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A few of my comments on Blogspot blogs went through last week. This week, none of them are going through even if I switch browsers. I will keep trying, but that is why I’m not commenting on some sites.
Physical education class was where I was first seriously introduced to playing sports as is probably also true for many other folks. Every year we played football, basketball, volleyball, and baseball as the seasons turned. Sometimes the teacher would mix things up a little by having us play hockey or kickball indoors or play tennis or run around the track outside when the weather was nice.
While there are people out there who learned to love those sports and exercise in general through their experiences in gym class, I was not one of them. I wasn’t a naturally athletic kid or teen, and competition squelches my interest in exercise instead of encouraging it.
I’m sorry to say that I loathed every single one of these sports. Other than tossing a baseball around with my oldest nephew a few times, I have steadfastly and purposefully avoided even the slightest whiff of all of them as an adult.
The sports I like generally have a few things in common:
1) It’s easy to participate in them non-competitively,
2) They can be done alone or with a small group of people,
3) They do not involve pain, balls, or running. (I sustained numerous injuries in gym class over the years. Even though they were minor things like sprains or bruises, having so many of them happen year after year gave me what seems to be a lifelong aversion to sports that involve these things).
4) You can do them at your own pace and with modifications if certain moves hurt or if I can’t yet do them.
So, for example, I love swimming, nature walks, yoga, bicycling, light hiking*, dancing, and weightlifting. I used to love canoeing, too, although I haven’t done it since I was a kid. Rollerskating is also fun if I’m on a smooth surface, am wearing appropriate safety gear, and can move at my own pace.
*e.g. I’ll explore a trail for an hour or two (or much longer than that if the weather is mild and the terrain is fairly flat), but then I want to go home, rest my feet, drink lots of water, and maybe eat a banana.
Basically, I don’t mind pushing myself in reasonable ways to see how my body reacts, but I never want to wake up the next day too sore or bruised to function.
If any gym teachers end up reading this, I hope contemporary gym classes are much more useful, practical, and encouraging than the ones I had. The idea of teaching kids to get into the habit of exercising early in life is a great one, but that class was useless for me at best.