Then they killed recess.
It was a cold and calculated coup brought about by the P.E. Nazis. Recess was fun, P.E. was torture. The P.E. Nazis like it that way. P.E. Nazis were probably once the playground bullies. The self-appointed captains of the kickball teams, the ones who liked the feeling of choosing the most athletic kids first and humiliating the kids who they had to pick last...
But the best part of recess? We could say, screw them, let's go jump rope! If you didn't want to play kickball, you didn't have to.
So the playground bullies grew up to get a degree in physical education and they became the P.E. Nazis.
In middle school, when you are the most vulnerable and most unsure of your body, the P.E. Nazis make you undress in front of all the other kids. It was the first time that running and playing became the dreaded "exercising."
When I was in the 7th grade, my P.E. teacher thought it would be a good idea to teach lanky 12 year olds how to jump hurdles. I was 5'9 all legs and probably weighed 90lbs. soaking wet. I think you know where I am going with this.
"Just run, and jump...run and jump."
That was the extent of our instruction.
So I ran...and jumped...and landed. Elbow first, then my hip, flat on my back. My friends were scared when I burst into tears (I don't cry). I was holding my arm and my friends were taking me into the school. The coach yells after us...
"SHE'LL BE OKAY, SHE JUST HURT HER PRIDE!"
Thanks Dr. P.E. Nazi, they almost had to put pins in my arm due to a completely broken humerus and I got to start the summer with a cast that couldn't get wet...protecting my PRIDE no doubt.
P.E. Nazis still exist. When the Youngest Boy broke his toe, the Doctor gave him a written excuse...
"NO P.E. for 4 WEEKS."
They still made him change into his P.E. clothes... AND WALK AROUND THE TRACK for the entire class period. (I see that confused look on your face, I had it too)
I sent the P.E. Nazi an email.
Me: Youngest Boy has a broken toe. Toe Dr. gave him a written excuse for P.E. for 4 weeks. Why does he have to walk the track by himself during P.E.?
Dr. P.E. Nazi: He needs to be doing SOMETHING, besides, he needs to 'work it out.'
That prompted a letter to the Principal.
Me: The Youngest Boy has a broken toe, he also has a note from the Toe Doctor that excuses him from P.E. for 4 weeks. The P.E.
Principal with no Principles: Yes, I am aware of this situation, what do you want him to do? Just sit there?
Me: I would think that a woman with a Ph.D would know what an excuse from P.E. MEANS. It means YES, I WANT HIM TO JUST SIT THERE. Maybe he could READ A BOOK, he is in school you know?
He wasn't allowed to read, but they let him sit out during the class. Instead of reading, the P.E. Nazi wanted him to WATCH what the other kids were doing.
Hey, I wonder if that will work for me? Will I get the same benefits watching a workout DVD from the sofa? In the interest of science I am going to try it.