Figuring out what I wanna be when I grow up.
Oop..I AM grown up...

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

No, Seriously: Exercise BLOWS

You know, I am not done yet talking about how much exercise sucks.  I have so much to say about this topic, that I had to keep gabbing about it.

Let's go back in time...way elementary school....

bbbbbbrrrrrrrrinnnng!  (that's the harp music/reminiscence sequence montage indicator sound)

Once upon a time, young karen liked gym class.

No, I don't feel like talking in third person.

Once upon a time, I LIKED gym class.  I was a little kid, with no hooters yet, and an emerging awareness of  B.O.  We didn't have a real "gym teacher."  Our homeroom teacher also took us to the gymnasium, so we could run around, and toss ancient bean bags (with that weird, old hand-sweat smell) at hoola hoops.  Or maybe we just got to PLAY with hoola hoops.  Or maybe we got to play with the skipping ropes!  Hooray for fun gym class!

Or maybe we got to play DODGE BALL, and I loved me some dodge-ball back in the day.  I could dodge that ball for hours, like a small, slightly pudgy, agile CHAMPION.  What I picture, when I think about early days of gym class, is a general, pleasant CHAOS, of kids being busy and having fun.

Once in a while gym would still suck, like, when they'd throw a 1/2 inch thick, flimsy foam matt on the floor and expect us all to climb the thirty foot rope to the gym ceiling.  As freaking if young karen could even pull  herself up a foot off the ground.  Remember those tiny maniac kids though, who had a ton of energy, and could shimmy up that thing like a PRIMATE???

Then, in grade 6, it all went down the toilet.  We had a MAN for gym, who was an actual GYM TEACHER, which probably means he sub-majored in PHYS-ED.  Those of you who just said; "yeah?  So?"  can LEAVE now.

The rest of you will understand that this all points to one thing:  NO SYMPATHY. So, we still played dodge-ball, but that wasn't good enough.  Stupid Mr. Achiever didn't like it if we just endlessly dodged that ball.  He decided we had to TRY to catch it.  My days of being a dodge ball star were over.

He also introduced us to something truly heinous:  GYMNASTICS.  To my friend Matt:  thank goodness for you.  You sucked at gymnastics as much as I did.

Then, there was the horror, every spring, of TRACK AND FIELD.  Wow, what a festival of shame that was!  I sucked at the long jump, the hop, skip and jump, and oh, I could still weep over the HIGH JUMP.
Good for you, kid!  GOOD FOR YOU!

I hit that bar, EVERY TIME.  I was so bad at it, Mr. Achiever actually pulled me aside and made me practice on my own as I recall now. I think I had to practice the technique without the bar for ages one time.  What a dick.

It got worse and worse.  One year, Mr. Achiever was my homeroom teacher.  He used to think it was a TREAT to go outside and play F*CKING BASEBALL instead of doing work.  When he'd say; "we're going to go out and play baseball today!" do you know what I felt?


I sucked at baseball.  Super dick teacher thought it would be more fair to the shittier kids to toss out the "3 strikes, you're out" rule, and instead play a "pitch till you hit the ball" game.

Imagine.  Just imagine swinging, and swinging, and swinging while all the other kids are in the outfield groaning and dying.  This is why I'll never be friends with this teacher on freaking Facebook.  This, and the numerous WAY OUT OF LINE tantrums he had on many of the students.

Hey!  Remember how male teachers used to FREAK OUT when you were in school?


But, something even worse popped up in the late 70's  and stayed till the early 90's:


I feel ill just thinking of it.

Here, I'll cut and paste some crap:

If you grew up and were in grade school or junior high in Canada between the 1970s and 1980s you might remember a thing called the Canada Fitness Test. All students had to take part in the fitness test. The six activities, to be performed in a strict and controlled manner, were imposed upon the school curriculums by the Canadian government.
The test events were gruelling, and sometimes extremely discouraging for the young participants and included exercises like the endurance run, push-ups, crunches, the standing long jump, and every Canadian kid's favorite, the flexed-arm hang. Now, while the ParticipAction movement was a good thing, some parts of this forced fitness testing were not liked by the children that had to perform them.

From: "Remember The Canada Fitness Test"

The MOTHERTRUCKING CANADA FITNESS TEST.  So, you had to do these different activities in order to get a badge:  bronze, silver, gold, SUPER AMAZING KID (actually called "The Award Of Excellence"), and the lame "thanks for coming out, trying, and sucking" badge.  Or was it just a sticker...

I have a few of the brown one.  Maybe one of the silver...

The ENDURANCE RUN was so brutal.  It was some endless jog around the field, which we had to achieve in various times in order to get a f*cking badge.  So, say the teacher had calculated out that if we wanted a gold badge in grade 8, we had to run around the field 12 times in 10 minutes, or some bullshit like that. There I'd be, at like, lap 8, panting and dying, my tongue all beefy and sore, HATING LIFE, and I STILL wouldn't be anywhere near fast enough to get a badge in that stupid event.

To this day I do NOT understand people who jog.  Runner's high, my ass.

And that flexed arm hang?  We had to hang on to a bar in suspended chin up position for a set amount of time.


Man, that was terrible.  And this is why they finally elminiated it.  It made the kids who sucked a bit in gym, like myself, feel LAME.

total hell.

There were summers of trying to ride my five thousand pound, cheapo garbage 10 speed bike around for exercise.  Horrible.

Then there were the years of diet and exercise tapes:  pilates, tae-bo, pilates again, The Paula Abdul Workout, Kathy Smith....



actually, this one was SUPER FUN!

too hard.  May try this dude again.

I miss you, Jennifer Kries.  I think I'm going to have to rediscover you again.

So, the Paula Abdul one was pretty damn fun.  Tae bo sucked ass, and pilates has been my most preferred means of exercise for a long time.

But, the only guy who really made it fun, is THIS GUY


Yeah, I'm not ashamed to say it.  I did that "Sweatin' To the Oldies" video a million years ago.  Yes, it was pretty retarded.  BUT, there were very obese people, and there were old people, and there were fit people, and you broke a gentle sweat, and felt good about yourself, damn it.

And now?  Now I'm stuck with HER:




  1. Oh Karen the whole time you were telling us about your gym time it brought me down memory lane.

    I loved gym glass. I loved playing floor hockey, I hated dodge ball, and lOVED Gymnastics.....oh I could not wait for that class. I would get so excited to the gym set up for that.

    And baseball was my favorite too. Then it ended.

    I hated the fitness testing...I never once received anything more than the bronze.

    You sure have a way of bringing us back to things long forgtotten.....although one thing I never forgot was winging my plastic hockey stick around in a circle and hitting Suresh in the head with it.....causing him to have stitches.

    Or running through the grass in the feild, with a girl on my tail as I decided to do a running cartwheel, thus flinging my legs wildly in the air at the exact moment she decided to lick her lips...yes the carnage was bloody..her tongue completley bit in half except for a thread....

    Or sitting in the field whilst playing a game and sitting on an anthill. Yes and then doing th e wild ant dance......screaming like a maniac....oh Karen you do a good job of taking us down memory lane.

    My guilt over the tongue affair haunted me for years!

  2. In about grade six, I was the BULLY not to mess with, that is except Gym class.......then it was free reign to pound my deserving head with balls...yup, free reign, to "accidentally" give payback.....oh I was a horrid brat.

  3. Melissa, you always have some great stories. I absolutely winced over the tongue. Hey, do you think you were a bit of bully because you were good at stuff? I mean, is there a connection between confidence and competence and being a bit mean? I sucked at stuff and always felt really awkward so..

    Ah, who knows. Funny that you loved gymnastics and baseball but got bronze badges in that stupid Canada Fitness! That just shows how much it truly DOES suck!!!

    1. No, NO NO...I was an angry , angry child by the time I was in grade 6 and grade 7. I had an extremely abusive home, and some horrid things happened when I was in grade I was bullied at school, so by then It was WAR. My poor grade 6 teacher must have agonized over my behavior that year...full on, rolling on the ground fights in the middle of spelling etc. Now a days that would have brought on huge red flags......but you know, back then nobody would dare suggest anything like a home problem.

  4. You must (must, must, must) go and watch a movie called Mr. Woodcock. You must do this and get back to me.

    1. I looked for it in our cable movies list, but it's not there! Also, there are no video rental places any longer, so where the hell do I get it?!? Is Netflix the only place to watch movies now?!? Crazy times. I want to see it!

  5. You are hilarious! Gym or P.E. as we called it (we had PE in the Gym) was hell all through school. We often played rounders which is like baseball but with less movement, most of it involved standing round til you realised at the last minute you should be running. It all sucked, all of it. All of the genuinely fun stuff like volley ball, trampolining and badminton - badminton is amazing! but I did it twice in 11 years of school. And PE teachers are all dicks, there were no nice ones.

    1. yeah, we called it Phys-ed in highschool but not in elementary school for some reason. You know Clare, I actually love badminton as well. We never had anything nearly that fun in school though.

  6. First, thank you for posting this on a weekday. People get so mad at me when I don't visit their posts but I've said a billion times that I don't do the weekend thing.
    Okay then, back to you. So, I guess you must be an exercise pro by now, huh? You've done it all! I hated Gym and it also seem to get worse every year. After awhile though, our Gym teacher didn't care either and we all just hung out on the bleachers until the bell rang. My kind of class!
    I have Power 90 shoved in a box in my basement. I liked working out with it but I could only do that in my basement and the ceiling's at 7ft down there. No jump goin' on! Plus, the kids were always jumping on my back thinking it was funny. It wasn't. But we'll be moving next month and I hope that I can set up shop down in the new basement. If not, I'll just eat a carton of Oreos and call it a day!

    1. Oh Mark, I wouldn't get mad at you for not showing up on the weekend. I've heard you WHINE many times about how hard blogging is. Hee hee, I kid. Is that the PX90 video people are vomiting over?

      That's hilarious about the kids. Yes, they do NOT take us seriously when we try to get into shape. My daughter thinks is a scream to watch me do jogging on the spot.

  7. UGH! PE sucked! We had a stupid test too. Part of it involved climbing up a rope that hung from the ceiling. I would jump, grab the rope, and then...just hang there. I couldn't pull myself up, ever.

    Then they would line everyone up and one by one take take our BMI, and the number was yelled out for everyone to hear. Exactly what every young girl needs, right?

    1. terrible. Was this in highschool Vesta? I could see some bitch highschool gym teacher woman yelling that number out for all to hear. So, so, so glad that I didn't have to take gym ever again after grade 9.

  8. I dunno about you but I conveniently had my period every week during gym time. Luckily, our hysterical(also male) gym teacher never quite caught on. And I remember the Jane Fonda tapes, do you remember those?


      I remember Jane! I never had any of her tapes though, somehow! I wonder how that happened...I seemed to have a shit load of other exercise vids...

  9. I fucking hated ALL exercise so my mother wrote me notes that somehow got me out of ever having to do any phys ed EVER. I have absolutely no idea what the notes said - maybe she told them that if I broke a sweat I would go postal and get even more demented than I already was... I dunno. But, whatever, it worked and I never had to do stupid sports. I just sat under a tree and read a book (in primary school) or smoked and carved tattoos in to my ankle with a compass (in high school). Hard core.

    I fucking love Richard Simmons. I am gonna track down that vid, transfer it to dvd and make us all copies for xmas!

    Sarah xxx

    1. Oh Sarah, kindred spirit. Exercise IS the worst thing ever. And sports? Ohmygod I hate sports. As a matter of fact, I'm going to get a compass, and some ink and carve "I H8 SPORTS" into my ankle.

      Good for your mother. I applaud anyone who walks the opposite direction from the other sheep.

      That would be an AWESOME PRESENT! Where is Richard these days? The world needs his sparkle again.

  10. Hmmm... she's kind of sexy in a act-like-a-man-hawt-like-a-woman kind of way. Maybe I'd turn all lesbo... but she'd love me and then kick my ass. SHUDDER.


  11. I don't think I can be motivated by her.... I just started with a personal trainer. I found someone really nice and gentle and it's working out great!

    1. you know jennie, I agree with you. If I had a personal trainer, I would NOT want them to screech at me. However, I find Jillian highly motivating, but she's VERY far away from me, and when I say SCREW THIS, the odd time, she's not there to flip out.

  12. Yes, I was (and still am) firmly in the I Hate Gym/PE/Games camp. I don't think I had a concept that I was rubbish at anything physical till around the age of 10 or 11, although it took me ages to get the hang of riding a bike, and I could never roller skate - no sense of balance.
    But then senior school came along, and gym and hockey and athletics and cross country running and tennis and rounders. Awful. I never ever climbed a rope, or vaulted the horse, or did anything more than a handstand (badly) and a forward roll. And I can't catch or hit a ball. No hand-eye co-ordination. In fact, I have no physical skills at ALL. (Apart from ones they DON'T teach at school, I think you know what I'm saying, Karen! Probably crap at those too really...)
    And PE teachers are so harsh, they have no time for the weaklings of the bunch, they are picked off like elderly zebras limping at the back of the herd, and subjected to public humiliation. That's me - an elderly limping zebra.
    Thank you for bringing it all back, Karen. I'm off to cry in a darkened corner and "lose" my PE kit and feign illness to get out of the horror, the horror. xxx

    1. but Curtise! Aren't you comforted knowing I share your hatred of PE?!? Oh my god, I'm soooo disappointed I forgot to mention the BOX HORSE. I may have to do a mini post specifically on that. Wow. Yeah, gym teachers, gym class--all was HORRIBLE.

  13. Thanks for the memories . :p I remember that teacher telling us over and over that only would get an A in high school gym. He also gave me my first D. woo hoo!


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