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November 15, 2006



I have a congenital heart condition and I was never allowed to participate in P.E. classes. So, I never had to worry about the dressing, undressing and showering that all of my friends complained about.

Haven Rich

Why is it you'll find more female coaches that enjoy the private life with another woman then you will the ones with a husband and ten kids lol. Of all my coaches only one was married with children. The others were just as sweet as could be, but no matter how much you didn't care, there'd be someone who would try to start ugly rumors about the coaches "looking at them oddly".

Anyhow, to the topic. I hated P.E., I've never been good at sports and never saw the purpose of running around the track like a dog chasing it's tail. I want a purpose when I do something and most of those things, to me, had no purpose. Like I was going to grow another foot taller and become a basketball player. I did play tennis for awhile...as my best friend and I decided it was the class with the least amount of work. It was true haha. When you watch tennis you see those heavy hitters..we had a few of those, but for the most part our class was more like golf club leisure type tennis lol, the type were you don't even break a sweat.

Anyhow, when I was a freshman in highschool I found out I was preggers so I got to walk around instead of actually do anything. But after I had my daughter, it was back to the group...yucks. We had one girl that every time she would do sit-ups she'd well umm pass gas. Needless to say, I felt so sorry for her. As we were all forced to be in a circle, almost toes touching.

Over-all, the worst moment for me, was while I was preggers. We had a sub and everyone was doing as they were suppose to, doing forward rolls down the mats and the teacher asked why I wasn't doing anything. And then told me that if I refused she'd leave a nasty note. I told her go ahead because I wasn't doing it. She never game me time to explain..baby in belly doesn't agree with forward rolls. Well she yelled at me, nearly bring me to tears, to get into line and I did. Then one of the more bullyish girls yelled at her and said that if I miscarried she's hunt her down haha. I'm not a in-your-face type person..so I didn't fight with the teacher. Anyhow, the teacher then looked at me with this stupid look and I simply said "yeah, I'm pregnant". She then told me to sit down and didn't look at me for the rest of the hour. Not only was I embarrassed because of the teacher yelling at me and me being overly emotional, but the way she gave me that "your an alien or freak of nature" look killed me. I went home and cried to my mom.

Another time, shortly after having my daughter, the teacher wanted me to go swimming. In a heavily chlorined pool, with umm stitches down yonder. I refused and she said if I didn't she'd fail me. So I was like whatever. Went home, told my mom...needless to say, I got an A after my mom threatened to sue the school. My mom is a scary person when dealing with teachers and school folks.

Now days, I work my fingers. That's about it.

Julie Anne Long

That's rough, Christie! What did you do when all the other kids were in the P.E. class? Did you feel like you were missing out? I bet some of your classmates envied you sitting it out. :)


I didn't love or loathe my P.E. classes. Most of my P.E. teachers in middle and high school were pretty nice. I've never been an athletic person, so I didn't excel in P.E., but I wasn't hopelessly uncoordinated either. I don't really exercise now. I'd like to start working out, but I'm lazy and unmotivated when it comes to exercising. I do try to walk instead of take the bus if I can.

Julie, have you ever seen the TV show "Freaks and Geeks"? It wasn't on for more than one season. Your blog about P.E. class reminded me of a couple of episodes from that show. If you've never seen the show, you should check it out on DVD. One episode featured a memorable dodge ball scene.

Julie Anne Long

Haven, re P.E. coaches—oy!! Sounds like you've had a few experiences!! Good for your mom for coming to your defense. And...well, the coaches I had in high school weren't that bad. Even Coach I with his "Sweat, you heifers!" was more amusing than sadistic. He was a long-suffering, basically nice guy. And re the woman P.E. coach and my Geometry teacher—that rumor was rather substantiated when we saw the two of them arrive together one morning on the Harley. LOL. Both were very nice women, and my Geometry teacher had a dry wit that I really appreciated. But a couple of my Junior High coaches were pretty awful. They seemed to take pleasure in watching kids double over and gag for breath after running around the field—sometimes they'd send us around again just for laughs. My personal trainer has since taught me that fitness doesn't necessarily require you to run until you feel like throwing up. LOL. Getting your heart rate up for a sustained amount of time will do the trick.

Ah, Diana, you were lucky. LOL. Oh, to do OK in P.E. class. What's P.E. like for kids these days, does anyone know? I mean, it's hard enough for teachers to be creative, I realize, but I keep thinking they could have made exercising so much more fun and interesting, rather than the torturous chore it was, and we would probably all be much more naturally into it today. I like running on my trampoline and listening to music, for instance—the carrot-and-stick for me is wanting to hear the next song and the next, so I keep running. I also like running up a few nearby steep hills (San Francisco is almost completely made out of hills) because my reward is an incredible view of the whole city and the bay. Other stuff—roller blading, hiking, etc., tennis, is kind of fun, too. Dancing around my office. LOL. That sort of thing. I think the trick for me is to get my mind engaged, too. (I know a number of people who might argue that it would do me some good to shut my mind *off* for a moment or two, however. LOL.)

And I haven't seen that Freaks & Geeks episode!! Dodge Ball. Oh man. What a barbaric sport. LOL. Imagine giving kids carte blanche to throw things ON PURPOSE at each other. I did love those rubber playground balls, though. (Huh. Suddenly I'm in the mood to play Four Square.) It's experienced a resurgence in popularity here in the city among grown people, actually. Dodge Ball has. I'll have to add that to my DVD list. :)


When I was a teaching assistant at an all-girls school, the kids in Lower School LOVED P.E. I was really impressed by the different sports, activities, and games that the kids participated in. The teacher made P.E. fun for the students. I wish my P.E. days were like that.

The hills of SF definitely count as a workout. I live in a hilly neighborhood and try to take advantage of that fact.

I didn't know dodgeball had made a comeback. I know there are adult kickball teams/leagues. I think it's more a social than athletic thing, though. I used to LOVE Four Square in elementary school.

Kathy K

I was never fond of PE; I'm not an athletic person at all and of my 5 brothers and sisters, the three immediately after me were all very active. I was the one that stayed home and read...still pretty much the same.

As for PE in school; the teachers were all okay, it was when they had "team sports" and left the selections up to the more active "team leaders"...gads it was depressing and I absolutey HATED it. Needless to say I was always one of the last, if not the last, chosen ~ even for something as innocuous as Red Rover. I think that's probably the most barbaric thing a teacher can ever do to a child; leave their being part of a team up to other kids. *shudder*

But I do like to swim and I'm GOOD at it, too. As good as, or better than, my siblings ~ which is saying a lot.

And I don't, really don't get enough activity in my days, never mind exercise. But I've always enjoyed going for walks and even in the winter it's okay, as long as I've got my toque and mittens on! LoL

Kathy ^.^

Julie Anne Long

Oh, good, Diana! I'm glad *some* kids *somewhere* are enjoying P.E. LOL. Perhaps they've made some improvements in education over the years. Actually, I walked by an elementary school the other and a bunch of little kids were out in the yard having P.E., and they were playing Red Light/Green Light (their teacher was calling out the commands). It looked like a blast. I totally wanted to play. LOL.

Yeah, San Francisco is a cardio city, for sure. As long as I live here, I should have decent calves. :) And maybe we can bring Four Square back!! LOL. I got one of those red rubber balls for Christmas one year, which was thrilling. I used to go down to school on the weekends and play wall ball (a sort of hand ball) with my friend Dana, because there was one fabulously tall wall perfect for it.

And Kathy, I'm noticing a trend here...I wonder if all bookworms are better at swimming than other sports?? I wonder what that's about? let's take a poll: who else here is better at swimming than other sports?? And I totally agree with you about letting kids choose teams. Talk about sadistic!! LOL. We used to line up randomly in a row, and the teacher would count us off, and the odd numbers would be one team and the evens the other. A slightly more merciful method.

Maybe you should get a trampoline, Kathy. LOL!

What kind of P.E. uniforms did you guys have?? I remember the boys had shirts they could turn inside out—blue on one side, goldenrod on the other. And big baggy white shorts. The girls were stuck with the above-mentioned polyester and stripes.

Kathy K

The swimming angle is cool; I never noticed that, but wouldn't that be something? I really wish that there was a lot more swimming in school...I'd have loved it!

I don't remember ever changing into other clothes for gym when we were in elementary school, but once you hit grade 7 then the dreaded locker rooms appeared. We didn't have uniforms, just shorts and a t-shirt and some sneakers. But man, I hated it; having to change made everything seem too 'sporty' for me and I wilted. In jr. high there was volleyball [not too bad], basketball [URK] and track-and-field [I want to disappear!] Then there was the co-ed dancing portion of the program...not only was I not thrilled with dance, I was very, very shy ~ and a nerd magnet. *sigh*
When I hit sr. high [grade 10], phys ed became an option ~ YES! someone up there liked me.

My youngest daughter is in grade 9 this year, the last year of junior high, and the school system has had to add 30 minutes a day of physical activity to each and every school day. But our school has added a weight-training element as well as various types of machines, etc. to the curriculum and have diversified the rest of the phys ed program so that there is something even for those who aren't as athletic. The jocks still have their sports and everyone has to participate to some degree, but there is something somewhere else for those who aren't into sports, team or otherwise. Schools seem to be finally figuring out that not all kids are the same ~ they don't all learn the same way and they don't all get the same enjoyment of the more traditional PE program. All I can say is "About time!"

But now I'm rambling, so I should probably just hang up my keyboard for now and go onto something different ~ dishes for instance.

Another terrific topic Julie; I love the diversity and being able to take trips down memory lane...even the not so pleasant ones, but it's always good to realize that everything that happened made me the person that I am today.

Okay, that's it...I'm gone ~ well, lurking anyway.

Have a great day!

Kathy ^.^


Well, I for one am NOT better at swimming than other sports because I don't know how to swim. I took lessons one summer when I was in high school, but I wasn't successful at learning how to swim.

My middle school P.E. uniform consisted of a blue and green T-shirt and blue shorts/sweats (school colors), and my high school P.E. uniform was a red and grayish-white T-shirt and red shorts/sweats (school colors again). I think the T-shirts may have been reversible.

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