In my neighbourhood, everyone knew me as “the girl who plays football with boys”. Yes, I was the only girl in the all-boy football team at my school. People always asked me what it was like to compete in sports with boys. I always told them that if they just gave girls a chance, they’d learn girls can do almost everything boys can do.
Our team practised five days a week, so I spent most of my free time with the boys. Although we talked a lot about our favourite football teams and players, I didn’t really share anything else with them. The only boy I was kind of close to was Johnson. He was my neighbour and our mums were friends. However, there were things about me that he didn’t know. Deep “girl stuff” he wouldn’t have understood.
One day, we were practising for a match against a rival team. In the middle of the afternoon, Johnson walked over to me and whispered, “Tamuno, you’re stained.” I was horrified. I had been so focused on preparing for the match that I forgot to check my period calendar. I ran to the changing room, but I didn’t have a pad or an extra set of clothes. I was in serious trouble. Next thing, my classmate Olivia appeared with a packet of pads and a pair of shorts. Johnson had given her the things and sent her to help me out.
When I finally got the courage to return to the field, I was so sure Johnson and the other boys would make fun of me. To my surprise, all they asked was, “Are you ready to play some ball?” It was then I realised there was nothing to tease me about because periods are normal. I smiled and said, “I’m ready to win!” And just like, we continued practising like nothing ever happened.
During timeout, I thanked Johnson for having my back. He shrugged and said it was no big deal. After that, I never got embarrassed about my period again, and neither should you.
Remember, periods are totally normal. They’re nothing to be embarrassed about no matter who or where you are.
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