To get a better idea of what Dodgeball (Bombardment) was like for a girl like me - watch this little Simpsons clip.
Gym Class. Also called Physical Education. Should be called Dante's 9 Circles of Hell.
I'm going to begin with a typical disclaimer that I like to do, because I really want to make it clear how much damage my little spirit suffered being an overdeveloped 10 year old chubba girl in elementary school. First part of the disclaimer: this is a humor blog, please don't get all up in my grill about how important movement is for kids...blah blah blah. This is about exorcising MY demons, not exercising the world's children. Capish? Second of all, I don't want to know how great YOU were at any of these things. If you really feel like bragging about the fact that you got top numbers in all of your tests and your BMI was effing perfect at 10 years old, then go start your own blog. I ROCKED THE HOUSE IN PE, BUT I SUCK IN LIFE. Truly, however, I tell you all of this from a place of love. If we're good, and you promise you won't judge me (but you certainly have my permission to laugh), then read on. Otherwise, go to another story of mine in peace and good tidings.
Gym class terrorized me. I was a 32D in 5th grade; a joke that Mother Nature played on me for no apparent reason other than to start character building at age 10. As if being a 5th grader with a moustache and hairy legs wasn't enough of a cross to bear, throw in boobs and butt and watch me roll. I hated gym class with a passion. I certainly wasn't the sportsy type - not with my frame anyways. My gym teachers shook their head when they saw me, and I am pretty sure they gave up on me from day one.
I was, of course, picked last for any team sports. And why not? I can understand this. Unless there was a sport that caught a ball with the side of your face, I was useless. Which brings me to my first circle of hell.
Dodgeball - I had to know who the sick bastard was that created this game. I did some research, and this is what I discovered.
So easy, even the damn cavemen could do it.It is estimated that Dodgeball started back in the Caveman Era. Where cavemen, frustrated by the sun in their eyes, hurled rocks at the sun. When they came down, some caveman would be killed while others learned to "dodge" the rocks. This carried over into the Egyptian era to where they pharaoh would hold weekly "Dodgeball tournaments". Slowly but surely it evolved into what dodgeball is today.
The closest I ever came to being as cool as Marcia Brady, was the day I was pummeled in the face by a Dodgeball, making my Greek nose even bigger, and giving the boys one more joke to tease me with. Needless to say, that was the last time anyone wanted me on their team. I had the 'cheese touch,' 'cooties,' and no one wanted to be 'stuck with it.'
Kickball - Is kickball any better? No...it is not. Picture me, up to kick. Everyone is rolling their eyes just hoping it will be a quick and painless out so they can continue the game with real contenders. I step back, take a running start to the ball - but the ball goes through my legs as I try to kick, causing me to trip and fall. I just saunter to the back of the line, shrugging my sloppy shoulders and let someone else take a turn.
Volleyball - What is it with all of these high-speed, intense, ball smashing, cheek pummeling games in this country? Once again, no matter what position they put me in, I was either going to eat an elbow of a real contender plowing into me to save the ball, or I was going to completely miss the ball and hit myself with my arms entwined into the other. I can recall the sheer terror of the ball coming at me full blast and me flailing around trying to hit it off of any limb, any body part, anything. Fail.
The Presidential Fitness Test - Who's idea was this? I think it was Reagan's back in the 80s. I remember thinking ohhh this is important and I better do well or I am going to be in so much trouble with the President! At ten years old, the mere label of Presidential was intimidating. I didn't know what was going to happen with the results. Poor me. I remember trying desperately to push out a few crunches while my PE Teacher held my feet and counted. The only thing I managed to push out was a toot. Humiliating. Do you see why I need therapy? I failed the test miserably. I fell below the recommended level of fitness by no one's surprise. I believe instead of taking an award home, I took a form letter home from the President regarding the importance of Nutrition and Physical Fitness. My mom read the letter as she melted 4 sticks of butter while preparing our big fat Greek dinner.
Rope Climbing - There are few memories that haunt me more than walking into the gymnasium and seeing the bright blue mats underneath the hanging rope of terror. Son-of-a biscuit. They're going to make me climb that effing rope again. Sure enough, everyone, or most everyone made it more than half way up. Almost all of the boys made it to the top to ring the victory bell. No matter what, we had to stay on and try as long as we could, or plunge to our social death on the blue mat of shame. I always told myself this time I was going to do it! Only to find myself holding on for dear life, swinging back and forth like a pendulum and getting rope rash on my sideburns.
Trampoline Day - I know, I know you are shaking your head and yelling - how could she NOT enjoy trampoline day???? I get it. Don't you think I wanted to jump on that thing and giggle like all of the other kids?? Of course I did. But someone in my class decided that for every girl that went up for a turn, the boys would look under the trampoline and measure the distance from the ground to determine what a fat ass said girl really was. Since 90% of the other girls were twigs, they had a ball when it was my turn to go up. My excitement quickly turned to shame as the boys looked under the bouncy contraption from hell at how close I came from hitting the ground and breaking the record of biggest lardo to hit the trampoline. I hate that gym teacher more than you can know for not putting a stop to that.
Gymnastics Day - This is the day that they brought all of the spectacular gymnastics equipment into school. They brought the uneven bars, high balance beams, the pommel horse and lots of colored mats. I didn't take gymnastics, or ballet for that matter. I wasn't really built like Nadia Comaneci so it wasn't worth the money to try and make me fit into a leotard. The only thing she and I had in common was a difficult spelled name and facial hair. When it came time to do anything, my gym teacher put me at the low balance beam. You know, the one that is 2 inches off the ground. She had me walk like a tightrope walker back and forth while others flipped their way around the uneven bars. That was enough to ruin me from ever watching the Winter Olympics again.
|Nothing makes you feel like an Olympic gymnast quite like this low beam. Eyeroll. Thanks for the shot of confidence, teach!|
Scooter and Rope Day - Anyone remember these little torture devices?
Parachute Day - I don't know. I guess I really can't find a beef with Parachute Day. But I'm sure it was traumatizing in some way, shape or form. Perhaps I've put it out of my mind, for now. It'll come back to me eventually.
|source: the chive|
Track & Field Day - Oh ho hooooo, I saved the best for last. Here's the day when I gave up on anything physical ever. They stuck the fork in me, exercise-wise when they sent me over to do shot put and discus with the other big girls. Wow. It was so cruel what they did. I have to say, however, I put my Dolly Parton chest into catapulting that effing solid ball of hate as far as I could, praying I would knock my gym teacher in her stupid head. I missed. But I got 3rd place out of 5 girls. It wasn't last. For once.
That's it for this session of my therapy. I feel better letting some of that pain go. I think I might even go for a run. Or not. Maybe I'll just go grab some nachos and a beer. Regardless. My 32D rack got me a lot farther in life than that gym teacher could ever hope for. So to her I say - take your scooter, and your rope - and ...well...just ...whatever.
~Big words from a Bighearted girl..
Love and Hugs-