Thursday, August 09, 2007

Confessions of a P.E. Drama Queen

So, I don't know about you, but I didn't really enjoy junior high P.E.

My gym teacher was a documented (well, at least in my mind) sadist who would force us out to the track for long runs in the summer heat, set up a lawn chair and a glass of lemonade for himself, and say things like, "Sorry, I can't record your mile time because I only have a stopwatch, not a sun dial," as we limped by (and by "we," I mean, "I"). Looking back, maybe he was kind of clever, but still, I spent many hours of my adolescence organizing an anti-hustle movement (the very successful Ten-Minute Mile club) and searching for legal precedents for suing over forced physical activity (never did find anything).

Even now, whenever I see someone running (fairly often, since I live in Oregon, and we, like, invented running), I take it as a personal affront. "OK!" I lament at the sight of a jogger at a crosswalk, "I get it! You're better than me! You can run more than fifty feet without needing a lung transplant and only the right parts of you are bouncing and I'M SO SLOW! I know you're laughing on the inside, you vile beast!"

Of course, the jogger never acknowledges the pain she is causing me, and simply continues on her ponytail-swinging path of self-esteem destruction. But that's just how joggers are.

Now, don't get me wrong, it's not that I'm averse to all exercise--quite the contrary--it's just jogging that causes me to regress into an insecure, 13-year-old puddle. Yes, I should probably get some therapy for that, but in the meantime, cute workout gear is always helpful.

In fact, super-cute 70's style running shorts have been popping up everywhere lately, and they almost (almost) make me want to go for a little jog:

I actually bought a pair of these in a way cuter bright blue color (shown here--click on "Just Blue It"), planning to become a famous (and fashionable) marathon runner within a few weeks. I put some Timbaland on my Ipod, did a couple stretches, ran about fifty feet and decided to screw that idea. Now I wear them to class with black leggings underneath, a white ribbed tank, and sporty sandals, and pretend I just came from the gym. Look cool, no sweat (literally). Heh. Heh.
New Balance "Kaya" Women's Running Short, $28, for locations

Pretty simple, yes, but you gotta love the classic shape, and the splash of purple is adorable.
Women's "Response" Split Shorts, $28,

I've seen these Nike ones in multiple stores and on multiple celebrities, and they never fail to induce a jealous growl. I just think they're beautifully designed, really flattering, and come in a great array of colors (the black on black is especially cool).
Nike "Tempo" Track Shorts, $28 (am I seeing a trend here?),

If you're in need of some workout inspiration, I encourage you to head out and try some cute new shorts. But hustle it up--don't make me get my sun dial.


Susan B said...

Ugh, jr hi P.E. Volleyball, volleyball and more volleyball. And not with those nice leather VB's either...the hard rubber ones that hurt like hell when you tried to serve or bump or when you were going for the ball and the sun got in your eyes and it smacked you in the forehead instead. At least when we got to high school we got to play field hockey, and yes the ball is hard but you have a stick and shin pads so you have a fighting chance. Back when I was in school we had Ug.Ly gym uniforms. No cute shorts for us.

Anonymous said...

I feel your pain... I used to try to bargain with my gym teacher to get out of running. If that didn't work, I would keep my shoe laces tied really loose so that I would always have an excuse to stop. Too bad I didn't have those shorts. at least I would have looked good while trying my best not to sweat.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure my elementary school P.E. teacher was some kind of she-demon. And, come to think of it, another woman I had the misfortune of interacting with (this time as an adult) was ALSO a P.E. teacher and ALSO a she-demon! I think there's a pattern emerging here...

But I digress from the subject that I never really brought up in the first place: Contrary to popular belief, running is not a good cardio option for every person on the planet, so don't beat yourself up about it. Something low-or-no-impact that gets your heart rate up and keeps it there for 60 minutes three times a week is just as effective. I'm a ragin' ellipticizer, myself, and I love the rowing machines. Also, Shape magazine has great workouts that often don't require any major equipment, save for a balance ball or theraband. I like them because they're super core-strengthening-centric--i.e. no back problems later in life. :)

Giancarlo said...

Ten minute mile club? Heck, that's what I run now. You must've been fast back in junior high.

Anonymous said...

I used to be a regular jogger but recently (i.e. for the past year) have been bicycling more. Don't you fucking hate Nike's new advertisements? "SOMEONE MORE ATTRACTIVE WITH A BETTER JOB AND A HOTTER BOYFRIEND THAN YOU IS RUNNING 4-MINUTE MILES RIGHT NOW, YOU PATHETIC LARDASS"

daddylikeyblog said...

Deja Pseu--
God, yeah, cheap volleyballs are dangerous weapons. And our uniforms were horrible too. They said "Property of:" on the front and then we had to write our names in big letters so nobody could steal anybody else's. Tres chic.

Oh my gosh, I used to do the exact same thing!! Had we gone to junior high together, we surely would have been friends, and we probably would have been known as The Loose Shoelace Girls or something like that, and it would have been awesome.

I'm totally with you on your PE teacher as She-Demon theory. Of course, if any of my readers are or know someone who is a kind, gentle, well-adjusted PE teacher, I'd love to hear from them!

Yeah, as I was writing that, it hit me that I'm probably more of a twenty minute miler now, and not out of optional rebellion, but involuntary lung collapse. I think in junior high I was stuck in the PE class with all the older male trackstars, who would complain about their sluggish 6-minute times, so my double-digit protest was actually much more dramatic than it seems now. Also, looking back, my times were usually more in the 12-13 minute range, but 10 sounded way better in the official club title.

Anonymous said...

Lord, this brought me back. We had to start the mile-run in the second grade and I believe I timed in the first time at 12 minutes and the only girl in the whole school who ran slower was named Barbie (poor child.) Somewhere, there exists in my diary, which has maybe 10 entries total from elementary school, two straight pages about how much I hated it. I should dig it out.

I don't care for running shorts, though - I wear yoga pants on the oft-chance I decide to go to the gym. I would feel too much a marathon-running poseur in them.
-Tk (as blogger is not letting me log in)

Courtly Love said...

PE is the BANE of my exsistance. After this year in high school, I was supposed to be over and done with that forever. But then I moved and my new school has a PE for every year, all year requirement. There better not be a uniform, because thinking about new gym clothes is the only thing that is keeping me sane.

Kasmira said...

I remember one physical fitness test where we had to do full body pushups. I couldn't even do one. My gym teacher was disgusted.

Speaking of workout wear - have you checked out those running skorts? As a skirt lover, I think they are cute.

Gloria said...

obnoxiously or neon colored gym shorts are my personal fav ;)

christine said...

um am I the only one who adores running? (except maybe on my run today, where I slept in too long and had to run outside in the Florida sunshine/humidity and almost died). I definitely agree that cute running shorts are perfect motivation... I buy a cute pair when I'm getting bored with my workouts. Of course, anything is better than the polyester shorts we had to wear in jr high/high school gym. chaffage!

Liene Stevens said...

This post cracked me up - it felt like you had read my journal and were posting it for all the world to see. I've tried to like running, but finally just decided I don't nor do I have to. I did however recently purchase several cute workout outfits for the bikes at the gym. :)

Anonymous said...

I love these Nike shorts - I see them everywhere - whether I'm running or at the gym everyone is wearing them. And they are so comfortable toooo!

Great post.

Anonymous said...

Loved this post... in JR High my gym teacher made us run the mile on a track covered with ice and snow... imagine adding the ohhhhhhhhh slippery black ice factor to an already horrific experience. Though just to spite my teachers I was able to to more push-ups than most of the boys(70 to be exact)... No thanks to running might I add. Many thanks to hours spent laboring in the pool.

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