Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I Know My Own Strength

For whatever reason, I was a total dunce at PE when I was in school.

I was a pretty solid A/B student except for math and PE, and as challenging as math was for me, I'd definitely pick it over PE.

PE really wasn't too bad until 7th or 8th grade...until then it was more like playing.

But in 7th grade our teacher instituted President Kennedy's Physical Fitness program and PE became a state of torture for me.

There was a thing called the 600-yard run/walk...and I and our class "fat kid" Tommy were always dead last. I remember panting, groaning, sweating...OK, there are other activities in which panting, groaning, and sweating can be fun but this was not one of them. It was humiliating.

I was searching the 600 yard run/walk on google the other day and found someone of my generation who also had to do it; he was a football player and said he had trouble with it, so I felt somewhat vindicated. But back then, definitely humiliating.

Then, in high school one of my PE teachers was also the basketball coach...she wanted to use the PE time to get in extra practice, so she told me if I would sit on the bench the entire class, she'd give me a B. So I did, and she did, and my parents actually paid money for me to go to this school.

As far as other sports, I had a horror of volleyball because I was afraid of getting hit in the mouth, or of my glasses breaking.

Volleyball became like a form of bullying to me. I felt absolutely hopeless and helpless when it came to catching a ball or hitting a ball. I actually kind of liked soccer but didn't have much chance to play.

In college, I took tennis. That wasn't so bad, because the summer between 8th and 9th grade I took private tennis lessons. I wasn't good in college, but at least I had some idea of what I was doing.

Ten years later when I returned to college to get my journalism degree, I had to take another PE class. I took folk dancing, and guess what--I never went and never dropped it. Only F I ever made in my entire life!

But somewhere into my 40s I decided I wanted to be an athlete as well as lose weight, and now I am doing it!

Steve practices catching with me and once he told me to focus on the object, hey...I can catch! I am pretty darn good. In fact, when we move to Chicago I am going to try out for the Cubs and take them to the World Series!

And I am pretty good at running, too. The first time my mother saw me running in our yard a few months ago, she asked Steve if it was me! Yes, it was and I love it. No more huffing and puffing, just a feeling of coming into my own skin.

I love feeling strong and empowered from running, from yoga, strength training, and even catching.

I wish I could have experienced this feeling when I was younger, but for whatever reason I didn't.

This is what I call growing old gracefully!

Next up--kickboxing...I wanna punch something!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment