The Gluteus Maximus

1978, Portland, Jefferson High School

When I finished being president of the teachers union in 1976, I started teaching at Jefferson High School, School of Champions, School Of Pride, in the traditionally black part of town.


At that time Jefferson had a long lunch hour. It was an hour long. Long enough to go to the locker room, dress down, and run around the track. The track was just outside the north doors in a football stadium named after Hopkins Jenkins, the first principal at Jeff from when it opened in 1908 till he retired in 1940.


I had a copy of Bill Bowerman’s book, Jogging which advised a run/walk method he had learned in New Zealand. I used it at home where I lived close to the Adams High School track. I could do a nine minute mile with his technique.

In addition to this new idea about running there were new shoes to wear too. Adidas had started up and would later buy the Kaiser Hospital nearby on Greeley for their headquarters. They had a running shoe that made me feel like Mercury, if Mercury was over weight and ran/walked his was around the track.

My friends ran with me too. Gerry from counseling and Jack, a fellow math teacher. All of us and a couple more had time to get down to the boys’ locker room, dress down, run the track for a half hour, get dressed and back to our classrooms on the third floor in one hour. Later when the reduced the lunch hour to 40 minutes, we had to stop. We didn’t have enough time.

The track that went around the football field was a cinder track and would remain so until 2014 when Nike and others rebuilt the football stadium and installed a composition track.

So I’m out there, running, no, jogging around the track every noon. (I was still smoking then, so there was that too.) anyway, I felt the sciatic nerve giving me some pain in my right buttock. I ignored it, favoring my other hip, when my right Gluteus Maximus went into a knot. Damn.

The Gluteus Maximus is the largest muscle in your body. When it don’t feel good, you don’t feel good. I was off work for three weeks. The doctor had prescribed Darvon and muscle relaxers. I was depressed. And things were not getting better. I was getting tired of writing lesson plans for the sub to teach my chemistry and physics classes with.

Then I found Lilith, yoga and you, a tv program on the educational channel that taught stretching activities.,_Yoga_and_You

Me and Lilith had that gluteus stretched back into shape in a couple of days. Thank you Lilith.

It was shortly after that that I took up cycling (See Three Capes in my blog.)


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