Gym Class is Water Boarding for Nerds
By Lauren Huffman
I would wake up in sweats but that's only if I actually fell asleep. My stomach would be in knots. I couldn't concentrate. I dreaded everything. The moment we had to get in line. The moment the teacher would lead us down the hall. The moment we walked through the door and into... The Gymnasium.
What would be waiting for us could only be described as S&M for PG audiences. Rope ladders we were forced to climb. Balls we were forced to dodge. Bars we had to pull ourselves up and over. AKA torture. A torture chamber for children. How are schools allowed to do this?
I have not had an athletic bone in my body since the day I was born. And it felt like I was the only one. Seemingly, everyone around me was on the fast track to Olympic stardom, glowing in their post work out sweats. While I awkwardly stood on the sidelines, also sweating. But my sweat was from nerves awaiting my turn to do whatever physical crap we had to do. And I was only six!
It never got easier. Throughout elementary, junior high and high school, gym class always gave me the same ominous dread. But nothing was as bad as my senior year of high school.
I was accidentally put in the advanced gym class with star athletes. I am talking actual athletes who could run four-minute miles, who could hit home runs, who could bench-press two of me. Ugh...
It was terrible. I would be forced to play football and soccer. And I would always bring the team down. I could not stand the class. It was first period. The worst start to my day possible.
Each day, my alarm would go off and immediately I’d start to feel the nerves rumbling in my stomach. By the time I got out of the shower, my stomach was in full butterfly mode.
I would arrive to school and put on my gym clothes. And as the class started I would count down the minutes until it was over and I could get to the next period. Trigonometry. Yes, I would look forward to trigonometry, that’s how bad gym class was to me.
On September 11, 2001, toward the end of gym class, our teacher told us to sit down on the grass and stretch. He proceeded to explain that the day that would go down in history.
As the day went on and things got worse, I realized how precious life is. And the anxiety I felt toward gym class was silly and wasteful.
So, I got a doctor’s note and was placed in remedial gym class for the rest of the year due to my asthma.
And I never had to feel crappy about being a slow runner again.