Monday, June 6, 2011

And Now For Something Completely Different: Gym!

I love writing. I'm sort of sick about writing about writing, though. Today's blog is an escape of sorts, remembering that wonderful tradition of youth: Gym Class.

Gym didn't start for me until I was in third grade. I was born in Arizona, and at the time Tucson didn't have gym class in my elementary school. We moved to Pennsylvania, and I was faced with a completely unexpected requirement: I had to wear sneakers every Wednesday (actually, at the time they were called  "tennis shoes") and I had to play games. Games involving balls. With a teacher who really was called : Mr. Licer. LICER. With a crew cut.

So, here's the deal: I come from a family of academics. Mom grew up in Ireland, where she was classed as "Hopeless at Games." Dad grew up in England, where his most memorable contribution to sport was  blowing his nose really, really loud. (He did have one awe-inspiring trumpet.)

You can just imagine my performance, then, in gym class, especially after getting thrown into the mix all of a sudden. Last one picked? Moi. Shouts of, "Hey, Whassamarrer, y'afraid of  the ball?"

Well, yes, of course I'm afraid of the ball. That ball hurts, especially when it smacks into my face during the time honored torture device known as  Dodge Ball. You'd have to be an idiot not to be afraid of the  ball. In fact, I pity you for not skipping  out of the way should any ball approach, as I have since learned to do.

Pus, could you do something about the SMELL, for crying out loud? A little freshener, hello?!

I'd love to say that Mr. Miyagi came along and made me an athlete, but the opposite occurred. Things grew worse. In high school, I was introduced to the wonders of the machine know as The Gym Suit. We had the new, improved version: an all in one shirt and shorts combo done up in really attractive polyester.

Let's go back for a second as I repeat "all in one combo." That, of course, makes for loads of fun whilst visiting the powder room. There's a reason why catsuits have never become fashion de  rigeur, you know.

And then there were the gym tests, during which we all had to do complete sit ups and, according to most chiropractors, ruined our backs for all eternity.

My daughter now loves gym. They play Pirates and Sharks, and Squirrels'  Hospital, and all kinds of cool stuff. The kids run around and get exercise, which is fantastic. I'm all for that. Just not for that Dodge Ball business.


Johanna Garth said...

Love this post!

-from a fellow dodgeball hater :)

Catherine Stine said...

I loved volleyball, trampoline and indoor badminton. But I could never manage to climb the ropes. Argh!

Kara said...

I hated dodge ball too! Vicious. Just vicious. But I was really good at climbing the ropes to the ceiling. Just hated anything with a ball. And I do remember those all in one gym suits - solid blue shorts on the bottom connected to blue and white striped tshirt top. Hey, go Henderson, eh?

Teresa Cypher said...

lol! I relate on so many levels! I still live in PA, and I do recall the danged polyester all in ones, circa 1973. Ours had solid gold shorts (did not make us look a bit like the dancers;-) and an oh-so-trendy striped, short-sleeved, attached top in a matching gold and white. not very rugged for the USMC constructed obstacle course we had behind the football field (we really did have one and we really did have to use it as part of our gym class), but did manage to make each of us gals look equally dowdy, oafish, and ungraceful, when we had dance instructions as part of our gym program. My first dance with a a harvest gold and white all in one :-)

Alison DeLuca said...

Yay! Kindred spirits!