Monday, April 24, 2006

So sore

My muscles are reminding me that I'm out of shape. Last night I played basketball. I was the oldest on the court by ten years, and more than half those playing were the age of my youngest, or younger. OK, we were only seven all together, but we used the full court, so I had to move.

Reaching for the ball's good stretching. I didn't score much; though I did get the first points in the game. When I gave some throwing suggestions to a newcomer, one of the others mentioned that I was the one who had taught her. I was the local school's girls gym teacher for thirteen years, and three out of the seven on the court were my former students. I'm older than their mothers, and there I was, sort of, keeping up with them, the kids.

A while ago, at the pool, another former student told me that it meant something to her to be in the pool with her "former gym teacher."

I never trained or studied, to be a gym teacher. I love to dance, and when various opportunities arose, I declared myself a "Creative Dance Teacher." That's how I began my career as a teacher, which evolved into "physical education."

My aim was to make my students enjoy physical activity. I never graded them on their talents and skills, considered that those were gifts from G-d. They were graded on remembering to wear sneakers and bring sweatpants for modesty's sake.

And the truth is that I was always horrid at sports. I ran slowly and never impressed anyone with my athletic talents. And the funny thing is that I'm a much better athlete at my present--almost old enough for all the senior discounts--age than I was in my teens.

So, the message is not to penalize the sports clutzes. The important thing is just to "do it." Exercise for fun not for winning.

And now I had better hurry, since I'm meeting friends for a walk around the neighborhood.

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