Working On Working Out (Expectations vs Reality)


Megan Peterson, A&E Editor


This year I had some serious goals concerning gym class.  My memories of Sophomore gym were haunted with pitifully light weights and one too many missed badminton serves.  I told myself that this would be the year for me.  The year of the athlete.  The year I got in shape.  My Pinterest was filled with hundreds of ‘inspiration’ pictures of tan—obviously photoshopped—body builders and quick 30 minute ab, arm, and leg workouts.  My gym membership was up to date and for once, I planned to use it.  I was going to be the sporty girl this year.  Underhanded badminton serves would be no match for my athletic prowess.  No longer would I duck, squealing away from the volleyball, or hide from my gym teacher during basketball.  Visions of epic saves and winning goals populated my mind whenever I thought of gym.


My logic in thinking I would excel at sports was unequivocally flawed. Past humiliation should have taught me to avoid physical education at all costs.  But, as the hopeless optimist I am, I expected this year to be different.  It wasn’t.  The first day of gym could not be described as anything but catastrophic failure.  My gym membership gathered dust in my closet, next to the pile of unused workout clothes and unopened yoga mat.  The idea of working out was always much more attractive than actually working out.  Meanwhile in gym within the first ten minutes, I was nailed in the head by a basketball.  Twice.  I accidentally hit my badminton partner with my racket, tripped over my own feet, and successfully dropped any aspirations of competency in sports.  I was uncoordinated and sadly lacking in competitiveness.  The classes dragged by.  While my classmates treated gym soccer like the World Cup, I was more interested in watching the clock.  My goals for gym transformed from star to survivor.  I cautiously participated enough to earn the points for the day without inflicting mortal injury on either myself or my fellow students.  Fortunately, I didn’t kill anyone, but I did inspire wrath in the bowling alley worker who was forced to retrieve my bowling ball from where it was lodged between the gutter and the pin gate.