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Comments

Allison

What I really like about this story is seeing the influence you had on your parents! My family was never particularly active, either (although I vaguely remember sweating horribly during a southern Louisiana jog when I was about 10). For me, it wasn't until college and the opportunity to *pick* my PhysEd classes that it all came together. My first sememster, I took swimming, and um...let's just say I'll never be a triathlete.

Later, though, I took ballet and weight-training during the same semester, and found that I felt better than I ever had before. That stuck, and I added more activities (running, rollerblading, biking), and eventually moved to Colorado so I could hike regularly, not just on holidays.

The part about the President's Fitness Test just burns me. While I'm impressed that you pushed yourself, it's purely annoying the assumptions that people make about boys and girls without any underlying evidence.

DaveL

Kayaking and running is a good combination. Or at least I like it.

wolfa

The problem is that being picked last for teams doesn't always inspire people to do more and better. Which is why any reasonably gym teacher *no longer allows students to pick teams*. They can create the teams themselves, or risk imbalanced teams for one period and make arbitrary distinctions (grandmother's first name starts with A-M, born in the first half of the month, whatever), or any other non-sadistic way of choosing teams.

Plus, of course, that phys ed is always about the same games -- soccer, soccer baseball, volleyball, basketball, instead of trying new sports so everyone has a chance to be a beginner.

The fitness boom is a good thing, but until gym class is seen mostly as a way to make everyone enjoy the class, it's going to be counterproductive.

hydropsyche

I love your story, and my own is similar in a way. I also discovered I was good at running through the presidential fitness tests in elementary school. My parents definitely encouraged my older brother into sports more than me, so I think they were somewhat shocked when he had no interest in them while I got serious about running and was actually good at. They became completely supportive, however, and after attending all of my meets in junior high and high school my dad got serious about running, too, and 5 years later completed his first marathon. Now, I think both my parents would say that running was one of the best things that happened to me and that Title IX is awesome.

Antigone

Your story also highlights one thing that I think most people overlook: these things nneed to be trained. When some people start going off on how unsuited females are for sports, I always say "Did they get trained literally from the cradle on how to do this stuff? No? Then don't you think others kinda have a head start on it?"

Hope is not lost. My father, one of the world's biggest misgyinists if there ever was one, once told me this: "You know, when I was in high school and they said we had to have a girl's team, I laughed at them. The girls looked so awkward and clumsy, and had muscles in the wrong places. I was like, 'They're wasting my football money for this?' But now, well, look at your little sister: I'd put her team up against any boy's team. They're fast, they've got good skills, and they're strong, there's nothing wrong with her game at all."

Yay Title IX.

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