I saw this on social media yesterday and immediately related to it:
And today I’m going to share three reasons why phys ed was something I disliked.
- The Presidential Fitness Test. Do y’all remember this? We had to climb a rope and hang from a bar and run a certain distance and . . . it was awful. It was 3rd or maybe 4th grade. I was a tall skinny kid (hard to believe now!) with very little upper body strength and I couldn’t hang from that stupid bar and I sure as hell couldn’t climb the rope. I can still remember trying to pull myself up on that rope and feeling like my ass was full of lead and dragging me back down to earth. It was humiliating. And everyone watched.
- I always worried about being picked for a team. I was never picked dead last but usually pretty close to it. I was popular, so that got me some boost, but I wasn’t athletic and my hand-eye coordination wasn’t great either. I’d stand there in the dwindling group, waiting to be chosen for a side, and feel myself getting more and more anxious that I’d be last. Humiliating, again.
- My high school had a pool and that meant we had swim class as one of our phys ed rotations. We all had to wear the same speedo bathing suit and they were colored by size. I had no boobs and those suits were awful unless you were built like a super model. There was hardly any time to shower, dry off, and get dressed so forget reapplying make up or doing your hair after class. None of that would bother me now but at 15 years old it was . . . here comes that word again . . . humiliating.
I read an article recently that showed a strong correlation between an individual’s experience in gym class and their feelings about exercise as an adult. I’m quite sure the humiliation I felt as a kid is the reason that I prefer to exercise alone rather than in a group setting. It’s eye opening (and sort of heartbreaking) to realize that this was all put in place before I really had a chance to learn for myself what I might enjoy doing. But I’m sort of hoping that naming it and airing it out will help me to release these feelings and start fresh.
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