Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Gym Class

Continuing the competitive theme that I've been working to weave into my narrative this week, I figured I'd share some insightful tidbits from my high school gym classes.

I used to pride myself on being the fastest runner in my class, as long as you excluded anyone who was on a sports team, and especially anyone on the track team.

I was the girl who insisted on playing football and field hockey with the guy's team. (What, you never had a sexist gym teacher that insisted on separating the boys and the girls? I loved it because girls typically stand around in gym class trying to avoid mussing their hair). Oh, I wasn't good at sports, but it was much more fun with the guys. I might have cheated somewhat though. Being that I've always been a twig of a human being, I suspect the guys might have gone easy on me and avoided the body checks that hockey can lend itself to when you're fighting for control of the puck.

During one unit of swimming class, I had a gym teacher who insisted that every person start the class by jumping off the diving board. You might not know this, but I don't swim - or float - very well. Luckily, after a quick conversation with the teacher, I got to the root of this rule - he didn't want students trying to keep their hair dry all period - and I made a compromise whereby I would go to the shallow end of the pool and dunk my head under the water while everyone else showed off their amazing ability to float on the scary end of the pool.

My high school designated Tuesdays and Thursdays as cardio days. That meant that instead of having normal gym class, there were a bunch of different activities you could do for the period, such as running around the track, basketball, tennis when the weather was nice, rock climbing - really whatever sports they felt like setting up for that day. The basic premise was based on how many laps you ran during the official 12 minute run at the start of the semester - if you ran enough laps, you didn't have to do the cardio activity and could do another sport. If you didn't run enough laps, Tuesdays and Thursdays sucked.

I enjoyed running alright, even though I wasn't great at it, but through a series of events that, to be honest, I can't even remember how they got started, my friends and I campaigned to have DDR added as a cardio day event. The gym teacher coordinator even looked into getting some actual machines, but as you might guess, those were out for budgetary reasons. So he got some of the hard mats you can buy online and set up a time for a demonstration. Because I have such amazing DDR skillz, I got taken out of my 5th period class to go down to the gym and demonstrate DDR for faculty from both my school and others in the district.

It didn't make me nervous. This is what spending my weekends in the arcade had prepared me for - showing off for large groups of people who think I'm doing something awesome but don't actually know that there are so many people who are so much better than me.

But I enjoyed every moment of it. It was one of those rare times when I got  to show off a "skill" I had worked so hard on in a situation that I never thought would occur. I kept grinning like a happy maniac the entire time. Just relating that story puts a smile on my face - and a twitch into my feet.

Well, now I want to dance!

Just kidding. DDR is not dancing. But I'd still like to play a round.

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