Guess Who's Back, Back Again. Lauren's Back, Tell A Friend.

Hola Blogstalkers,

Hope you didn't miss me too much in my sojourn away from all things internet.  It was a much needed break.  One that gave me time to decompress and get ready to attack this blog with a renewed vigor.

Anyway, if you've been around these parts for a while then you know that Ryan and I started dating all the way back in high school.  And he was all popular athlete with his varsity letters and his hemp necklace and his free nachos courtesy of his adoring lunch lady fans.  And I was all science nerd with my many Science Olympiad medals (which I totally wore to school the Monday after the state tournament even though no one else on the team did.  I was like Queen of the Nerds, not because they respected me or listened to me or because I was the smartest but because I had the most regal medal-covered nerd costumes.)  We were not a match made in Seven Minutes In Heaven.


So as you can imagine our high school experiences were very different.  Ryan, because he was cool or something, didn't even carry a backpack.  He got by with a graphing calculator and a pencil tucked into the pouch of his hoodie.  Whereas my backpack was one worthy of warnings to parents on the nightly news, a veritable health hazard.  It weighed approximately forty pounds and contained all of my textbooks plus a five subject notebook for each class as well as the brown bag lunch my daddy made me since no one gave me free nachos.  I had to hunch halfway over to be able to lug that thing around the halls of our ridiculously large school.**

**Our high school was enormous.  Like we had an Olympic sized pool and approximately ten different  actual buildings including an ice rink enormous. 

Also, Ryan was excellent at gym class and I was...I would say less than excellent but that doesn't quite grasp it...What is the opposite of excellent?  Yeah.  Less than that.

Unfortunately gym was mandatory for three of the four years of high school.  And it was a regular class so getting anything less than an A+ would have destroyed my GPA.  Luckily, though I was not great at somersaults and jumping jacks (true story, once I hit myself in the ear so hard it bled a little and I had to go to the nurse) I was fantastic at gym teacher espionage.  That is not the correct word.

So without further ado, here is a partial list of how I managed to get an A+ in every gym class I ever took without even being able to stand on one foot.

--As my school housed an ice arena, all students were required to take a two week ice skating unit.  Worse than that, 20% of your grade was based on a skills checklist.  I spent the first week watching, usually with my butt and/or face on the ice, while everyone else checked off their skills.  Once I fell sort of both backwards and forwards at the same time and ended up in a half split with my arms in the air and shouted "Mrs T. Look at me! This has GOT to be a skill!" But sadly it was not.  So I may or may not have gotten a doctor's note (from my dentist who was a close personal friend and lived next door) saying I had weak ankles and should be kept off the ice as much as possible.  I was allowed to take a written skills test.  I'm sort of ashamed of this but in my defense if I had continued that unit I almost certainly would have broken my ankle or sliced off the tip of my index finger.

This is a professional ice skater doing exactly what I did except her arms don't look as good.  It was definitely a skill.
--While playing coed badminton with one of my best friends as a partner and the opposing team in cahoots, on the day we were being monitored by the teacher, I claimed I had broken my glasses the day before and thus could not see very well (I was wearing contacts).  Every time I missed the birdie I would say, "OH! If only I had my glasses!" And my very good friend would say "It's true, you should have seen her yesterday, she couldn't miss."  And the girl on the other side would be like, "I for one am glad she broke her glasses yesterday, maybe we'll actually win for once!" We may have taken it a little bit too far because I was approached by the Girls Badminton coach the following week to ask if I wanted to try out for the team.

--I always volunteered to lead the stretches at the beginning of class.  As I am somewhat double-jointed I can appear to be very flexible.  I would say things like "Ok now clasp your hands behind your lower back.  If you're extremely flexible and good at gym class like me, you might want to take this stretch further by pulling your arms up over your shoulders and head.  Oh? Only I can do that? It must be because I am excellent at gym and should get an A+ no matter what my performance at volleyball today."

-- Freshmen year when my male teacher was holding my weak ankles and counting how many sit ups I could do... After two sit ups I accidentally umm.. farted a teensy bit and then burst into tears.  He was all flustered and said "Let's just say you did 50 sit ups," which was great because honestly I was done at two.  I then considered something like this approach in the following years and even practiced sit ups at home while making fake noises with my mouth and then fake tears with my eyes but couldn't bring myself to do it again.  Luckily all the practicing meant I was surprisingly good at sit ups all of a sudden.  

--Junior year I convinced my teacher to let me run two four minute half miles on consecutive days instead of one eight minute mile in one day.  Then I got a tee shirt from the President of the United States himself for being an excellent runner.  Or something like that.  It looked like this.  I wore it to future gym classes instead of my gym shirt to alert my teachers that I was an excellent athlete and not one they needed to watch but could just give an A+.



I'm sure there are more, I know I got extra credit for wearing cowboy boots to Line Dancing once for example but I have to go eat a chicken and then take a shower so I'll cut it off here.

Miss me?



37 comments:

  1. Wow... you were really creative in your gym class avoidance. :) I went to Catholic school. We only had to do one year of gym, for which I was eternally thankful. Apparently, gym is not nearly as important as religion classes.

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    1. I actually ended up taking four years of gym because I could take it honors senior year and I wanted another honors class, but I hated every second of it. I went to a Jesuit college so I am well versed on required religion classes. I had to take a lot of them.

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    2. How do you make a gym class honors? Did you have to do a special project or something?

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  2. Holy Moly, your gym teachers actually expected you to master skills? 3/4 of our grade was just showing up. If you looked like you were actually trying, you got an A regardless of how bad you were. Which I think is only fair given how some of us (me included) are simply born without any kind of coordination. I have a difficult time walking and talking at the same time.

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    1. Yeah I think like 75-80 percent of our grades were attendance and if you were dressed for gym and participation but a lot of our units had skill checklists (like a pass/fail sort of thing). This was fine for most people but I honestly can not do a somersault and my tries don't look like real tries no matter how much I insist they are real tries. I'm just really ungainly.

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  3. I have to say I'm totes jealous of your t-shirt. I was "presidentially" fit in every activity except the mile... hello, asthma? The gym teacher even had me rerun the mile with a fast, long-legged Asian girl in my class to see if I could hit the eight minute mark. All I got was an asthma attack but no shirt from the president. If only she had let me run two four minute half-miles... genius!

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    1. Yeah I definitely could not run an eight minute mile. Not at any point in my life. Not even when I was actually training for a marathon and running eleven minute miles ten times in a row. Ryan would laugh at me and I would be all, "Slow and steady wins the race. I am going to win this marathon RYAN." And then he would be all "That is not how it works." Sadly I broke my dang leg before we could determine who won that argument.

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  4. I sucked at gym and used to grade the P.E. teacher's 8th grade science class homework and tests instead of getting involve in actual physical fitness. Or I would convince him to let me "run" around the building instead of participating in basketball or volleyball. When I actually signed up to join the volleyball team, of course, I sat on the bench almost every game. Surprisingly, I grew into my arms/shoulders when I was a senior and I surprised everyone in P.E. one day by actually getting the ball over the net. They were so surprised, the next three or four times I served, they just stood there, gaping because what the devil happened?!

    I loved playing volleyball in college because I somehow always managed to get on the P.E. team that slaughtered the other side. The teacher's aide was all, "Maybe you guys should go easy on the other side?" Nah.

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    1. I totally did the running thing too! Around the indoor track if we were inside and the outdoor one if we were outside. I am awful at volleyball. Ryan is quite good, he played in college. I can assuredly not get the ball over the net.

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  5. This makes me super happy that my high school had only two 'years' of gym class. And by 'year' I mean the half semester that counted as a 'year' since we had block scheduling. Although I wasn't nearly as bad as you, I may not be all that talented most of the time, but I do have a problem being super competative. Also, I think we all got As as long as we showed up to class regularly.

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    1. Yeah I think like 80% of our grade was participation and all that but we did have skills checklists for certain units (gymnastics UGH). They were pass/fail skills, like if you tried to do a handstand and sort of did one then you passed but I couldn't even sort of do most things so...

      We had block scheduling too but we took all classes all year just didn't have them all every day, sort of like a college schedule. Your block scheduling sounds sort of amazing.

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  6. First off, I will tell you that I got out of archery class because I really did accidentally slice the little end bitty tip of my index finger off. While opening a box of cereal...ya now what the tip of a finger looks like - an almond. Which is a problem in a cereal filled with almond slivers. Or at least it's a problem when you cannot open a box of cereal like a normal person and up rummaging through almond slivers looking for your fingertip. So there's that...

    Also, archery class was the only gym class I actually WANTED to take. I was pretty good at it before Almond Delight jumped up and bit me. F*er.

    Also, double-jointed is not a real thing. You've had enough xrays to know that. You've just got super-duper awesome, but lonely, single joints.

    Also, I am pretty sure you took that medal photo last week. You got them out to wear around the house didn't you? :) Having asked that, I am suddenly feeling inspired to go get some of my run medals and start wearing them around when I finish household tasks. So I can feel like I won the vacuuming olympics. I'll have to sort them out and choose weather my gold or my silver finishing medals go with a task. I mean, seriously, gold at laundry is a given. Or my enchiladas - I should even shave my legs and go Michael Phelps multiple golds with that shizzle. But dusting? Silver medal heat in my house (or bronze, or whatever medal is lower than bronze). Maybe that's a spelling bee ribbon. Attendance certificate? Perfect! YES - I DID SEE THE DUST. I WAS THERE!

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  7. Do you eat chicken in a really messy manner, or are those two things relatively unrelated?

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  8. I did indeed miss you! And I'm actually fairly angry at your high school for having skills checklists, as people are different, and a person might not master ice skating basics in two weeks (who came up with that timeline? That's ridiculous) no matter how hard they try. And also it is not okay to have something like volleyball performance be tied to your GPA. (Yes, I have a lot of bitter feelings towards gym class/teachers, why do you ask?)

    That said, I love how you handled them! *applause*

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  9. I'm permanently traumatized by gym class. We had to make up missed gym classes. It was brutal. Like you were out sick for a day and you had to catch up on your homework? They'd make you run circles around the gym while wearing a heart monitor because they were HORRIBLE and it counted in your GPA which is just cruel and unusual.

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  10. Totally missed you and I had similar medals from academic pentathlon. I never wore them to school though because my mother would take them to work and tell people how smart I was even though she had not a clue what I had actually done. Your gym class exploits definitely deserve another medal though. Very clever. We could never get out of anything but then again I was on the volleyball team and track team so I guess letting us out of workouts would have been a bad thing.

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  11. Lisa S5/06/2013

    I was awful at anything gym-related, and I hated it. I wasn't as clever at making up excuses as you though. I just "forgot" my gym clothes or "hurt my ankle" a lot, or just plain refused to participate. This did not give me great grades, but honestly, I was OK with barely passing.

    Yes, I missed you. Glad to see you back with new energy.

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  12. I remember our gym final was that we had to run around the basketball court for like 25 minutes and we would get counted off if we just started walking. I hated gym. They should make it more fun to encourage us to exercise after high school. Maybe this is why we all complain about working out.

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  13. YAY, YOU'RE BACK! I hated gym! I remember sneaking a book into to P.E. all the time, because all we ever did in there was play dodge ball and we could opt to sit out. I was also very happy that we moved after my freshman year because my new school did NOT require me to take gym to graduate.

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  14. I went to high school in Texas...if you weren't on the football team they didn't care much what you could do so long as you showed up and didn't do silly things like let stray dogs into the school on accident. I did both but they only noticed the first one...

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  15. I'm glad you're back! This post was just what I needed to power through the next 90 minutes at the office.

    On topic... my parents moved me up to 1st grade halfway through my kindergarten year. Gym class was horrific. I cried every single class and Mr. Z just took pity on me. I say now that there are just some things that 6 and 7 year olds can do that 5 year olds can't, but I'm not sure how much of a cop out that really is. In any event, I loathed gym class for my entire school tenure and would have just died if I'd been forced to ice skate. I totally think that you had a skill!

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  16. So now I am all Slim Shady-style singing in my head from the title of this post. You're awesome!

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  17. IA Heidi5/06/2013

    Thrilled to have you back but even happier to see the renewed spunkerella!

    Gym. 7th grade. I'll never forget our loaf of a gym teacher who used to call us his 'little doves' and my fierce classmate who told him off. We played any netted game as a four square and half the time played on those little floor height scooters. Then there were locker rooms to socially navigate...

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  18. I was also rubbish (and still am) at all things sport - except Step - I am awesome at that.

    At high school I was banned from taking part in the Javelin after I nearly killed the teacher with the sharp end after attempting to throw it - she was behind me. That wasn't even on purpose but I am guessing that giving me the required mark was sufficient to save her life.

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  19. This reminds me of when our swimming gym unit would come up and somehow every girl mysteriously had their period for 2 entire weeks.

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  20. Re splitting your running into two days:

    What form of logic works with a gym teacher?

    I never found one.

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  21. I got out of having to take gym classes in high school by being on the tall flag team (with the marching band) in the fall (it counted as gym) and being on the soccer team in the spring. PE was covered by both of those..I feel like I skated through compared to what you had to go through... TOTES MISSED YOU!!!

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  22. So glad you are back! In HS all of the band kids had gym once every four days, and we would never remember when we needed clothes, so we just filled one locker with an assortment of t-shirts and shorts and rotated wearing them. I can't remember any of them getting washed, but since we never broke a sweat it worked out all right.

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  23. Lauren! You're back! I did miss you.
    Those sound like AMAZING ways of getting good grades in Gym. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, but you're awesome. And this post brought a definite smile to my face. :)

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  24. Yay! I did miss you! I joined the tennis team so I wouldn't have to take gym. I didn't know how to play and neither did my best friend who joined with me. After weeks of sucking in practice, our coach, showing very questionable judgement, put us in a doubles match against a private school in Tulsa. I hadn't landed one serve in bounds and it was almost the end of the match. Finally, one of my serves was good and we were so excited and jumping up and down and high-fiving each other that we missed the return. We didn't even consider that the ball would come back and we should be ready for it. Oops. We lost but just barely - haha, I don't think we scored a single point but we'd cheer for each other even if we almost could have won a point. We weren't allowed near matches again. Apparently, cheering, high-fiving, and jumping up and down while matches are going on is frowned upon. Why do tennis people hate joy?

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  25. Luckily, dance arts was an elective available to juniors and seniors, and I managed to take it three out of my four semesters. Not that I'm exceptionally graceful, but I remembered enough from my dance classes as a kid and actually looked like I cared, rather than most of the class who just took it to get out of running and calisthenics as a warm-up every day (which, of course, was the main reason I took the class too... but I didn't walk around with my Daria face on like they all did).

    Good to have you back!

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  26. That's a lot more creative than me. I just pretended I was having my period every afternoon for an entire semester. I think I fooled a lot of people with that one.

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  27. I have never been so happy to have gone to a poor school than when I just picturing myself having to take ice skating. Totally makes having to play soccer on an asphalt playground worth it.

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  28. Anonymous5/09/2013

    That was awesome :-)

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  29. I was about the same. At my school, I needed a total of two years (6 terms) worth of gym classes. So in freshman year, I took one term. In sophomore year, I did the same. Again I only took one term in Junior year. This meant that for my senior year, I was taking gym in all three terms.

    Because most kids frontload their gym requirement, I was pretty much the only senior in these classes. I stuck out like a sore thumb (and probably had several sore thumbs as well). My LORD was I ever clumsy. I wasn't nearly as clever as you when it came to sneaking through my gym requirements.

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  30. Anonymous5/10/2013

    Did you ever notice that your life story is suspiciously similar to the plot of High School Musical?

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    1. Huh. Seriously? I've never seen it!

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