When I was in high school, one of my least favourite classes was P.E. With siblings who were both the basketball stars of their high schools, teachers often assumed I'd follow in their footsteps. Nobody would've ever guessed that I was completely the opposite.
What they got was a be-speckled, book loving, artsy, klutzy choir and drama nerd who couldn't do a lay up if her life depended on it and was deathly afraid of the high jump in track.
Yes, I was the child who feigned illness to get out of PE. I hated it.
The irony is never lost on me these days as I am on the field, day after day, and I've learned, more than anything, that having a sense of humour and ability to laugh at myself now that I'm 40 has made me LOVE PE. Recently, our game of choice has been lacrosse. Despite the fact that it's Canada's national game, I've never played it until a few days ago and even at that, I've mostly watched or tried my hand at merely catching and throwing the ball.
Have you ever played lacrosse? Do you have any idea how freaking hard it is to get a bouncy rubber ball into some sort of basket thing, and keep it there while you run, while other people are gleefully smacking at you, trying to get that ball? Also, when you go to whip the thing back to launch that ball into the air, it might roll out of the basket to the ground and there you are, hacking at AIR while people laugh at you?
I've been great comic relief to the kids, I think. Especially if the grass is really wet and I'm afraid of slipping and possibly putting my back out.
Then there's also things like today, when I wasn't paying attention and a ball ricochetted off the gym wall and slammed into my shoulder. That's one cardinal rule of working in PE-pay attention, because you never know what may be flying your way.
"OUCH!" I yelped, rubbing the spot while it throbbed, frowning. "Gotta watch those balls."
Nearby, there was a giggle.
"You said 'balls!' "
Some things never change. Especially the humour of 15 year old boys.