletes were looking at us, holding their hands over the mouths some were giggling and others were laughing out loud.

Bugs and I realized too late that the whole thing was a joke and that the only aim was to entertain the rest of the boys at our expense.

In the end even Bugs I laughed over the prank that had been played on us. Nevertheless we didn’t like it and that day for the first time we left the gym before the usual time.

We used to consider the coach as a serious person and I always thought that his instructions were to be followed without the need to suspect otherwise. This is why it was for me not very pleasant to be made a fool of for the entertainment of others, even if it was a mild joke without further consequences.

About Mauro

I am a scribbler of my far away memories. I am Italian and when I was little I landed up with my family in South Africa, where I remained until I was 22 years old. Then I came back to Italy, where I live. Writing life stories about myself and to share them with who desires to read them, helps me to tackle the hardships of life! [Read More]

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