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Blood Wall Trilogy Part I

Chapter 1: Exactly What It Says On the Tin

At my old gym, we had something called a blood wall. And before you ask, no, that is not a metaphor, nor is it an Academy Award-winning slasher movie.

It was, disgustingly enough, exactly what it sounded like. You see, some people have scrapbooks with commemorative photos. Students have yearbooks, so they will always remember and be remembered by their classmates. The girls gymnastics team? We had a flipping blood wall.

The tradition was started before my time, by an older teammate who had left for college just before I left the compulsory levels. How she ever came up with the idea, I’m not quite sure. Ran out of red paint in art class and decided to take matters into her own hands? Watched a Saw movie marathon? Some things are better off a mystery.

Anyway, the premise of the blood wall was unhealthily simple: whenever you got a cut, before wrapping it up with a band-aid, try to write your name on the wall with the blood. That is, most wrote their names. Others were more creative; I had a friend that had taken two blood blisters and a random cut to complete a (disturbingly) cute sketch of a cartoon cow. And as an embarrassingly accident prone pre-teen, I was always the first in line to doodle.

Blood Cow

In retrospect, the whole thing was a terrible, completely unhygienic idea. But despite knowing that, I can’t stop a small smile from forming on my face whenever I think my friends’ painted names and half-finished doodles made from the proof of our dedication to such a crazy sport. And though the wall is now painted a pristine white, I can’t help but be a little proud that there is, quite literally, still a bit of me left in the gym.

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