I still get a sinking feeling in my stomach when I think about Mr. Byrd, my elementary school gym teacher. His stern looks and disapproving eyes, combined with my inability to do a front somersault and other P.E. "must-dos," pretty much turned me off of gym and exercise my entire adolescence. It wasn't until after college that I (voluntarily) entered a gym - and I still strongly prefer watching sports to playing them.
I wasn't surprised, then, when I read about Canadian research showing that a negative experience in gym class can cause people to abandon fitness and sports for good. Results of the small, survey-based study were announced last week, but Katherine Hobson does a nice job discussing the research - and ways to get over your bad experience - today on USNews.com. I particularly liked her (inspirational) closing:
My own suggestion: If you have bad childhood sports memories, turn them to your own advantage. I took up running as an adult after failing miserably at it during every P.E. class I ever had. The element of revenge made finishing my first marathon even sweeter.
Photo by Tom@HK