Gonna fly now? Teresa and Margit in 1984, gym dance class, Philadelphia.
We all have those moments in our athletic careers that we’d like to forget — from that unintended split-fall on the balance beam (ouch!), to the remedial gym class we had to take to graduate college, to yesterday’s yogic fart (also known as “zen wind”).
Here are some of our own memorable Gym #FAILS that we’re still trying to forget.
The Cat Ate My Gymsuit
In middle school, I discovered a foolproof way to skip gym without technically skipping gym. After our gym teacher took attendance, we were split into groups and either sent to a smaller gym or outside to do something horrible involving cheap plastic balls in varying states of deflation. Those few minutes of chaos created the perfect opportunity for me to slip undetected into the dusty, mustard-colored locker room and spend an hour doing homework (nerd alert!), and read various “advanced” (read: sex-inclusive) Judy Blume books. Did I feel like I was missing out or did I feel like a loser? Neither. It was a rare hour of junior high solace. My private study hall where I could avoid my personal idea of hell: standing on a suburban soccer field in shorts with a bunch of 14-year-old co-eds — and having never broken a sweat (despite those steamy deflowering scenes in Forever), I avoided the other worst part of gym: showering.
When I was 14 and at my absolute gawkiest, I went on a family vacation to Florida where my parents signed me up for tennis lessons. I developed a major crush on the gorgeous instructor and did my best to impress with my non-existent strokes. I guess the combination of surging hormones, intense shyness and the blazing Boca sun was too much for me, as I passed out cold on the court. Needless to say, I was not his girl. Also, I’m the only woman I know who earned a varsity letter in wrestling in high school. I signed on as equipment manager/water girl because I had a crush on the coach. Everyone on the team got a letter — I still have mine tucked away somewhere.
Spin This, Asshole
I used to work at a company in which one of the senior execs taught a spin class. He walked past me once and slapped me on the ass. “Great job!” he said. I guess my fail was letting him get away with it!
While attending a yoga class at my gym, I dared to move a few inches away from the (mirrored) wall for a headstand. I promptly lost my balance and rolled tush first into the wall, shattering the glass. It was mortifying! It also kept me from finally getting to the point where I could balance on my head in the middle of the room for YEARS. (The day my legs did float up though — I will never forget it. Very hard won!)
The time I hit our very own contributor Teresa in the mouth with a lacrosse ball when we were 14. She was wearing braces and when the ball hit, they got caught on her cheek. I just remember her charging after me with bloodlust. Foregoing basketball (who knows what damage that could do), we opted for a very casual dance class where we got to groove to “Fame,” the theme from “Rocky” (we were in Philadelphia, after all), and curiously enough, learn line dancing to the Moody Blues’ “Tuesday Afternoon” — a particular favorite of our gym teacher.
By my last semester of required Phys-Ed in high school, I had obtained a loosely-worded doctor’s excuse regarding my knees (or something like that). I spent the time sitting on the sidelines reading the entire Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series. I consider this to be a #MASSIVEWIN.
Forever Four Eyes
I got my first pair of sorely needed glasses in the third grade. I hadn’t been able to hit or kick any kind of ball for years, and I finally understood why. I was in gym class playing softball, first time at bat with my new specs, imagining how glorious it would be to prove that I wasn’t horrifically uncoordinated… and the first pitch hit me in the face, cutting my cheek and breaking my glasses. I bled and cried and confirmed my wimp status.
I guess my boobs had started to…um…blossom, but I had not yet started strapping them in. One day, probably in 5th or 6th grade, we were playing dodge ball, and with all of that running and jumping, my new breasts were flapping all over the place — left, right, up, down. Places I never thought possible. Of course all of the boys noticed (and the mean girls, too), spread the word, and I was known as “boobs Suze” for at least a month, I’d say.