Outside the Cage #7 – Old SchoolBy
I had finished my first week of high school and I had managed to avoid it. I’m not sure if it was because I had stay out of the washrooms after hearing some advice from an older guy that I knew at the school or if it simply was a case of good luck. I expected that some form of initiation ritual, a not so warm welcoming into grade nine would be forced upon me sometime soon, I just didn’t know when, where, or how it would happen. The many stories I had heard throughout the last week about the embarrassing thing they made the new kids due didn’t help to calm my nerves as I went about my daily routine.
One Monday morning I was sure it was about to happen, but it didn’t. On three or four other occasions I braced myself for it as a few kids around me were victims. One kid was ducked taped to a wall while another had to push a penny across the floor using only his nose. Luckily I was spared on that day too.
I really didn’t know why I had been so lucky to avoid any initiation until one day an older student, who was probably in grade eleven or twelve stopped to ask me a question.
“Is your dad Rick Joslin?” he asked me.
“Yes” I replied with some nervousness in my voice.
He nodded and walked away leaving me standing there as I took in what had just happened.
I then realized that many of the older guys in the school must have known my father or known of him. I came to the conclusion that it was the reason I hadn’t been initiated during the last few weeks. The one thing that kept me from singing solo in the cafeteria, having my head flushed in the toilet or from being forced to perform other embarrassing acts in front of many other students. All of the sudden my Dad seemed like the coolest guy in the world.
I also remember a time, halfway through high school, when I got into a fight in the cafeteria. The other guy and I went toe to toe in the middle of a huge crowd of kids until several teachers broke it up. The normal procedure was to suspend both students after something like that, but I wasn’t suspended. The guy I had fought admitted to the principal that he had started the fight that day. I always wondered if the principal didn’t want my father to come in and question why his son was suspended for defending himself. Anyone who knows my dad knows that it would have been an entertaining meeting to watch if it had happened.
It was great growing up with a kickboxing champion as a father, but it was that fight during high school which reignited my interest for martial arts and showed me that I would have to stand up for myself from time to time. I’ve trained my ass off since that day and am thankful that I get to do this all for a living. Hopefully my son can experience the same benefits that I did from having a martial artist for a father.