KSWI Post Wednesday Blogger Guest Something

September 29, 2010

I have been talking about dreams a lot recently. I had a dream last night that involved someone I went to high school with. Nothing amazing happened in the dream except we seemed like great friends and were making each other laugh while walking through New York City on LSD. To clarify, it was not us who were taking LSD. New York City was the culprit. We were talking with clarity and speed and wit, which I doubt one can do on LSD. Meanwhile, the City itself was all different colors and morphing and what not. Buildings transforming and turning to liquid – the usual.

It is probably not impossible to talk with the quick clever speech while freaking out on LSD, but it is probably impossible.

Anyway, when I woke up I started thinking about school and my mind wandered to gym class. I never thought the band Gym Class Heroes was anything special – they had two or three songs that I liked, but they were no Black Eyed Peas if you know what I mean. I have always loved that name though – Gym Class Heroes. It is very accurate. I have known many gym class heroes who showed an elite level of athleticism in that period of school, but were reluctant to do so on any team or social setting outside of school.

My two least favorite activities in all of school took place in gym class:

– the mile run

– roller skating

I have always hated homework, but homework is at home so it doesn’t count. But within the confines of the school itself, the two most loathed tasks set for me to accomplish were “the mile run” and “roller skating”.

THE MILE RUN

The mile run haunted me all years of my elementary and middle school. I believe we also had to do the mile run in high school, but definitely not every year. Maybe once. In elementary school, it was every year and we ran around the soccer field. Yes! In America we have soccer fields! For a country that people think hates soccer – we play an ass ton of it. From 1st through 5th grade at George Washington Elementary School, we ran the soccer field. Technically, that field was also set up for football as well, but no one played football on it. Regardless, we ran around it I think 7 times. I can’t remember.

And if it took you longer than 12 minutes then you failed and had to do it again.

I wanted to highlight that so I removed it from the paragraph. But yes, if your 9 year old legs and cardio were not good enough to complete a 12 minute mile then you had to do it again. What a shit punishment! I couldn’t think of a worse punishment that is legal. I mean you suck at running the mile already and you did it, you actually accomplished, and now because you didn’t do it good enough you have to do it again. Damn you, gym teacher! Damn you!

I won’t name names, but let’s just say my gym teacher was a woman, had shorter hair than I do now, drew her eye brows on with a pencil, smoked cigarettes by the carton, wore a windbreaker track suit everyday and didn’t seem too fond of kids. That was elementary school.

In Middle school (6th through 8th), at Theodore Roosevelt Intermediate School we ran the mile around the school. I believe it was 2 laps or 2 and a half laps around the school. The school were two large buildings connected by a 2nd floor enclosed walkway bridge, a baseball field, a parking lot and some woods. I cannot imagine my class was the only class to do this, but kids cheated like crazy on the middle school mile runs.

The runner was supposed to run the perimeter of the school. There was a sidewalk perimeter for most of it, but even if there wasn’t the school grounds was one big square, so if you just stuck to the edge and didn’t run in the street then everything would be fine. Kids, on the other hand, would cheat in and run on the grass and not run to the corners of the square and instead cut through those corners running the hypotenuse. The worst cheating were the kids who arrogantly ran through the woods. That was quite the move. One could easily be caught popping out of the woods instead of running around them. I’m pretty sure the teacher would notice the difference there.

I’m pretty sure we had to redo the mile run one year because kids were posting insane numbers on the mile – like state and national records. The kids were cutting off like a third of the run and clearly making no bones about it. From then on the gym teacher would pace the class. Kids put up more modest numbers that time.

There were many middle school gym teachers, but there was only one that really stuck. He was the military type who had never served in the military, flat top buzz cut, cocky attitude, in good shape, kind of an asshole, carried a gun in his car, his car being a Camaro, and he once chased a purse snatcher who was on a bike while he was on foot for over about a mile and then tackled the guy off the bike when he pulled into a parking lot making a citizen’s arrest.

High school – I think we just ran the track. I think we only did it once. No real memories of running the mile in high school.

ROLLER SKATING

I was never good at roller skating or roller blading. At one time, I was adequate at roller blading. There was a slew of roller blading/skating parties and one had to learn to participate. I think it was for a month or so, I learned how to roller blade. But it never really stuck and the fad was over. Nevertheless, we still had to roller skate in school. I’m not sure why we had to roller skate in gym class, but we did. Learning to roller blade and learning to roller skate on roller skates that pre-date the Jimmy Carter administration are two very different scenarios.

The skates themselves were canvas and were four wheels loosely attached to the bottom of the skate. It wasn’t spontaneous combustion – it was more like spontaneous catastrophe as kids skated all of a sudden someone would fall or lose control and it was a car wreck. I remember one semester a series of kids got really hurt. It was like a plague hit the school because twisted ankles, broken bones in the legs, really horrible bruising et cetera was running rampant on these kids.

At some point, I decided to make a stand. I am a human being and as a human being my health and welfare needs not only to be looked out for by myself, but it doesn’t need to be put into jeopardy by others. I made a stand and said that I was not going to roller skate. I had seen kids get hurt, I sucked at roller skating, I knew the likelihood of myself getting hurt and I said enough was enough it was time for a change. I talked to someone in the office – principal, vice principal or someone and after some arguing – I won out.

I instead went to the library and had to write a research paper.

All true. I was good, even a gym class hero at points, at other “sports” in school – but not the mile run and not roller skating. Anybody up for a game of “speedball” or “deck hockey” or “team handball” or “dodgeball/Indian pin”?

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6 Responses to “KSWI Post Wednesday Blogger Guest Something”

  1. Lala said

    I hated gym class. They would always make me play something that I suck at, like soccer or volleyball.
    In high school it was a little better because I would say I was playing basketball and then I disappeared until the end of the class. The teacher was really really slow, it was like she was high all the time.

  2. susanelle said

    I love to play sports but I am no friggin good at them. In my head, I’ve got it and I’m great but apparently there’s a huge disconnect between body and brain in my case.

    My first attempt at roller-skating made everyone at the roller rink wet their pants. I knew how to ice-skate and had been doing it since 3 years old. So I apply my ice-skating skills to roller-skates. Should be the same, right?

    Wrong. You can’t push off with the front of the roller-skate. Those are little wheels, not a little ice-pick. This will not work even if you try it 50 times.

    I was so injured by roller-skating. The floor of a roller-rink: much harder than ice.

    I don’t hold it against roller-skating, though.

  3. We had to run the mile every year from 6th grade on. It was part of the Presidential Fitness Test, which our school claimed everyone in New Jersey was required to do. I now see that is a filthy lie, as you clearly weren’t. The Test also included a shuttle run, sit ups, pull ups, and I think push ups. You were just supposed to do as many of those as you could. The mile, you had to try to complete under 15 mins. If you couldn’t, then you just got a 15 min time. Whoever scored the best on everything got some sort of signed certificate from the President. If memory serves me, a certain gentleman who went on to become a UFC fighter usually received high honors for the boys. Wonder if he held onto the Bush-signed certificate…

    Rollerskating? That’s a weird gym class… We usually went with soccer, volleyball, flag football, tennis, aerobics shit, softball, etc. Otherwise known as “normal stuff”. Though in 6th grade, we dedicated several hours of gym to learning to square dance. Then they forced us out into the woods in the middle of the winter on team building weekends, which then culminated with a dance where we would be forced to show off our freshly honed square dancing skills. White people be crazy.

    • kt said

      I had to do that fitness test in school too. I have never in my whole entire life done a pull up. Even when I was like 7-8 years old. I have like absolutely no upper body strength.

  4. kt said

    I like Gym Class Heroes much better than the Black Eyed Peas. I have two of GCH’s albums on my ipod, but no BEP. I kinda hate “Travie” now though. Mostly because he decided he was now Travie instead of Travis. Dude you are like 30… adding -ie to your name sounds like a little kid, and who infantilizes their name at 30? (firefox doesn’t know the word infanitlizes)

    I hated baseball because I have a horrible swing and could never hit the ball. One time in 7th grade my gym teacher made everyone stay after class until I hit the ball. Everyone was mad at me. It was traumatizing. However, I was always really good at other sports. I played soccer on a winning team for 4 years where I played forward and defender. It was awesome being a forward because I was at least 5 inches taller than all the other girls at that age and the opposing players were afraid of me. I could slowly jog down the field and no one would come near me. I also rocked at kickball and I was decent at flag football. Except one time I wore a dress to school and was playing flag football with my friends (who were 90% boys at that age) after school and I fell and flipped head over heels and flashed everyone my panties. I never wore a dress to school after that.

    In high school I had an awesome coach who let me sit out of all the regular gym class stuff if I went to the weight room and worked out with the football players. By the end of the semester I could bench press 190lbs. I probably could barely bench that 45 lbs. bar now.

  5. AmyAlmost said

    They made us swim laps instead of compulsory running but I live in a pretty sporty state so I was often the only one who opted not to run. We called fields ‘the oval’ and my primary (elementary) school had magpie nests at the back of the oval. One spring we watched a classmate nearly lose his ear to a magpie, the teacher just stood and called for the crying, bleeding kid to come back instead of attempting a rescue. Everything in this country tries to kill you.

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