I feel like Marquis de Sade.
It has been some time since I last read an article that brings back school memories.
But she is right – I (and probably most of us) had been blinded by issues of academia and on achieving only strings of A’s, thus neglecting sports entirely.
(Sidenote: I love reading theSun Weekend’s Conversations. It is always wonderful to know how people are actually trying to change the world and make it a better place.)
See, I totally loathe the subject Pendidikan Jasmani and Kesihatan (PJK). That is physical and health education, for those not in the know.
PJK would come around twice a week (sometimes once; my school had rotating weekly timetables). And it was never easy to stuff a set of sports clothes into a school bag. I used to take a school bus to school, and I needed to keep my hands free to hold on to the rails (in case there are no seats available) – or risk getting icy glares from the people next to me should I lose my footing and tumble onto them instead when the bus manoeuvres down sharp corners.
What, you think I can defy gravity?
Anyway, PJK often enough involves a frantic change of clothes in wet and smelly toilet cubicles (or if the boys have left for the fields, the girls take over the classroom instead, ahem), cheesy warm-up exercises (turn your head round and round), amused stares from passersby (does not help when the school is located next to a busy road), and a couple of accidental bonks on the head from balls.
Hmm, let us see.
For the guys in my high school, it was relatively easy. They tugged off their school shirts, donned their t-shirts, and off to the field they went, where they played the same game every week – football – while the teacher-in-charge merely sat on a chair under a tree in the shade, either marking his Geography students’ papers or attempting not to doze off during the forty-minute period.
The girls, however, had more variety in their choices. Warm-up exercises. Netball, badminton, tennis, hockey, gymnastics, and plenty of mindless running around cones of all colours, and hoops. We also had to maintain a folio describing the day’s activities, which would be examined by the teacher whenever she felt like it.
And some of us would purposefully ‘forget’ to bring along our sports clothes, just to sit out from the activities, preferring to spend time on our books instead.
Most of us, sadly, were of the opinion that PJK is a waste of time.
Then there was the annual Sports Day, whereby everyone would be ‘forced’ to participate, attend weekly training sessions, and threatened to turn up at the sports stadium on the actual day itself, or else!
It was not a matter of choice. “Attendance is compulsory,” the teachers barked. And so the students dragged themselves to the fields for practice and whatnots, while some managed to get away with it. It made me even more discouraged at the unfairness of it all. Perhaps there were a handful who would eventually grow to love doing a 100m race, but one can only run back and forth that many times.
So you see, it was no fun doing sports in school, at all. I wonder how it all went wrong in the first place.
Now, I am in my early twenties and I hardly do any exercises – no jogging, treadmills, yoga, and the like. I do not pay visits to any gyms, although there is a fitness franchise within walking distance from my house. Well-built men and women stride in there and sweat it all out, only to treat themselves to a steaming bowl of cheese-baked rice at the fast food joint next door.
The only ‘exercise’ that I do involves taking the stairs up to the fourth floor of the building where my workplace is at, and that is simply because of my dislike for elevators.
On air now: The Jessica Numbers, The New Po-nographers