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A friend and I once had a long discussion online about how gym class was most likely a creation by Satan himself. He was bored so he sent down the fattest, laziest demons to earth; he instructed them to create a class where the demons could sit around watching as students prance around in circles.

No. Really. My freshman year we had the dreaded fitness Mondays (or possibly worse… “Fitness Tuesdays” on those occasions when Monday fell on a holiday or Snow Day. Tuesday was the day that my only friends in the class had lab for science. I had to suffer alone). Fitness Mondays involved the gym teachers coming up with more ways to torture us. They sat in their chairs as we literallypranced around the room.

I’ve NEVER liked gym class. I tried to get out of running laps around my elementary school gymnasium by using the inserts in my feet as an excuse. My gym teacher told me that she had inserts too, and that I needed to start running.

Things got worse over time. I have no coordination whatsoever, and I’ve never been very flexible. Everything from playing games/sports to simple warm-up exercises tortured me. I hated those physical fitness tests we had to take. The sit and reach test may have been the worst of them all. I have long legs, so I’m already at a disadvantage. I can’t recall ever being able to even reach the very end of the board.

Gym class was probably the main source of a lot of harassment at school. Not being good at sports meant I never ever got picked first… heck, I was usually in the group where the teacher just divided us up near the end (or worse… made us pick where we wanted to go; I had to figure out who would hate me on their team the least). Gym class also just happened to be the class I met the girl who threatened me in sixth grade. Coincidence? No way!

The only part of gym class I ever even remotely enjoyed was being able to walk around the track. In middle school we were given the choice to walk or play whatever game the rest of the class played. I, and a few others, picked the first option. (We found out later that we would only get half-credit for walking, but I’d still probably make the same choice). Freshman year, after I met one of my best friends, Alex, walking the track became part of our planning time. We made plots for world domination, distributing countries and cities among us and our two other friends (although they only got places like Antarctica and small nameless deserted island, so the distribution wasn’t exactly even.)

So why am I talking about one of the worst inventions of all-time?

I went to a class at the gym today. It was an Aqua Fit class. I actually somewhat enjoyed it.

Maybe it was because in water nobody could see how uncoordinated I am.

Maybe it was because (with the exception of maybe two or three others) everyone in the class was old enough to be my parent… or grandparent…. or great-grandparent (kind of like Weight Watchers!)

My terrible experience in gym class kind of ruined a lot of things for me. Even in places like church with friends, I’ve always been afraid to participate in group activities. Playing volleyball with a new church group a couple weeks ago was ahuge deal for me.

So, going to a class at the gym was even bigger. I survived, and I’ll probably go back, if not Saturday then on Monday.

Public school gym class however?

My opinions haven’t changed on that one.