If You Played It In Gym

Irelynd Brown, Staff Writer

Let me paint for you a lovely little picture of tragedy and invalidation.  You are walking down the halls and you run into [insert school’s most infamous jock].  Like, you literally run into him.  Being the super muscly guy you are, you fall straight on your butt; to your surprise, so does he.  One of his friends helps him up and you scramble to your feet, ready to die of humiliation and/or from the clobbering of said-jock’s fan club.  “Whoa! you are a solid kid!” he says, putting out his hand for a shake, “Do you do any sports?”   “Oh, uhm, well you see I…I just uh,” you stutter as buckets of sweat bead your forehead.  Why is this happening to you?  What is wrong with this life?  How can you explain the fact that you just play it in gym class without being laughed off of the face of the earth?  The world spirals downward and… and… and…

Why is it such a shameful thing to consider playing a sport in P.E. as really playing?  If you spend all of 3rd period every “B” day, it reaches the point where you no longer have to say, “Well i have only really played it in gym…. not for real…”  You should be able to just say, “Yes.  I play soccer.”

You have to learn all about it.  Teachers often will quiz you on the rules of volleyball, for example, or in the very least do little corrections as you play.   You have to dress up.  I think that we have all had enough experience with the sharpie-embossed grey shirts and “knee length” shorts to know that it could easily pass as what you would wear to a practice.  You have teams and, just like in more traditional sports, (like a school team and or Rec.) you do not get to pick your teammates.  You play it every single class; most classes also require days in the weights room and days to run the alleged “mile.”  By all lines of common sense, it should count as a legitimate extracurricular activity.

So, why not?  Many will argue that you do not have as much competition when you are playing with school kids.  Well, you may not have as many “wronski feints1” in the class, but it is often equally difficult for many reasons.  

One reason is the “Rule-book-genius.”  This is the kid that considers himself an expert in all things with a ball but can’t kick one for the life of him.  If he is on your team, he tries to get everyone to get the ball to him and overdramatically rolls his eyes when it doesn’t work out perfectly.  When you are against him, he gets in an overly technical argument with you over the most trivial of things and insists on including the teacher for an authoritative decision.

Another is the “Next-Michael-Jordan.”  The one that is reduced to tears if you don’t win and take everything way too seriously.  It makes you want to grab their too small Junior Jazz jersey and say, “This is gym class, not the Olympics!”

And all that is just the beginning of your obstacles when it comes to Physical Education.  There is always the inevitable group of friends who couldn’t care less to deal with.  Don’t forget the fact that the teacher will never stop being infuriatingly biased.  Not to mention having to juggle the social scene, crappy school equipment, and not having refs.  It more than makes up for the lack of “competition.”

If you played it in gym, you can just say that you played it.  I played volleyball everyday for a month and just because it was for a class it doesn’t count?  Heck no!
1— A term for a complicated move in Harry Potter’s Quidditch.  Often used in the quidditch world cup by the infamous Viktor Krum.