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  1. #11
    Honor Thy Inferior Such Irony's Avatar
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    I enjoyed PE classes in elementary school. It was a nice break from the tedium of the classroom. I hated PE in middle school though. I went through puberty earlier than most of my peers and PE class just advertised the fact that I was different from my peers. I felt really awkward changing in the locker room and my PE teachers did things like embarrasing those who weren't naturally athletic (people like me). It was all about who was most athletic and who could win sports. There wasn't any encouragement to exercise outside of class.
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  2. #12
    Starcrossed Seafarer Aquarelle's Avatar
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    I hated gym class, except the days in elementary school when we played games like Trench and Capture the Flag and played with the big parachute. In middle school I liked the units on dancing. Other than that, it was absolute misery. I was never good at it, never chosen for teams, made fun of for my lack of coordination... and yes, I do think it colored my opinion of exercise and fitness into adulthood. I associated it with something unenjoyable, and it remains so today. Of course, that's also because it's tiring and painful and sweaty. I am generally pretty good about eating well and staying fit, but I wouldn't say school gym class contributed to that at all. It may have contributed somewhat to my health as a child, but honestly I can't say in general I got that much exercise in gym... I hated it so much that I participated as minimally as possible. I probably burned more calories in band.
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  3. #13
    (blankpages) Xenon's Avatar
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    I liked gym when I was very young and welcomed the chance to run around (maybe kindergarten through second grade), then stopped enjoying it when it became all about team sports and competition. I basically just tried to fade into the background then, and depending on the sport I barely moved throughout the class. Like @Aquarelle, I think my attitude toward physical activity soured as a result (although it's improved in the past couple years).

    Quote Originally Posted by iwakar View Post
    Sick of the image-obsession and athletic achievement obsession, which I think are often mixed up with health and fitness. They are not the same.
    Definitely. And those who aren't top athletes or lean hotties can easily come to see fitness as not for them, and shy away from it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aquarelle View Post
    I hated gym class, except the days in elementary school when we played games like Trench and Capture the Flag and played with the big parachute. In middle school I liked the units on dancing. Other than that, it was absolute misery. I was never good at it, never chosen for teams, made fun of for my lack of coordination... and yes, I do think it colored my opinion of exercise and fitness into adulthood. I associated it with something unenjoyable, and it remains so today. .
    Oh yeah, that big parachute was the best. (Whenever this topic comes up I think of that South Park episode when they were playing dodgeball, and one of the boys goes, "Can't we just play with that big parachute again?")

    But yeah, I remember a few units I liked - I think pretty much anytime we did anything EXCEPT the usual team sports I kind of went, hmm...this is interesting. Ninth grade, I remember liking the strength training unit and the gymnastics unit. They didn't last though; before long it was back to team sports.

    So if the aim is to teach kids a positive attitude toward exercise and fitness, it certainly seems to be backfiring - a lot of people remember letting down their teammates, getting picked last, teasing, etc. It would be nice if kids had some options. I remember reading an article in a magazine a long time ago that mentioned at one school, kids would get divided depending on how competitive they were in sports, which led to kids learning to enjoy phys. ed after previously dreading it. Perhaps mandatory phys. ed should de-emphasize competition, with that option available as an extracurricular to kids that want it.

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquarelle View Post
    I hated gym class, except the days in elementary school when we played games like Trench and Capture the Flag and played with the big parachute. In middle school I liked the units on dancing. Other than that, it was absolute misery. I was never good at it, never chosen for teams, made fun of for my lack of coordination... and yes, I do think it colored my opinion of exercise and fitness into adulthood. I associated it with something unenjoyable, and it remains so today. Of course, that's also because it's tiring and painful and sweaty. I am generally pretty good about eating well and staying fit, but I wouldn't say school gym class contributed to that at all. It may have contributed somewhat to my health as a child, but honestly I can't say in general I got that much exercise in gym... I hated it so much that I participated as minimally as possible. I probably burned more calories in band.
    Similar to my experiences of school gym, I never understood either why our school had the most atrocious communal showers for males, part of the reason which people hated gym and found reasons not to do it, also people dodged using the showers too anyway if they did play the football or other lousy games we had because it was pretty much the same as what people did at lunch time or break time anyway. Although they made us run around a massive sports field which had a nominal running track burned into it with some sort of weed killer, we had to do that a minimum of the year in order for the school to keep the field and it not be sold off or something.

    It was totally awful and when I think about it it is part of the reason I'd not like my kids to go to the same school if I had any, not in my time but in the years after me there have been kids at that school who've had morbid obescity too, schools response has been to try and get them to take part in the same classes as the rest of the kids, piss poor programme planning involved in that to be honest.

    I think that if schools had something like the facilities in a small urban gym and everyone had access to them and time to use them and some advice like a trainer would give PE classes wouldnt be such a nightmare.

  5. #15
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Being the nerd in high school, I still look back and realize how GOOD it was for me to go to gym class. Sometimes kids blew it off, especially if they were stuck in a class they didn't like (like team sports.. versus other outlets like swimming, walking, etc.) but I think if fitness classes were more well rounded and supported it would do a lot of good.

    "Track" can be really intimidating.. but why don't they have simple things like walking classes? Or aerobics? I tried to join aerobics class one time in high school, except it was actually a dance class for aspiring cheerleaders.. I was out of place, and cheerleading wasn't my thing, so I did poorly in it. I got switched to regular gym class. There are a lot of outlets in colleges... but high schools need them as well. There has to be an in-between status from the athletes, and the "I dont really care I just need a PE credit" classes. I think smaller groups of things like swimming, walking, no-weights training, etc. would do a lot of good.

    As far as the diets.. I don't even want to speak of them. It drives me insane.. there are schools who pay the SAME amount of money for high quality ingredients, organic, and cooked and served that day as lunches and breakfasts that are fried, microwaved, and bulk-baked. I say if kids want sweets and things like that they do it themselves--have clubs sponsor weekly treat days where they sell things like cookies, or chips, etc. The school's clubs make money, kids don't bitch that they don't have treats, and still get high quality meals.

    I think I could go on about the school systems all day if I was allowed..
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  6. #16
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    Loved going to gym class.

    Hated running the track, but everything else (besides basketball) I was pretty damn good at.

  7. #17
    Starcrossed Seafarer Aquarelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post

    I say if kids want sweets and things like that they do it themselves--have clubs sponsor weekly treat days where they sell things like cookies, or chips, etc. The school's clubs make money, kids don't bitch that they don't have treats, and still get high quality meals.
    That's a really good idea.
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  8. #18
    Senior Member Eckhart's Avatar
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    Concerning normal sports classes at school, they not only feel worthless, they are probably even negative the way they are held (speaking only from personal experience).

    There should be much more individual training and care from teachers. The way it is now, there are huge classes with totally different capabilities and motivation. Those who are very sportsy and perform well and those who don't like sports and perform bad, and then maybe some average ones. The way it is now, they only encourage those which are already sportsy and which don't need encouragement as much while those who are not so good in sports get discouraged from sports even more because they get ridiculed by the other children or attacked because they perform badly in group sports etc. Instead of promoting sports as something fun to those who don't like sports, they focus only on performance and competition and make them feel bad in comparison to others. This reduces obviously their self-confidence more and more and instead of motivating them to become better, they will resign and just accept that they are not made for sports.

    Let children choose what they like, as long as they do anything, put them in far smaller groups of common interests or common performance class. Create a fun atmosphere, don't give grades, don't focus on performance but on motivation and improvement. For those who are really good at sports and who like competition offer just that, but don't put them all into the same basket and just focus on that group in sports classes. And let children choose what kind of sports they like.

    I write all that as someone who never liked sports as a child, who was very bad at it but was forced by parents to visit different sports clubs and of course had to do sports at school. I never had fun with it and often I was ridiculed by other children (or even teachers) for my performances, and my self-confidence was really low. Later when I got older I didn't care so much about it anymore, and together with some will power I did ok'ish in a few sports at least and rarely I even had fun. But before that it was just annoying, and that is the important time where you can motivate children for it still. I never got any individual care by my sports teachers etc and was basically left on my own, and teachers always helped those who were good already anyway.

  9. #19
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iwakar View Post
    I was ignored by the P.E. instructors. They focused their energies on the kids in extracurricular sports and left the rest of us to our own devices. Perhaps coaches should be restricted to coaching and teaching sport-specific classes and P.E. instructors should be teaching general P.E. to focus on improving individual ability, health, and overall fitness. Would like to see more females in health education too.

    Sick of the image-obsession and athletic achievement obsession, which I think are often mixed up with health and fitness. They are not the same.
    This is spot on. Well said. I think there is a divide between the favored kids and the rest especially in sports.

    The only sport I enjoyed in or out of school was gymnastics. I disliked P.E. classes a lot and we just worked on learning rules for different ball games. Nothing much about health that I remember.

    Edit: The food was really bad in school - I mean unhealthy filled with sugar and fat. At the religious boarding school I attended I had Capt'n Berry Crunch every morning for breakfast. The public school had a burger bar and a pizza bar.

    I think a lot of kids can benefit from the structure and exercise of playing ball games, but something needs to be done about the destructive nature of competition which could be an entire thread itself.
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  10. #20
    Intergalactic Badass mujigay's Avatar
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    Gym class in middle school was suffering.

    It consisted of being yelled at by an overweight gym coach in a lawn chair to "keep running!". It was Texas and it was August and it was humid, sometimes it was damn hard to keep running! The only nice days were dodgeball days. I was rather good at that.
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