Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Gym class can be H-E-double hockeysticks

…Jamie Stengle of the AP writes about how overweight youngsters are changing the ever-popular gym class.

…HA remembers gym like it was five minutes ago!

…Those bloomer-like navy shorts that tightened around the thighs with a o-ring or whatever those doohickeys are called.

…The white blouse you had to iron.

…The gruff, scary teachers who made you rub your nail polish off on the cement floors. (OK, that one might have just been a Midwestern or even an individual gym teacher deal.)

…But most of all? The laps, the rope climbing, the hard, winding stuff like field hockey that polished off larger members of the class in no time at all. Ha, ha, you’re fat, hey fatty.

…HA remembers modern dance class—a leotard, but let’s not even GO there. She had to do an interpretive dance—and she did a person with a stomach ache. Memory may lie, but she recalls the teacher being pretty unimpressed.

..In Stengle’s story, sweating is charmingly referred to as “burning butter.” The kids are taught things they can do all their lives. (Apparently, the utility of Dodge Ball wanes over time.)

…The focus is on individual activities. This, he kindly says, allows overweight kids to do things at their own pace—code for "not keep up if they can’t." Weight lifting, yoga, and martial arts are examples. HA also remembers square dancing, which for some perverse reason was considered “gym.”

…Another gym teacher organizes “treasure hunts” to make kids “move.” He just puts all the treasures half a mile away.

…HA is of two minds on this. She still has fleeting nightmares about climbing a rope. But having the rope there—as a challenge of life—was not all bad.

…At least, they still have gym. HA thought that had disappeared along with recess.


chessiakelley said...

These are some happy memories of gym time in my opinion. After I put on my itchy uniform for gym class, the instructor typically had us WALK around the outdoor track. Was she really so lazy that she could not even think up squaredancing? On the other days we would stand around, 11 to a side, and punch a volleyball around. I fear that in too many schools, the required gym time is not working up a sweat in kids. It didn't matter so much to me (except that it was a gigantic waste of time) because I played lots of sports. Other kids get short-changed though. For those that perhaps do not fit into the traditional football/basketball/baseball athletic categories, there are still tons of ways to keep kids active. In New York, the New York Kids Club offers lots of activities for kids, such as rock climbing, gymnastics, martial arts, and dance classes. Its great excercise and great fun. I work for the New York Kids Club, and we are sponsoring a special Free Friday on Jan. 18 for bloggers and their kids to come check out the facilities, meet the staff, and enjoy snacks and drinks. See the invitation Here.

We definitely have to be proactive to keep our kids fit, because in most of the country, gym classes are just not enough. No matter where you live, lets try to get our kids interested in fitness!

Star Lawrence said...

Great comment. Thanks!

chessiakelley said...

Well there has to be more for kids than the ahem H-E double hockeysticks for kids these days....especially those cooped up in the apartments of NYC. For more info on the kids club, check it out at New York Kids Club

keep up the great posts!