Here’s Mud in Your Eye!: Interlude

20 Nov

Dear Mr. Ramos,

I am writing because I want to apologize. When I was your gym student in elementary school, I hated you. Probably you already know this, because we called you names behind your back. Maybe kids are still doing this?  If so, I apologize. You are clearly not a Mr. Rainbows. Nor are you a Mr. Rambo. Especially, you are not a Mr. Ram Hoes.

I do think I should tell you that I had legitimate reasons for feeling put-upon by your coursework. Making us run the mile that was part of the state-required fitness test in May, in Florida, when it was 99 degrees outside with 300 percent humidity and the air was actually made of cockroaches was particularly devious.

It was also a little unreasonable that so many of the “sports” we learned involved teams, from which I was summarily excluded, hula hoops, which I am not and have never been proficient in employing, and beanbags, which I was summarily pelted with. Do you know how hard it is to make friends when you’re 8 and red and sweaty and tangled in a hula hoop?  Do you know how much it hurts to get hit in the stomach with 30 bean bags? DO YOU?!?!?

I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to get so upset. I am actually sending this letter because I want to make things right with you.  Miles and bean bags may have been cruel and unusual, but they are not unforgiveable.  Last weekend, I learned that there are worse ways a sports education can fail you than by leaving you with a permanent fear of that *TANG* noise made by red dodgeballs.

It could leave you completely incapable of climbing a rope, scaling a wall, swimming 100 yards in freezing water, and trudging a mile through waist high mud, for instance. Would you believe that, when I recently tried to traverse 30 feet of rope netting (a perfectly reasonable task, I think), I got too close to a friend I like to call the Bad Idea Bear and she kicked me in the face?

You could have warned me!

And what about 15-foot walls? I tried to climb some, and my friends and I had to clamber over each other like those creepy ants on the discovery channel that eat people’s arms. Why didn’t we have a cheerleading team, Mr. Ramos?  Think of the pyramids!

I bet the kids who went to fancy private schools like Exeter were subjected to useful exercises like these. In fact, I walked by there one time and I am pretty sure I saw a mud pit studded with grimacing fourth graders tucked away behind some trees. While I am aware that Dommerich is a public school, and as such, is subject to things like laws, I really think it is in the best interests of the young wards whose future athletic viability is entrusted to you to make your classes more terrible. Please, think of the children.



P.S. You can keep the game with the giant parachute—especially that part where we are all under the parachute and you can, like, see everybody and watch the center collapse and we are all giggling and we get to roll balls across, because that is cool and sometimes I still get under my blankets and just roll balls around so I can use my skills. Which. Are. Formidable.

P.P.S. I have a friend in the Air Force SERE division. You should give him a call.



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