Friday, October 8, 2010
At high school, I wanted to look cool and sophisticated, like Audrey Hepburn. But PE was my first class of the day. After PE I looked like someone who had fallen in a river after fishing all day and catching nothing: Dripping wet, worn out and pissed off.
Exercise: It makes you sweat. No way around it, especially in California, where I grew up. Playing tennis when it is ninety degrees is not fun, nor is it ever fun to run around a field three times. I hated basketball (I am 5 feet 3 inches), I hated soccer (my ankles are weak) and I hated swimming (except at the beach).
This is what PE does to a teenage girl:
1. Your make-up has melted because you were sweating, so you have to re-apply it. But you are hot and your face is still sweaty so your new make-up runs.
2. Your hair goes limp and stringy. It looks like crap all day.
3. You keep sweating after PE and stain your clothes and are embarrassed by it.
4. You know the boys have seen you in those horrible, blue, gym shorts and you feel like hiding until their memory fades. Even Sandra Dee wouldn't have looked good in those shorts.
And if you think being hot and sweaty made a girl look awful, you should try swimming. Your hair is RUINED for the day.
Swimming and PE:
In California, our school had two swimming pools. One was for laps, and the other was for diving so you could practice drowning. I well remember the two things I had to do to pass PE: Swim in place (can't remember what they call that) for 10 minutes and jump off the highest diving board. I couldn't make the 10 minutes and I refused to jump off the diving board.
I finally started hiding in the bathroom after rollcall. I failed PE that year, but I didn't care. When you loathe something with all your heart, it almost makes you proud when you can sneer at it and walk away.
I know I didn't have a good attitude, but hey, I was a teenager. And to tell the truth, I still feel mad about PE just writing about it.