March 9, 2011

March 9, 2011

Gym the Future

In an attempt to prove that the South really will rise again, Virginian legislators have introduced a bill requiring 150 minutes of physical education for students each week. Other legislators have argued against the bill, citing cost and the importance of, y’know, actual subjects.

Here’s another good reason: EVERYBODY HATES GYM.

(Disclaimer: I was a fat kid. I was a really fat kid. I hated gym, I hated exercise, I hated all time outside under the blinding sun. I still have an aversion to summer because you can take the fat out of the kid, but you can’t take the fat kid out of the adult. Or something.)

I’m not talking about recess, when you played hopscotch or kickball or “LET’S RUN IN CIRCLES YAYAYAYAYAY” with your friends. I’m talking about organized, instructor-led time that required you to do things like the following:

- Climb a giant rope
- Square dance
- Walk a balance beam
- Dodge balls BEING THROWN AT YOUR FREAKING FACE WITHOUT REGARD TO THE FACT THAT YOU ARE WEARING GLASSES

As you may suspect, I was required to do all of these things at various points during my gym class career, and I loathed every minute of them. In fact, I’m convinced one particularly hard fall on the balance beam set me on the path to various health issues related to [redacted for the sake of my male readers].

Oh, and despite all that, I was still fat. So you have public humiliation, injury, and fatness. These are the things that gym class did for me. It didn’t help my concentration or improve my coordination or any of the things I suspect pro-gym class people would cite.

I guess that 10% (5%, 1%, what-have-you) of the population who loved throwing basketballs and doing cartwheels is now ruling the Old Dominion’s statehouse. And suggesting thrice-weekly gym class. You know what’s going to help us beat China? NOT GYM. How about more time for reading, math, science, even art?

It’s not like we’re going to do-si-do Asia into submission.

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