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Demosthenes's avatar

Did you enjoy or hate "gym class" (P.E.) in school?

Asked by Demosthenes (15059points) February 11th, 2020
28 responses
“Great Question” (3points)

Was it something you dreaded and found humiliating? Or did you relish the chance to do something active and athletic in school? Do you think it’s important for schools to have physical education?

I was a small kid, short and skinny and smaller than almost all of my fellow guys for much of my childhood. In my case, the problem was what people expected of me (nothing, weakness) vs. what I could offer (I was stronger and more adept than I appeared). So I often felt insecure in the locker room (no showering, thankfully) and I felt that people expected me to be bad at every sport or activity, but I enjoyed myself during the games we played as long as other kids weren’t being too aggressive and physical with me (and some often were).

So I have mixed feelings about it. I didn’t like it much, but I didn’t hate it either. I do think it’s important for schools to have P.E. But I was glad when I joined the track team in freshman year and was able to get out of P.E. that way.

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Zaku's avatar

I enjoyed lower school PE under a nice, joyful, clever, creative Welsh PE teacher.

I disliked most PE classes after that, because they were taught by rule/authority/evaluation-oriented critical and not-so-clever people whose mindsets I found alien, offensive and annoying. They also wanted/required us to shower together, go swimming at the YMCA and try to breathe underwater even when it wasn’t working, had us jog around in the frost and rain, and focused on performance and physical exertion and sports I wasn’t very interested or entertained by. And they’d get aggressive if you displayed a negative “attitude” about it.

I was happy enough to do the fun bits, but not interested in being treated like I’d signed up for some ridiculous authority/subjugation relationship.

filmfann's avatar

I wasn’t a fast runner, but I could run long distances without exhaustion. When I did finally tire, it was a sudden collapse.
What I didn’t know was this was because of a heart defect.
Because of my slowness over short distances, I didn’t achieve better fitness levels (the school promoted those who were in better condition by getting different colored gym shorts.)
It was demeaning to still wear gray shorts, when most other classmen were in blue or gold.

Inspired_2write's avatar

Our PE was mostly outdoor activities like team sports
( Baseball/softball,volleyball,Badminton,running around the Gym for warm ups,dance classes in Jazz,Square dancing,Running around the field again warm up, Provincial try outs etc).

Always team sports to teach us to operate as a team in a group competing on a much larger stage.
In High School learned that it wasn’t whether we won in a team sport but team spirit was the goal.
It was better than sitting in class all day, nice break up of activity was welcomed.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

School wasn’t a good time for me at all,I wasn’t good at team sports of any kind I do and did quite well at one on one sports, like down hill skiing , off road dirt biking, golf,trap shooting .
Never chased girls in school, that started in my twenties, in my teen years I was totally in love with my dirt bike I would spend even minute I could blasting the hills.

Zaku's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 Canadian gym class has girl chasing?

SQUEEKY2's avatar

LOL I knew that would get attention, for the most part we did have co-ed PE.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

I was lucky enough to go to private school, where there weren’t any P.E. classes. I’ve heard plenty of horror stories from people who had to endure bullying gym teachers and group showers.

janbb's avatar

Certainly wasn’t my favorite subject. Penguins are not good at playing baseball!

gondwanalon's avatar

I enjoyed it OK when it was finished.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Loved, loved loved PE.

JLeslie's avatar

Mixed feelings. I loved some of it, and hated others. In elementary I loved running under the parachute, doing gymnastics, and climbing ropes. In jr. high I didn’t like having to change clothes, and didn’t like running a mile around a track (I never could do it, and I still can’t) and we played various sports like football, softball, tennis, field hockey, soccer, I only liked the tennis. We also did square dancing, and weight training, I liked those enough. We had to go through the physical testing like how many sit-ups how many pull-ups.

I think it was good I was kind of forced to play some of the team sports. I didn’t like it, but I learned the rules of the game, and that’s been useful. I also was better at some things than I would have thought.

As soon as I did the required amount of PE I stopped taking it as an elective. I was very glad I didn’t have to take it every year.

seawulf575's avatar

Looking back, I think it brings a lot of humor to mind. My 1st grade gym teacher was an overweight woman that smoked during class. When I think about that, it is so absurd it just makes me laugh.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I have a classmate named Paula, who finally was inducted into our high schools athletic hall of fame 2 years ago. She was an amazing athlete. We all gathered at a football game at our old HS to celebrate. Even our old PE teacher / coach came! I have a picture somewhere of us all. It’s a horrible picture of me, though.

janbb's avatar

@Dutchess_III Are you free associating?

Dutchess_III's avatar

What? This is a thread about PE. It’s a picture of our PE coach, 40 years later. She called all the volleyball girls around for a picture. I hung back, not feeling like I belonged. I was not as good as they were. I played JV. Then Ms Pharis told me to get down there and I was tickled pink.

ucme's avatar

Absolutely loved it, couldn’t wait for those lessons to come around.
Always been the sporty type

chyna's avatar

I loved it. I was on the track team, softball team and volleyball team.
I loved doing the balance beam and archery.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I could do without most sports. I was not a jock.I like art.
When it came to hockey, soccer and swimming though, I loved it and was pretty good.
Baseball was and still is one of the most boring sports ever for me and I was bad at it. real bad.
I wish we would have had things like fencing and weight training.
When I was about 12, we had a break in the day and a very sports-minded girl challenged me to an arm wrestle.
I put her down very quickly.She didn’t love that
After that, I had to arm wrestle every single kid in my class.I beat them all until I got to the last two. Mario & Joe, the biggest boys in my class. They beat me.
Then again, I was tired from the 28 previous matches.Lol
I learned that some people can’t handle being beat by a girl. :)

Dutchess_III's avatar

I did track too @chyna. High jump was my sport.

chyna's avatar

My legs were too short for the high jump!

Sagacious's avatar

Loved it!! The last three years of high school I spent three full periods in the gym….my own gym class and two classes as a gym assistant (in place of my study hall and half study/lunch periods). The only thing I didn’t like was the spring term when we played softball everyday. I loved everything we did in the gym, especially basketball. I called girls basketball for a while and enjoyed it. I liked the track stuff. I was on the tumbling team and it was fun beyond words.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

@chyna…I had long long legs. In 7th grade one girl said “You make it look so easy!”
Surprised, I said “It is!”

In HS though, I got frustrated because at practice the guys started at the height where the girls left off. >_<

Patty_Melt's avatar

I liked it, except for softball. Eventually we discovered the fact that I kept getting hit in the face wasn’t clumsiness. I have a severe astigmatism. That wrecks a person’s depth perception.
If I could have ever connected the bat to a ball, I’m sure it would have gone very far.
Oh, and the ball would too.

Dutchess_III's avatar

^^^ LOL! Yeah, when you have severe astigmatism, and you lost one of your contacts and you try to live with just one contact in, you can’t shoot pool for shit!

Loved softball too. In 6th grade we were playing once. I was the pitcher for this one game. Batter whacked the ball and I just stepped to the side and caught it with one hand, barehanded.

jca2's avatar

I didn’t mine it when I was in elementary school and middle school, I didn’t mind it. In high school, nobody wanted to do it, especially because we had to change and everyone was into their clothes. I wasn’t into clothes so much, but nobody wanted to deal with lockers and messing up their hair and stuff. So we learned that if you say you have your period, you could get out of gym. We all had our periods a few weeks a month, LOL, and then the other times we would say we forgot our sneakers.

nightwolf5's avatar

Sadly I hated PE and found it on the humiliating side. However, I was excused from a lot of it because of my heart health and disability I have, with school Dr’s note. My heart would have pain and race dangerously if I did too much fast exercise stuff. And I was very prematurely born and had late development. Once in a while I did a few P.E. Things here and there. Nothing big though, depended what it was. No, I didn’t have to shower for the small things I did. I could, but wasn’t made too. I’d feel pretty uncomfortable in the open showers with my male classmates. Now as an adult using the public pool and showering there in the locker room doesn’t bother me. It’s just kids can tease and be mean, and they were to me.

Patty_Melt's avatar

I’m sorry you had to suffer from the mean kids.
I was a very small girl, so I faced the usual taunts of shrimp, shorty and such blindingly amusing nicknames. It wasn’t until high school though, that I faced the ongoing true meanness of a certain pack of girls. Pack is a word that suits them. They were just like coyotes. They would find prey and obsess over that poor creature until it died out of pure frustration. They had no manners. They were scrappy. I had never seen girls of well off parents who were such mean little whores. They weren’t the snooty entitled type. They treated me like an enemy, as if going to sleep without defeating me would be dangerous. It seemed they were constantly in need of knowing where I was, and making sure I was hurt.

So, I know how people like that can suffocate decent people. Sending you a ((hug)).

Demosthenes's avatar

@Patty_Melt I think my personality helped me from being bullied worse than I could’ve been. I could be mouthy and bratty (guess I haven’t changed much) and if someone said something to me I didn’t like, I’d get them back with a rude comeback (having taller, bigger friends to insulate me helped). I think in that sense I was compensating for being small.

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