Gym Class: Not for Nerds

My least favorite class was always gym class. I never liked penmanship much either, but gym was far worse. Especially for a nerdy kid like me, gym was an hour a day of the jocks taking over. It was prime-time for bullies. But here’s the sad part. I really think I could have benefited from a proper physical education. But sadly, gym class just wasn’t designed for kids like me.

Haven for Bullies

Bullies flocked to my gym class. I found it worse than recess or lunch in that regard. I think it’s a combination of three things. First off, I was on their turf. As a studious, nerdy kid, the classroom felt like my territory. But P.E. was home of the jobs. Now not all jocks were bullies, and certainly not all bullies were jocks, but there was a lot of overlap. But not only that, I think that all of the adrenaline really amped the bullies up. Finally, my ineptitude at anything exercise-related made me an easy target. This caused a vicious cycle that reinforced the negative atmosphere.

P.E. Teachers

I don’t blame any of my gym teachers. I had quite a few, having moved around a lot. Though interestingly enough, I don’t remember any of their names. I do remember them all being sympathetic to my plight. For the most part, they gym stood up for me when they caught other kids bullying me. But at the end of the day, they had 30+ kids to chase around, so I never really got the individualized attention I needed.

Gym Class for Nerds

Looking back on it, I think that I really could have benefited from learning how to exercise. What would have been best for me would have been 1-on-1 attention, but realistically, I know that out public schools can’t afford to pay for personal trainers for each and every student. Still, I sometimes wish there was some sort of “Gym Class for Nerds.” Maybe they could have included it as part of the “Gifted & Talented” program. In any case, I’m not an education or kinesiology expert, but I really think there could have been a better way to instill in me the benefits of exercise.

What was your experience with gym class growing up. Did you find it helpful, or were your experiences like mine? Let me know your story in the comment section.

Steve Lovelace

Steve Lovelace is a writer, photographer and graphic artist. After graduating Michigan State University in 2004, he taught Spanish in Samoa before moving to Dallas, Texas. He blogs every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at http://steve-lovelace.com.

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