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A Bigger Uniform for a Bigger JP
|Later that first week of band camp, we were all herded into the chorus room to get fitted for our uniforms. First, we were made to try on the uniform we had worn the previous year and if any alterations had to be made, they were recorded and new uniforms were issued. I had not grown much over the past year, so I was given the same jacket and the mother told me to just rehem the pants to make them the inch longer. However, JP's turn with his old uniform turned out to be a fiasco. I couldnít help overhearing the conversation between him and the band mom. She made him try the pants on first. Since he had grown about three inches, his pants only went down to just above his ankles. "My word," the mom remarked, "youíve been stretching your legs all summer." She looked up at him and he shrugged, flashing a cute, boyish smile. "Weíll have to up you a few sizes." Next the mom had him try out his uniform jacket from the year before. He slipped it over his shoulders and tugged at it to get it to close. It wouldnít. Instead, it just hung wide open. He looked up from the jacket and said to the mom in a sweet voice, "Uh, Mrs. Morgan." She turned around from the clothes rack and gave a little "tsk,tsk." "You boys and your growth spurts." She said. "I guess weíll have to issue you a new jacket, too." JP simply shrugged again. "Try this size." They exchanged jackets and JP pulled the larger one on. This one seemed to be a better fit, but when he attempted to zipper it up, it wouldnít go higher than his breastbone. The mom tried, too, but she couldnít do much better. "It seems to be a little tight in the chest area," she said a little less singly. "In the shoulders, too," chimed JP. "What did your mother feed you this summer?" The third jacketís size, however, finally agreed with JPís body. The mom, wiping her brow, said, "Iíve never had so much trouble with a fitting like that." Later, I went over to him. I had to comment on the whole ordeal. "So what did your mom feed you this summer?" I know, it was corny, but it was the only opening line I could think of at the time. "What? Oh, yeah," he answered back, suddenly remembering what I was referring to. "That was kinda funny, wasnít it." "Yeah," I went on more confidently now that the ice was broken. I had been a little nervous about talking to him since the beginning of band camp. "The look on Mrs. Morganís face was priceless." "Obviously, I worked out a little bit this summer, gotten a little bit bigger." The sudden jump to the topic I was hoping to talk about startled me slightly. "Iíve been using my brotherís weight bench at home." "Oh yeah, you told me about that last year," I exclaimed, feigning vague recollection. "Well," JP continued, "weíve added a few more pieces of equipment down there since Iíve started working out." I gulped. This kid really was going to be a monster someday. "Have I met your brother?" I asked, not wanting JP to think I was dwelling on him too much. "No, Ryanís a senior on the wrestling team. Been using the bench for years. But my parents never would expand the gym because they didnít think he was serious enough about it." I was relieved that he was so open to this. I guess he figured he knew me well enough. "But when I became interested in wrestling and started going downstairs and working out every night," he went on, "they knew I was serious. Of course Ryan was a little jealous, but heís going to college next year and they have a great weight room where he wants to go." He smirked. "Besides, one of my goals in life is to beat my brother up someday. I figure I might as well get a head start." My heart skipped a beat. "How big is your brother?" I asked. "I thinkÖ" he searched the air, "about 6 foot 1, 170 pounds. Heíll probably quit wrestling in college and then Iíll start catching up." My heart skipped another beat. "And you-" "122 pounds," JP interrupted, more than ready to rattle off his latest stats. "Iíve gained almost 20 pounds in the last yearÖand most of it was muscle." "Thatís pretty good," I said, trying to be nonchalant. "Pretty good?" he said, his face brightening. "Thatís great. At the rate Iím going, Iíll be Ryanís size by senior year." I could only shake my head. "I'm on my way!" he assured me. "Check it out!" JP pulled up his left shirt sleeve, raised his forearm and flexed his bicep. His bicep was considerably larger than it was only six months ago! It was bulging out of his arm, an arm that was now packed with a thin layer of well-defined muscle. Plus, there was a vein that ran down over his bicep. He really was working out! And imagine, he was only starting to go into his growth spurt. |
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