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22 July 2010


Scarred For Life
*recounting old phys-ed nightmares*

This is identical to the first gymsuit I was required to wear. It was the Sixties, and we had to wear bloomers and play (ugh) lacrosse, (ugh) hockey, (ugh) tennis, and other games involving heavy wooden implements muscular sportive girls wielded as weapons. *rubs her shins* Those hockey-mad girls were dangerous. We didn't like the horrible woven-leather lacrosse stick cradles, as the leather still had hair on it :-( I don't actually remember the ball at all. Was it wooden or a pig's bladder or a kitten's head or something?*

I liked the trampoline (later we'd be tripping in gym class while jumping around on the trampoline, which might possibly've been dangerous, dunno). I like dodge ball. I didn't mind the horse and the balance beam and parallel bars so much, but I don't remember being overly enthusiastic about having to climb up big, fat ropes to the ceiling.

What else did we do... oh, softball, basketball. And had to take communal showers and be ticked off a clipboarded list by whatever evil gymteacher was in charge. If you had your period you could explain, then be allowed to shower in a single-person shower. The gymsuits were *hhhhhhhorribleeeeeeeee* although the more worldy little girls managed to get suits that were not 4 sizes too large (they were cut somewhat giganto to allow for greater unattractiveness which was how world order was kept). After the bloomers we took a leap forward and had gymsuits that had the same elastised bloomer legs but had built-in shorts over them. All this, and we had to wear skirts to school, too.

Anyway, I spent every free hour on the back of a horse, so all my muscles had sort of developed the opposite to what those sports needed. It wasn't like I didn't get enough exercise; I drove myself into the ground with overwork when I was what - 16 or 14 or something and wound up in bed for 6 months. I was always good at school (until I deliberately wasn't) but I hated it, and with good reason.

* Oh that reminds me of having a frozen cat dropped in front of me, which I was told I would be having to dissect. I solved that little problem by not going to school until the danger was passed. Science was ok, what with all the scope for mayhem, and evens physics was not too awful (although by that time I was not interested in being a good student as there was too much social unrest).

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posted by - 1:09 AM

Our gym suits were similar, but not bloomers, just ugly shorts. All the other girls had machine-embroidered names on their suits, but my mother simply had to embroider mine in all lower case, crooked, hand-embroidery. Did she not recall that all teenage girls find reminders of mother shameful? I hated all aspects of gym class, but frankly yours sounds hundreds of times worse than mine.
Bloomers make everything worse.
I didn't have to wear these, just blue bermuda shorts and a white shirt, but it didn't matter. I hated gym no matter what the clothing was. I couldn't hit a ball of any kind. In high school volleyball there were three school teams, the A team, B team, and C team, depending on your proficiency. I was on the D team, which never played any real games. In college PE I took Scottish folk dancing and got a B-, which cost me my scholarship. -- Drangea
If you were not good at the phys-ed offerings, that unholy harridan The Phys-Ed Teacher hated you, and did her best to make you know it, too.
Death to All Gym Teachers!
hoo! i sent this to some some great comments, one about her poor grandmother having to wash and iron it every week-- every week! we wore it all week!! everything looked way too big on me (they hadn't invented size 5 yet) so that was nothing new, but worse, my big sis was (and is) an athlete, fondly remembered darling of the p.e. set, and i was ball-phobic so things did not go well except when it rained...we sat in the locker room and sang for an hour -- it had fabulous acoustics.
I believe we had phys-ed twice a week - so wearing it two times for 45 minutes a time doesn't seem particularly slothful to me. The original bloomer-suit I had required ironing, but I think the ones which came after that were Permanent Press. It's hard to believe people had others doing their laundry; I had to do my own ironing from age 8, and sleeves were too hard for me at that age so I left them wrinkly :-D
Everything had to be ironed back then in the Dark Ages.
I had to iron my *choke* uniforms from age ... um not sure, maybe 10 ... but I refused to iron my gym suit, which was heavy cotton, so it could have been the BEOFRE pic for an ad on why teenaged girls should iron, with the caption: "here is what you would look like if you never ironed your already grotesquely revolting gym suit."

BTW it was a ONE PIECE jobbie, so I had to struggle into it because like all pantsuit sort of clothing items, it was too short for my torso. *too-short torso hurts, in case you wanted to know*
They were all one piece suits. Mine had poppers not buttons, and the first one was heavy cotton that required ironing, but which I don't really recall ironing.

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