Why high school P.E. was the worst

Whether you loved them or loathed them, there was no escaping school P.E. lessons. Here Charlie relives some some of her worst memories…

Thankfully I escaped the joys of freezing school exercise long ago, starting sixth form with a gym membership I barely used and never looking back. My little sister is now discovering the pains of high school physical education, and her complaining has become inspiration for this piece. Ready, set, moan.

There’s always that one teacher that hates you: It doesn’t matter how hard you try, or how much you limit your hatred for high jump – this teacher will always look at you as if you are trying to steal gym equipment.

P.E carries on all year round: Remember playing hockey in the cold January frost? Running around with bare, freezing hands whilst that horrible violent girl – probably a sports captain – runs at you menacingly with a hockey stick. There is no option but to side step. Who cares if you’re the goalie? Safety first.

Sports Day: The sports captain of your form will always put you down for an event you will never in a million years win- the high jump or the 1500m. Despite trying to convince them to let you attempt discus, they will plonk you into a race, and they will yell at you when you inevitably finish last.

Cross country: How people can think this form of torture in the cold is a fun concept I will never understand. The biggest mistake my year eight teacher ever made was telling us we could walk the distance within the time: we did exactly that for the next three years.

Some teachers just don’t understand a lack of ability: No, miss, it doesn’t matter how many times you make me attempt high jump – I’m just not good at it. All it makes me better at is being frustrated with you. Rule also applies to cricket and tennis.

Time management: You’re always in a rush to get onto the field, but teachers are quite happy to let you run into the changing rooms a minute before your next lesson. And obviously only you are to blame for being 10 minutes late to Chemistry.

Unnecessary gender separation: Okay so separating girls from boys I don’t have a problem with. But gendering sports? Not so good. I remember the boys playing rugby, football and basketball all year round, whilst in the winter we were mostly stuck to netball and hockey. The lucky few times us girls got to play basketball were my favourite.

Netball: Just, why?

Last but not least, they put us through this misery for five long years: If there’s anything that makes me thankful for being above the age of 16, then this lack of forced exercise is definitely it.

Charlie Collett

(Image courtesy of http://www.stuff.co.nz/southland-times/71680570/gore-high-beats-timaru-girls-at-secondary-schools-hockey-tournament)

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