Through all of the memories of school, one thing really remains consistent in my mind.
My absolute, pure and undiluted hatred for gym class.
I do not recall ever enjoying a single gym class. And it wasn’t cuz I was the fatty fat who nobody picked to be on their team. No, it was just because I hated it. If there’s one thing people learn about me quickly, it’s that I know what I hate and I hate it wholeheartedly. The next thing they figure out is that I don’t hide my emotions very well. At all. Sometimes it gets me in trouble, but that’s another post for another time.
And now, a timeline of my gym-related hatred (imagine me doing that finger wiggling thing from Wayne’s World, as I transport you into the past):
My first memory goes so far back that I do not actually have anything to rely on but my first grade report card. It states IN WRITING and I quote, “Sometimes Talea refuses to participate in gym class. She sits down and when I ask her why, she simply shrugs her shoulders and says, ‘I don’t know.'” End quote.
I do not even remember doing that, but holy shit am I ever proud of myself! What kind of five year old has those kind of balls? Hell no, I won’t play your stupid gym games! Ha!
Grade 3. We were just entering the Volleyball unit. If I had to pick a sport in this world that I hate the absolute most, volleyball would come out on top with no hesitation at all. Gym was the first period of the day I remember, and every day for three weeks, I told my teacher I didn’t feel well. She’d feel my forehead and it’d be hot (cuz it always is) and then she’d let me sit out. She asked me why my parents always sent me to school if I felt so sick all the time. I played dumb. I’m surprised my parents didn’t get in trouble.
Grade 4: We were playing stupid dodgeball and I got hit. Mostly cuz I wasn’t trying. Whatever. So as I ran across the middle to go stand in the loser section at the back, this kid named Al tripped me. I fell and sprained my wrist. I couldn’t write for weeks, which was a total downer for a goody two shoes like me who loved school.
Grade 6: This was the year we had to start changing for gym class. Apparently we were growing up and starting to develop ‘body odour’ amongst other things. I remember one day going into the change room, taking off my t-shirt and being horrified to discover I’d forgotten to take off my pyjama shirt earlier that morning. I’d just thrown on my baggy, late-90s style shirt on over top of it. It was embarassing. I know, that has nothing to do with gym really, but I think it’s funny.
I’m tired of giving specific memories, so the timeline shall stop in Grade 6. But I’ll continue talking about my general attitudes in gym class.
I mentioned earlier that I wasn’t the fat kid who got picked last, which is true. No, I got picked last cuz all my classmates knew damn well how much I hated gym. I was totally that bitch who would stand there on the volleyball court and as the ball came right to me, I’d stand there and watch it hit the ground. I’d stand out in left field during baseball and totally let the ball fly by me, forcing the centre fielder to go get it. I’m sort of a stubborn mule about stuff I hate. Nobody wanted me on their team, cuz I was basically dead weight. I accepted that and was not offended at all. I was pleased with my reputation as the worst person to have on your team. I’d stand right on the dividing line in dodgeball and stand there with my arms wide open, totally willing to be hit so that I could just stop playing. Team player, right here!
I got into countless arguments with teachers about gym. I’d argue that the Board of EDUCATION should not care about my physical well being. I did ballet outside of school and was in very good shape, couldn’t I go read or something while these other fools practiced line dancing? They never bought it. But I did manage to waste 5 minutes of class time.
Just as much as I hated gym and the useless sports we were forced to play, I hated the kids who loved gym class. These fucking losers were probably the biggest reasons I hated gym class. They seemed to think that the 55 minutes of games were life and death.
They’d SCREAM at me when I’d just look at the ball fall beside me, as though I was a quadraplegic.
They’d grunt when they hit the hockey puck or jumped to score a basket or whipped the ball at someone’s head. Who grunts?! Animals and jerks, that’s who.
They’d try and tell their teammates what to do, like this was the freaking Superbowl and they really needed their team to focus and have a plan. It’s fucking Grade 3 soccer! Cripes! Calm down!!!
In high school (grade 9 and 10, once you hit grade 11, gym was no longer mandatory!!!) we had to do fitness testing four times a year. This involved weight lifting, flexibility, push ups, sit ups, and the dreaded ‘fitness run’. The fitness run was HELL. It was running 12 laps around the double gym as fast as you fucking could and you got scored on your time. It was AWFUL. They would run half of the girls first, then the other half second. This one girl who was always in my class….we’ll call her Robyn (haha, that was totally her real name), was a gym Nazi. As I was stumbling around the corner during one fitness run, she came barrelling up behind me and screamed “MOVE!!!!” and then elbowed me out of the way, so that she could really take the turn nice and tight around the stupid pilons. Bitch! It’s a gym test! Shit! I’d hate to imagine how she dealt with actual obstacles in her life.
In conclusion, the last gym class I ever took in grade 10 was one of the greatest moments of my life. I ran around like a maniac, waving my shoes around like a fool and slammed them into the garbage can victoriously, while my teacher watched in awe.
She told me she’d never met someone who hated gym so much. It was the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me.