Thursday, May 8, 2008

Ping Pong, Volleyball & High School

My youngest son asked me what "ping pong" is this morning and, oh, the memories that evoked. Not your usual memory jerker, I know, but ping pong brings back memories from that long ago thing called "high school gym class." And for me, gym class was always a lesson in being uncoordinated, my lack of athletic ability and pity.

Let me explain...

I was so bad at gym class that for an entire year I was given the job of "score keeper" for volleyball. Score keeper. Do you know what a score keeper does? Yep, that's right, keep score. By making tally marks on a chalk board. While seated. For an entire year. Even I realized the complete waste of time it was, but honestly, I didn't care. Everyone else was sweaty and I wasn't. That was a bonus.

And then for 6 months I got to take ping pong. How in the world did that happen, you may wonder. Well, I'm pretty savvy at reading and I somehow found a copy of the activities that could be offered each semester. Ping pong was one of them. I don't think anyone every asked for ping pong, but I saw it as my chance to get out of swimming and basketball.

The gym teachers took pity on me. God bless them. They knew how truly atrocious I was at sports and just couldn't bring themselves to watch. So, for 6 months I "played" ping pong. You'd think that with all of the hand dexterity I had gained as score keeper (for an entire year) that ping pong would have been my thing. Alas, I was no Forrest Gump. I wasn't even as good as Forrest's cousin twice removed from his mother's uncle's sister's side. I spent most of my time chasing that gosh darn little ball around the room and counting the minutes until gym was over.

So, when my son asked me this morning about ping pong I got to thinking about the difference between being fit and being athletic. I don't think I'll ever be athletic. I don't like team sports; I'm not a big rah-rah-go-team kind of gal. I don't like competing which is really the main purpose of athletics, or so it seems. No, I'm more of the "walk-or-exercise-so-my-thighs-will-fit-in-my-pants" kind of gal. And what's the side effect of exercising so that I don't have to wear a tent? Yep,that's right....getting fit.

So, hold the ping pong and the volleyball time keeping position and give me some free weights and some walking shoes. I've got "gym class."

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