Early Impressions of Exercise

My history with exercise has been mostly sporadic, and was largely influenced by some physical education teachers I had. I really enjoyed phys-ed until Grade 6 when I cracked my heel on the bottom of the shallow end of the pool jumping in, and really injured myself. I had grown quite a bit in the last year, and wasn’t expecting to hit bottom so fast.

My teacher at the time was a man who was pre-disposed to jock mentality, and basically told me I wasn’t hurt, and I was just making an excuse to not go in the Sprint for Track and Field. I felt completely invalidated by this smug jock, and was way too quiet at that age to challenge him; so I showed up for Track and Field, got on the line, the gun went off and I just limped off the track. I was incensed. There was no way I could have run with my heel like that. That teacher’s attitude was a pivotal moment in my young life. 

Fast forward to Junior High, where we had gym teachers who were umbilically attached to their whistles, and even if girls were throwing up running, or had cramps – all we would get was “One more lap ladies! Step it Up!!” and a blow on the whistle. All I ever saw was this presentation of physical activity that you were not allowed to be second best, you were not allowed to have an injury, or if you did, it was deemed to be “an excuse” for not performing. There was always someone doubting your effort.

So, ultimately when I had the chance to quit Gym class in Grade 10 I took it. I was always a very tiny person, and in Grade 10 I weighed 80 lbs. It was my gene pool that I then coasted on the rest of my years, through my 20’s and 30’s. I had a rebellious and negative attitude to physical activity. I would make jokes that I was an “arts and culture girl” and would much rather have a glass of wine and a cheese plate than go sweat somewhere under some rabid Gym fanatic’s tutelage.

Even with a small frame, by no means was I a healthy person.

The fact that I never HAD to incorporate exercise into my regular schedule has actually been a detriment. Now, with the advent of peri-menopausal weight gain (more on the bundt cake around my middle another time) it is becoming less of an option to just “coast” on the gene pool.

I have learned a whole new understanding of how difficult it is mentally for those comrades who have always had to deal with their weight issues, and how hard they have worked to incorporate physical activity every week. My respect for these beautiful people is epic.

I have stuck my toe in the water of organized gym classes sporadically, but it is becoming apparent I must actually get off my duff soon here and do something on purpose, or risk being swallowed up whole by my burgeoning muffin top.


Or I could just give up Wine….(*snort*)

  4 comments for “Early Impressions of Exercise

  1. Bev McKee
    October 16, 2015 at 2:31 am

    So enjoy……and glean amazing factual info with a most humorous flare . Thank you for sharing your gift!!

  2. K Schlenker
    October 16, 2015 at 4:16 am

    Thank you! Exercise is a battle for certain. But everyday I start to think of how I can engage again…it is coming!

  3. Marla
    October 22, 2015 at 3:26 am

    I think that gym teachers of the 80’s era did indeed have the capability of being complete macho idiots. Most memories I have of feeling belittled and incompetent in school were indeed on the court of a school volleyball game, or baseball diamond. I do have one memory of the dreaded volleyball game where I was continually being ran in front of as the big boys on my team felt I was incapable of returning the ball when it was flying towards little Marla. At one point where a certain boy did not get there in time, which resulted in ruining the play for both of us, I became totally unglued, forgetting I was indeed in a public place and screamed my pretty little head off at him ” if you would let me try and get it, maybe I would actually be able to hit it over the net asshole” That was an Oprah moment for me. Not only did I feel much better, as I had released major anxiety and tension in my scream fit, but I can remember the admiration from my fellow underdogs, the bully who felt the need to try and hit my balls, and the macho coach, standing there in his polo tee and whistle. Things were better for me after that. Thanks Kelly!! I am enjoying your blog immensely!

  4. October 24, 2015 at 5:43 pm

    Oprah moment no kidding!! I can just imagine little you just losing your stuff right out loud and how much better you must have felt! I was always too shy to have outbursts like that, but always admired people who stood up and said enough!! So interesting how our early life experiences come to shape us 🙂 Thanks so much for being so engaged and loving your commentary too!

I would love to hear your thoughts!

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