Dec 20, 2015

How to Survive Gym Class

During the six years of Junior High and High School, I was in gym class every day -- that's about a thousand days.  And I still have no idea what it was for.

It was technically called "physical education, but it wasn't about how your body works, or how to stay in good physical condition.  It was about team sports.

But we never received any instruction in team sports: the various positions, how to keep score, strategies and game plans.  We were just trotted onto the field and told to divide into teams and play football (fall), basketball (winter) or baseball (spring).

The jocks who were already playing those sports liked the extra practice.  No one else did.  I have yet to meet a single non-jock who enjoyed gym class.  Some found it mind-numbingly dull; but most found it excruciating, a painful trauma that soured them on physical activity forever.

My friends and I soon discovered that getting through gym class alive required strategizing, cooperation, and a lot of luck.  Maybe that's what the class was meant to teach us.

1. How to avoid being called a "girl."

Jocks hate anything feminine; the worst possible insult is to "be a girl" or "be like a girl."

Pointing out that many girls are excellent athletes won't work.  So just turn it back on them.

 Suggest that their movements are similar to those a girl might make. They'll be so busy scrutinizing each other that they'll have no time for you.

2. How to avoid being called a "fairy."

The second worst possible insult is to "be a fairy," which in junior high meant any boy with feminine traits. So be a fairy!  Wiggle those hips, sashay out onto that field, and throw the ball with that downward limp-wrist motion.  After all that, pointing out that "You throw like a fairy" loses all of its power.

3. How to avoid a woeful ignorance of sports.

Claim expertise in a sport you'll play far in the future.  So, during football season, claim "Sure, I play football like a fairy, but wait until basketball season!"  Then, during basketball season, "Sure, I play basketball like a girl, but wait until baseball season!"

4. How to avoid being obliterated by a flying projectile

Stand far enough away so that no ball will be aimed at you, except through chance.  And if a ball does start careening toward you, run fast in the other direction.

This doesn't work with baseball, when you're supposed to actually hit the ball with your bat.

5. How to avoied being forced to play on a team.

This happened when the coach had two jocks decide who they wanted to play on their team -- your goal is not to be chosen. So your best bet is to pretend you can't tell one team from another.  If someone carrying a ball runs toward you, run fast in the other direction.  If someone hands you a ball, immediately hand it to the nearest person regardless of whether he's a shirt or a skin.

6. How to avoid being bellowed at by the coach.

Coaches like to pretend that you're a military recruits in boot camp, so they yell, bellow, humiliate, and force you to "Drop and give me twenty!"  But they are supposed to be teachers -- they have degrees in education.  They learned how to write lesson plans, lead classes, and give exams.  So remind the coach of his roots.  Ask, "Can you help me learn this move?" and "What books do you recommend on the game?"

But be careful -- he may snap "Don't get smart!  You know all about this sport, just like every other boy on Earth."

7.. How to avoid the soul-destroying boredom that is sports. 

Just look around.  The beefcake will give you enough erotic fantasies to easily fill the hour.

Of course, participants in the big three sports don't dress this way on the playing field, but just wait a little while, and it will be time for the showers.  The opportunity to watch hot jocks stripping down in the locker room almost makes gym class worthwhile.

See also: What is Gym Class For?