I Hated Sports And Gym Classes

          I grew up in Ohio in the 1960s.   In Ohio it was required (mandatory) that all male students would be required to take P.E (Gym) classes all the way through the twelth grade.   I managed to get by in elementary school (grades k to 6).  In Junior high things all changed.  Boys were required to have these super baggy white gym shorts and white t-shirts.   I hated wearing shorts, (strike one.)  You were required to play basketball, baseball and dodge ball
plus the regular exercise routines (strike two ).    Then to top it off you were required to Shower afterward (strike three).  I was very thin with long legs,
my sports coordination was totally gone.  If I was made to play baseball, that was dangerous, as soon as I would hit the ball, the bat would go flying.
Seeing I was a clutz at sports my P.E. instructor instead of teaching me began to berate me, assailing me with words I won't use here.  So I just began cutting those classes.   I was reported several times by the instructor, he got replaced a month later by an ex-military man.  It is at this point everything went down hill.   He knew I was cutting his class and one day actually physically grabbed me around the neck and shoved me into a wall.  He said he was going to make my life miserable.   I told him if he ever touched me again I would have him arrested for assault.   I am a genius or near genius level.
I was told to be in P.E. class that day.  I did go, but refused to participate.   He had me go to the office (principal) and complained of my stubborness.
There was little he could do as I had attended.   The assistant Principal was in charge of all of the boys for disciplinary actions.  While waiting in the office
I went over to his desk and was looking around and spotted a glass with a clear brownish liquid in it.  I smelled it, it was whiskey.  I opened his desk drawer and saw a bottle of Seagrams 7 whiskey.  I pulled my little kodak caamera out of my book bag and took pictures of it and the glass.  I then returned to where I was sitting and waited.   The assistant principal came back in and said he was going to give me a swat for disrespecting a teacher.
I told him he was not.  I told him I found his "bottle" and if he didn't leave me alone I'd notify the school board.  He got angry, told me he could hide the proof,  I said yeah but not the pics I had taken.  I realize this is a form of extortion now but it worked.  The rest of Junior high went by without incident.
The P.E. instructor was ballistic, but as long as I had the evidence, they couldn't do anything.  My gym classes were spent in study hall.  I still have those pics.
       In high school (10th to 12th grade) I lost that edge.    I just continued cutting the classes.  Actually I never went ot enroll in them.  Some office clerk
discovered I wasn't scheduled for P.E. and reported it.    I was called to the office where they without my permission changed my schedule to include 3 P.E. classes because I'd missed so many.    I just continued to cut them at this point.   After several reports by the Gym instructor, resulting in my getting several suspensions (time off from school) it finally came to a head on March 13th 1967 at 1:35 P.M..  Notice I remember this day and time exactly.   Even though I was suspended from school (not expelled), I still attended most of my classes as the teachers supported me.   The few teachers I did not get support from usually didn't know I was suspended.   The way I got caught on school grounds was because they had sent notices to my teachers of my suspension unbeknownst to me.   It funny it was my American Government teacher that turned me in.  We were studying
constitutional laws.  You need to know at this point I had an extensive law library at home.  Any way they escorted me to the Principals office.  I was informed if I didn't leave They were going to have me arrested for trespassing.   I thought it over and told them "YOU WON'T HAVE TO DO THAT, I AM LEAVING, BUT REMEMBER THIS I WILL NEVER SET FOOT IN HERE AGAIN, i QUIT."   They told me I couldn't quit, I was in college prep classes
that I'd lose all of the credits I'd earned.  I gave them the perverbial FINGER and walked out.  They were still yelling at me to return as I walked away from the school, soon there voices quieted.   I went home, infored mymother of what had occured.  I went back out and found a job immediately.
The school attempted to take attempts to have me return but it was to no avail.
    Today I have a B.S. in Criminal Sociology, an Associate Degree in Law Enforcement and a certification as a paramedic.  I am still the skinny guy
with the long legs.   I `even spent four years in the military in special forces.  I still don't like baseball, or most other sports.  My strenght lies between my ears.   I WON.
bobbie13 bobbie13
56-60, T
4 Responses Sep 19, 2010

What a strong person you are! I had problems in physical education, too; I was fine at team games, but I hated gymnastics and swimming. You see, I was obsessed with music and was terrified that I might sustain an injury that would paralyse me and thus render me unable to play certain instruments. I play harmonica, recorder, flute, tin whistle, guitar and mandolin; my favourite kind of music is folk. Thank you so much for sharing your inspirational story.

I hated P.E. in high school back in the mid 1960's I was only required to do it from 7th to 10th grade. it was a ay for the manly boys to get their jollies while in white t-shirts and shorts. I did not do HS sports, instead, I managed the connsession stand during football season. and worked the stand during basketball season. being the son of a farmer i felt I got plenty of exorsize working dads farm.

Although I hated sports and P.E., I also had a medical condition. At the age of 12 I was struck with Juvenile Rhuematory Arthritis. It had crippled me for a while. The school board was fully aware of this. The school b`oard `however still sought `to have me participate in P.E.. Physical exertion caused additional pain. I explained this to them but it was to no avail. The school physician and their lawyers said they had every right to compel me since it was Ohio Law. no exceptions. I offered to take health or home ecomnomics classes but they stood steadfast.<br />
I threatened them with a civil lawsuit, but couldn't afford it. The Civil Liberties Union had not came into existance yet. I thought then and still do today that it met the criteria of a separation of class. A separation of class means to enact laws that are predjudicial to the class of a body or a individual. My contention was i`t was predjudicial because it separated distinctions between <br />
males and females. Females under the Ohio law were only required to take P.E through the first<br />
nine (9) years of school not twelve (12) like the boys.

Fantastic! Your story brought back painful memories and also my own similiar personal triumphs. I won't go into it all right here, but needless to say, I ended up not taking any PE classes after quite a battle. I also left an advanced placement high school by walking out. It created quite a stir both at school and within my family. I ended up putting myself through a private advanced prep school to finish my last year with what I earned from a summer job. I am accomplished, intelligent, educated formerly and individually and still despise ba<x>seball and almost all formal organized sports. I too won. Thank you for putting that period back into focus and for reminding anyone else reading this that they're not alone if they feel different and bullied.