Forget about the misery of school P.E., fall back in love with sports just for fun and fitness.
The study published on Wednesday on behalf of the Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation confirmed what most of us have known since puberty, that school PE puts many girls off sport, for life!
I also wasn’t a fan of school sports. I could never see the ball in rounders due to long-sightedness. My shot would inevitably end the rally in tennis. My highest netball ranking was playing wing defense for the B team in primary school. My finest javelin throw was about six metres. But I do remember always trying hard and once getting an A for effort on my school report.
I now run, lift weights, play golf and am getting better at tennis. When I won a prize for longest drive at my first golf day I cried. When I miss a shot in tennis in spite of tremendous effort I laugh. Hard!
But what I’ve learned coming back to sports as a grown up is that I just need a little more coaching than some. I can actually sprint pretty well but was never taught anything than just running fast at school. In fact when hubby got me sprinting for the first time I felt like a gazelle, ‘so that’s what these solid legs are for,’ I thought.
I can’t throw, so it’s taken me forever to get to an acceptable (for me) golfing standard and my tennis serve is pretty special to behold but the key to all of this is that I love it! I love being outside and I love playing sports, even though I’m not great at it. I do it for fun and this, for me is something which was fundamentally lacking in my school sports experience.
I now encourage women to get active for a living. I write about health and fitness, I teach fitness, predominantly Pilates and I married a fit husband. My motivation for doing this is not about massive fat loss, it’s about getting more people active and above all encouraging anyone that contacts me or steps through the class room door.
So forget about P.E. No one is going to make you step outside in gym knickers and an under-sized T-shirt. Try something new … you might just like it.
4 thoughts on “I hated P.E. too”
I really liked this article. I actually really hated
sports at school until I realised I could catch,
throw and shoot goals. I was nine. I then loved P.E. I played netball, rounders, volleyball, tennis, shot put, 100m and relay. I was always bad at gymnastics and swimming. All seems so long ago… Now decades later, I struggle to find a spring in my step! Gyms are unbearable, classes are dull, Zumba is cool but requires bravery when you’ve got a few (ahem) stone to lose. But I feel encouraged by your idea of doing a little. So I walked home today. And it wasn’t so bad. I hope to regain my love of sports participation one day. Thanks for inspiring me.
It was a great article the first time around, Karen. Even better the second 🙂 I was exactly like you at school, mostly because people had me pigeon-holed as the ‘academic’. Despite that, I remember really enjoying swimming and tennis and actually doing quite well at them. It was undoubtedly walking, however, that I loved most of all and ironically, years later, that’s still the thing I manage to fit in no matter how little time I have (usually at a brisk pace now I’m a little more aware of the benefits of getting your heart rate up!) People often ask me how I keep motivated to exercise and quite simply, it’s because I make sure I only do activities that I love and don’t feel like a chore. It’s meant trying a bit of everything along the way to whittle the options down, but that’s been great fun and I’m still experimenting. Keep up the good work on encouraging people to move in what ever way they get most pleasure from. I’m convinced that’s the way to get anyone committed to health and fitness for life and not just a couple of weeks 🙂
I’m getting back into tennis now, especially since 4 hours of golf with the hubby is a tall order on the babysitting front. Pleased to hear you’re on board with my bandwagon (so to speak). Sport can be social but at school it was always about being the best or nothing. I think it’s important to learn sports just for fun!
Please – I remember the haughty looks from P.E. teachers just because I was the one always coming in last on the cross country run (but hey, in later life it turns out I have poor circulation so I swear it was just because I was feeling a heck of a lot colder than everyone else – ha! ha! They’re lucky I finished at all!) Enjoy the tennis – cycling and dance have been my major things for the last few years and still loving them every day 🙂