7 things we loved about gym class

Willow&Monk, Flickr

Ah, gym class: the one time of day we got to really say “f**k it”. Sure, lunch was fun, but it was gym class that could turn us from a normal kid into a hero, a villain…or just a loser. Not every gym class was created equal, but the best ones utilized the most fun equipment. Here are some of the best pieces of equipment and things we did in gym class. What was your favorite?

Photo credit: Willow&Monk, Flickr

7 The Parachute

saritarobinson, Flickr

There was something about its enormity, its vibrant colors and the fact that everyone was using it at once that made this a rare, but welcome activity. Plus, when we all got inside and pulled it down, it felt like we were in a huge tipi. Best way to take a break from math and science, ever.

Photo credit: saritarobinson, Flickr

6 Dodge Ball

Justin Ornellas, Flickr

The only kids who didn’t like dodge ball were the ones who were awful at it. My god, arming yourself with that rubber ball and then launching it at the face of the smallest kid on the opposite side gave us a feeling of power like no other. This was the quintessential game for shit-talking, or at least a kid’s version of that…which is actually a hell of a lot more vicious than adults, come to think of it.

Photo credit: Justin Ornellas, Flickr

5 Roller Scooters

Jammed fingers, skinned elbows and bruised egos were the norm when these multi-colored roller scooters were busted out for gym class. Fast, fun and loud, it’s a wonder that they didn’t cause more testicular trauma.

Photo credit: YouTube/burnetts3

4 Kick Ball

craigland, Flickr

Aside from the dramatic unfolding of the teams choosing process, kick ball was loads of fun. Here are some of the characters we could always count on during a game:
-The kid who missed the kick and fell over Charlie Brown-style.
-The kid whose pendulum-like legs would always knock that fucker out of the park.
-The frail child who the pitcher would always roll the ball slowly to (though this was more to scoff at him or her, rather than to be nice.)
-The gym teacher who took that shit way too seriously. It’s not a goddamn league sport.

Photo credit: craigland, Flickr

3 Giant Gym Ball

MIKI Yoshihito, Flickr

No one knows what the official name of this monstrosity was or what it was meant for but if you saw me in gym class back in ’93 you could bet I was using it to cause mass destruction among a sea of my peers.

Photo credit: MIKI Yoshihito, Flickr

2 Playground

lori05871, Flickr

Though my elementary school playground was far less playing ground and far more rusty, stabby death trap, other schools had beautiful playgrounds with smooth, rubbery material underneath instead of pavement and a variety of activities to engage in. Compared to being shackled to a desk to learn about American history, sliding down slides, see-sawing, swinging, running and jumping gave us a supreme sense of freedom.

Photo credit: lori05871, Flickr

1 Field Day

EaglebrookSchool, Flickr

Tug-of-war, sack races, three-legged races, and ice-cold, fire-engine red punch…you can’t have more fun than that as a kid. Field day was like having eight gym classes in a row. It’d always be at some place off school grounds, which may as well have been space the final frontier for how exciting and foreign it was and everyone absolutely loved it. Except of course for the pale kid who had a daily cry in the closet…

Photo credit: EaglebrookSchool, Flickr

(Previously published on January 15, 2013.)