Memories of Gym Class Torture

It was Dental Day at the local skating ring.  The tooth fairy gave us a lesson on dental hygiene and we skated.  Health Class and P.E. rolled into one.  Boy6 can’t quite skate yet and Boy9 moves at a slow ooze.  It’s hardly a workout for the two of them, but I got some great exercise at the skating rink today.

My kids are lucky that they’re homeschooled.  Homeschool P.E. is the best.  When I was a kid, we didn’t go to the skating rink for gym class.  No.  When I was a kid, I went to a Catholic elementary school that had no budget for gym class so we played a lot of Dodge Ball.

I was really, really good at Dodge Ball.

My birthday is in December, so I was always the rock-bottom youngest of all the kids in the class.  That meant I was the smallest in the class.  I was skinny.  I had braces.  Glasses.  Home perm.  Complete nerd.  Total wimp.

The rules of Dodge Ball are simple.  You form two mobs.  Up to 72 balls may be in play at the same time.  Each mob throws the balls at the other mob in an effort to render as many opposing mob members unconscious as possible.  Unconscious members are dragged to the side of the gym and given CPR until they revive.

If, instead of being dashed in the head with a ball, you manage to catch the ball, you may call one of your downed mob-mates back into the game.

I tell you, with pride, that I was never, ever once hit with a ball.  Terror will do that to a person.  When under extreme duress, it’s astounding how fast a person can move.  At the end of every game, there would be three (always three) boys (always boys) on the opposing mob with all the balls gathered around their feet.  With veins sticking out from their necks, their faces red, their lips forming Billy Idol snarls, they’d get a running start, coordinate their efforts, and hurl the balls at me in tandem.

You’d think, “She doesn’t stand a chance!”  But, then again, maybe you’ve never seen a desperate, cornered animal.  The fear of injury propelled me to speeds unheard of outside of Olympic level short distance sprints.  The males on my mob, revived, would perch on the edges of the gym floor screaming, “Catch the ball!” “Idiots!” I’d think.  “If you wanted to play so much, you shouldn’t have let yourself be bludgeoned with the ball!”

After a few minutes of me leaping and dodging and pirouetting with awkward grace, and the boys on the opposing mob shaking off globs of sweat, glittering as it sailed through the air under the florescent lights, the gym teacher would give a heavy sigh and blow the whistle.

I’m never sure if I won or if they won or if it was a stalemate.

You have got to watch this scene from Freaks and Geeks.  I did not steal my own story from this show.  Apparently there have been others who have lived the same ghastly torture I have lived.  This clip is pretty much exactly how Dodge Ball went down when I played it.  This clip makes me laugh so much I can’t breathe.

On the way home from the skating rink, the clouds were pretty so I turned down a road I’ve never been on before and found this ratty old mailbox with all the brambles on it and attempted a picture.  I took this picture lying down in the middle of the road.  I was there for a good 10 minutes.  Not a single car went by, so I just plopped myself in the middle of the road, played with different angles and adjusted the settings on the camera, and kept shooting pictures.  I wish I’d gotten more of the surroundings in the shot.  I think I’m too close to the mailbox.  I like the flare from the sunlight.  You’re supposed to avoid it normally, but I like it in this shot.

Darling Husband has to fast for some blood work tomorrow morning.  So, as a last hurrah before fasting, while the boys were at church, we played hooky and snuck away to get some pie.  Halfway to the restaurant, we both realized that neither of us was hungry, but that didn’t stop us.


Song stuck in my head today.  Boom Boom Pow.  Thanks, skating rink.

(The Black Eyed Peas are frighteningly cool.   I have nightmares of them staring me down, dodgeballs scattered about their feet.)


Boy9 counted 302 wipe outs at the skating rink.  Most of them were by the same two kids.


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