Friday, March 11, 2011

Flashback Friday - A Birthday & The School Gym

Happy Birthday to Flashback Friday! March 12, 2010 was our very first edition, and we shared about learning to drive and our first cars! I hoped I would be able to keep this meme going for three or four months; I never dreamed we'd still have topics a year later! Thanks to each of you who participate by linking and by encouraging me with your comments; you are the ones who make this so much fun!

Was physical fitness a focus in school when you were growing up? Did you have P.E. in elementary school or just recess? Was recess organized games or just free playtime? What are your memories of P.E. in junior high/middle school and high school? What did your "gym suits" or "dress out" clothes look like? Was P.E. a favorite or dreaded subject? Did your school do the Presidential Physical Fitness Program? How did you do with that? Did you take the minimum amount of P.E. required or did you take more?
Because our older brother dragged convinced them to play all forms of ball out in the yard with him, my two older sisters were pretty athletic. Me? Notsomuch. Add to that a general sense of awkwardness, a body that was too tall for my age and a mouth full of teeth that had to be grown into, and you can just imagine the delightful time I had in the various athletic requirements of my youth.

It's okay if you can't, 'cause I'm gonna tell you!

Fortunately for me, there was no such thing as P.E. on the elementary level when I was there. Recess was a time for organized activities - kickball was played 95% of the time, followed by dodgeball (ouch!), four-square, hopscotch etc. We did not have a playground at our school, just a grassy field for the ball games, and what back then was called "the slab" (what schools today call a "blacktop." Of course, one of the most dreaded moments came every Monday morning when team leaders would be chosen and they would choose their teams. Back and forth, taking turns calling the name of each kid in the class until everyone was on a team. Guess who was pretty much always last. Surely schools don't do it that way any more, right?

Junior High was when "real" P.E. started. Those were the early 1970's and the oh-so-attractive white "bloomer" gym suits were the requirement, pretty similar to these. I believe they had elastic in the legs, so they were essentially like baby rompers. And each person had her name embroidered on the left chest/pocket area. So flattering.

The main thing I remember about Junior High P.E. other than the hideous uniform was the equally (to me) abhorred Presidential Physical Fitness program. I hated every minute and every station of it. Let's see, there was the Standing Broad Jump, Softball Throw, Sit-Ups, 40-yard Dash, Jumping Jacks, and maybe some a few other things. Because I was tall and stick thin slender, every "event" had really high expectations or goals for me. Which I never even got close to meeting. Standing Broad Jump? I should have been able to jump 6 1/2 to 7 feet. Rarely made much more than 4-5 feet. I'm not sure I've ever made it past 20 sit-ups in my life. Softball Throw - we won't even go there!

A couple of other things I remember about those years of P.E. is the fairly old (now I realize she was probably only around 50!) teacher showing us some basic dance steps to Rock Around the Clock (she was also really into tap and square dancing), and that same teacher giving The Talk about hygiene (specifically about deodorant and shaving).

In high school, I think I only had to have 2 years of P.E., and that thrilled me. I think I've blocked most of it out of my memory. Oh, one year was 9th grade and that was still junior high where I was, so I only had one year when I actually went to high school. And that was split between two schools, because that's the year we moved. I do remember that the uniform was just a pair of blue knit shorts (almost knee length) and a v-necked knit shirt.

I just know that another thing I was rarely able to do was get my volleyball serve to make it over the net.

To me, P.E. just stood for Pure Exasperation!

Now the ball is in your court! Share your memories and link up so we can all enjoy them!


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Zoanna said...

Pure Exasperation! This post cracked me up. Why did gym uniforms have to be so UGLY? Why? Yours sound utterly adorable compared to mine.

Kathy said...

Linda, I almost didn't participate today because I have such horrid memories of PE. After reading your post, I realized that I wasn't alone! I know exactly how you felt :)

I always look forward to Fridays because of your meme. Thanks for taking the time to do this!

Unknown said...

Oh the horror's of the gym uniform....

have a great weekend!

sara said...

our uniforms were blue.

I enjoyed the presidential challenge because I was so small no one thought I could do much and I always surprised them!!!

Carolyn said...

PE class was a treat for me

poppin over from The Backyard Beauty and Book Boutique...

Pop over and you can read my experiences as well...


quilly said...

My volley ball serve was about the only part of PE that didn't humiliate me, although I was pretty good on the uneven parallel bars and the trampoline. I was a fair softball player. I could hit well but didn't run worth beans -- funny since later I ended up running sprints in track and had decent times.

bekahcubed said...

Ya'll are all being ungrateful-I would have loved to have worn a baby-romper-like uniform for gym class (Not!)

It's fun hearing your memories!

Jim said...

Happy Birthday, Flashback Friday!
Happy Birthday, Flashback Friday!
Happy Birthday, Flashback Friday!
Happy Birthday, Flashback Friday!
Happy Birthday, Flashback Friday!
Happy Birthday, Flashback Friday!
Happy Birthday, Flashback Friday!
Happy Birthday, Flashback Friday!
Happy Birthday, Flashback Friday!
Happy Birthday, Flashback Friday!
Happy Birthday, Flashback Friday!
Happy Birthday to you!

I wouldn't have thought you could think of fifty-two topics either. And now I know there will be many more. Congratulations!

BTW, that's about all the better I can sing since I got asked to leave the church choir because of my bad ear. I used to do real singing.

Thank you for sharing, Linda. I am glad for you that you didn't have to do more than you did. It all sounded ridiculous to me. Fortunately we did fun things.

I had mine half done but don't have time to finish. Maybe I'll do it another time when it otherwise wouldn't fit my situation.