During elementary school, I enjoyed gym class most of the time. Anytime athletic skill was not a requirement, I had fun. There was lots of fun in fifth grade when we learned to dance the German polka and several folk dances. The injury risk was low and no athletic competence was necessary, so Phys Ed was good. On days when throwing a ball or running fast was required, gym class stunk!
Once I was a seventh grader, we had to wear gym suits and get undressed in front of the other girls in class. This was the turning point for me. As a shy person, this was difficult, and as a fashion statement, well, this was simply fashion murder. See for yourselves.
In high school, I used my contact lenses to get excused from gym class. I would “lose” them, so we would all have to stop and look, thereby gloriously disrupting class for everyone. I was a hero for others like me. Once I “found” my contact (which was nothing more than popping it out and presenting it to my teacher), I had to go to the nurse to reinsert it, which sadly consumed the remaining class time.
During the gymnastics rotation, I had to resort to more drastic measures. I did not have the skill of Aunt El or Jamie when it came to flips, cartwheels and the uneven parallel bars, so I needed to be excused for the entire marking period until we moved to the dance rotation.
Before I explain my strategy, you must understand that I really, really hated gymnastics. I feared it would result in permanent bodily damage, or at least everlasting humiliation. It was not a smart plan, I know, but I had no choice. I know you will be rollling your eyes and thinking I was a wacko, but in that moment, it made sense.
Aunt Ar was like me. She said, “the only athletic ability I had was to wear that uniform and white socks. Otherwise I wouldn’t have passed gym.” It was clearly a genetic problem.
We had this square exercise thingy with wheels at home which I enlisted in my master plan. It looked like this:
I put it in the middle of our bedroom, turned off the lights, and then ran across the room. My hope was that I would trip over it and break something thereby getting me out of gym class for the marking period. Sadly my plan failed, and thankfully, for Aunt Ar and Aunt El, they escaped unscathed.
So I somehow survived junior high and high school gym class. During college, I chose badminton and tennis as my Phys Ed electives. When we moved to South Carolina, I was briefly on a traveling tennis team, and now I play bad golf. That’s it. Now you know. Don’t laugh!