Thursday, April 7, 2011

Ano ang "P" sa P.E.?

If I were any worse at P.E. perhaps I wouldn't be able to answer this question.


There are sporty people, flexible individuals, and the physically fit. And then there's me.

As much as I enjoyed playing dodge ball and kickball in my younger years, the fear of spraining an ankle or breaking a bone always lurked at the back of my mind, preventing me to, well, be at the top of my game. Then volleyball happened. And just when I proved to NOT suck at it, I had to undergo surgery (at my wrist), get well and lose the volleyball momentum.

I consider it excruciating every year, when we have to undergo that thing called "Philippine Physical Fitness Test" (PPFT). I can define flexibility, agility, endurance, strength and the likes but my body most definitely cannot define them. Not at all. Especially since I am one who can NEVER do decent sit-ups, nor crunches. Really I can't. So you can just imagine how embarrassing it was to record "1" or "2" under number of sit-ups every time I had to take the darn test!

And this happened when I was at the perfect weight for my height and, if it matters, age.

I guess, P.E. and I were just not meant to be.

Swimming was better though. I found out that I am capable of learning and doing three out of the four strokes in our curriculum. And I passed the quarter for successfully pulling off a few laps in our school's junior olympic-size pool.

The dances were awful. Be it folk dance or ballroom, I was a mess. And I cannot even muster memorizing the proper counting for "Carinosa" or the "Itik-itik" or "Binhi". Perhaps the "step-hop-hop", "hop-step-step" didn't appeal to my brain cells, or my muscles for that matter.

Chickenpox once saved me from gymnastics class. I didn't have to force myself to do splits or head stands or other stunts. But I will be eternally reminded of our pyramid-building efforts for it was then that I broke a bone, or probably it was dislocated. I don't know for sure. I was too afraid to see a doctor. I just relied on good ol' self-healing! As it turns out, I'm no wolverine. I can still feel the broken, if not dislocated bone, until now.

I would have enjoyed softball if we played more of it. I probably will never be the best softball player in class but I did hit a few balls with my bat. Few is better than none. And although it took a lot of guts to say hello to a flying ball, I knew how to catch using a stinky mitt. I thank my reflexes for that.

College offered me more freedom in exploring what P.E. can do for me. I took Tai-chi and aced it. I guess, I did well at imagining the ball of energy moving around my body while "painting the rainbow", "stroking the peacock's tail" and what-have-you. It helped that there were no impossible bending involved. Thus, me sailing through tai-chi.

I wasn't bad at table tennis and bowling either. Perhaps table tennis is the one clear edge I have over Jessica Zafra. I passed my class with a whopping "line of uno!". I remember I never made a strike in bowling (we played with duck pins). But I did spare several spares. Not bad for a beginner.

For a long time I haven't done anything PE-ish. Other than a few games of badminton with my family in the past; and, if it counts, my short-lived stint at Fitness First. And by "short-lived", I mean 5 to 7 visits out of my 3-month membership with them. Let's just say, Fitness First and I just didn't work out.

I can hardly believe I will ever consider joining yoga classes. Of course, I'm not good at it. It's about bending and reaching for-oh, I don't know. But even though I laugh my way to yoga class, I do appreciate the calm I get while doing the tree pose - which, thank god, I can do!

Now you see, "Ano ang 'P' sa 'P.E.'?" is a challenge for me, too.

Right, Chuck?

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