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Did you hate gym class?

Gym class

  • I loved it

    Votes: 2 6.1%
  • I liked it

    Votes: 2 6.1%
  • I didn’t mind it

    Votes: 6 18.2%
  • I disliked it

    Votes: 8 24.2%
  • I hated it

    Votes: 15 45.5%

  • Total voters


Relaxed Relativity Inspector
V.I.P Member
While I looked forward to the break in the day that Gym and Study Hall provided, I did not actually enjoy participating in group/team sports. The biggest problem with that for me was changing clothes in front of others and beyond that I was not the most coordinated of the daily participants, which I found embarrassing for reasons I do not quite fathom at this remove from half remembered experiences.


Overly complicated potato
V.I.P Member
I was ambivalent about gym class. I enjoyed gymnastics, tennis, badminton and track. As well as a game in elementary school which was basically “tag, but use all kinds of gym equipment to escape”. It was chaos and I loved it. I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be allowed anymore these days, because kids often got hurt in all the chaos.

Because most kids were very fanatic about team sports, team sports made me anxious in high school. I didn’t want to disappoint people or make them angry. It’s not that I was bad at those sports, I was just scared.

A few years ago in therapy I had a mandatory hour of sports twice a week and I found I did like team sports with the fanaticism taken out of it. The therapist leading that group made sure it was just friendly games and would call out anyone that got too loud or fanatic. I wish there was a club that played team sports like that, I would join in a heartbeat.

My worst memory of gym class is getting my period just before the class and not having any tampons or sanitary pads with me, because it was only my second period and I wasn’t expecting it. I vividly remember jogging around the basketball court, feeling my pants getting soaked, and then a boy started screaming because my shorts were visibly bloody and then the whole class looked at me. I was mortified. Thankfully Dutch kids learn to swim in elementary school, because I suspect this story would have been even more humiliating otherwise. I might have attracted sharks! :eek:


Gone sideways to the sun
V.I.P Member
There were certain activities I liked, others that I hated. I hated netball, and because in PE (physical education) we usually played netball, I usually didn't like the class. But one year we got to try some more unusual sports such as fencing and rock climbing. Quite enjoyed that, especially rock climbing. Also, swimming was ok, and hockey, mainly because we were all spread out across the pitch, I was in defense and didn't have to do anything unless the ball came my way.


I had never been fit or energetic, because my AS mother had discovered that keeping me dry saved on diaper changes. I also looked awkward the first time I played with a ball, so that was never encouraged. My father didn't know what fathers do to promote sports. I did not know that fitness affects mood, etc. I thought that any physical effort could be a sign of not being clever enough to use technology. So, I was of no value to a team, and just endured the activities. Eventually, I discovered the practical sport - commuting by bicycle.


The Owl Lady
V.I.P Member
PE was a hit and miss for me. My last school mostly focused on soccer, volleyball, basketball, and track. Occasionally, we played hockey. Team sports I was often picked second last or last because of how bad I was at these. That wore me down to the point that I ended up not enjoying any of it because no one would passgo me, and at one point I was pushed to the side by tone if the principals sons to make sure I wasn’t in the way to mess anything up. So after a while I just stopped giving anything, and would often conviently tell my PE teacher that I was on my period to get out of it, sometimes I was, sometimes I wasn’t. Spent a lot of the time running errands for the teacher or studying in the library. It wasn’t from a lack of trying, or enthusiasm to give things a go. I just wasn’t a star player so my teacher didn’t care. In the winter we would snowboard or ski. That was ok.

I was always disappointed that Despite being outfitted for it in the halle, we never did any racket sports like tennis, which Thanks to playing from a young age (mom was a tennis coach), I was pretty good at that, did tournaments outside of school. so despite PE in school being difficult, I was pretty active and enjoyed it outside of school. I also picked up badminton at university, and I liked that.

Forest Cat

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
PE was a hit and miss for me. My last school mostly focused on soccer, volleyball, basketball, and track. Occasionally, we played hockey.

That's surprising, I thought gym class in Switzerland was non stop hockey, 2 hours of ice hockey every day. ;) :D

In the winter we would snowboard or ski. That was ok.

That sounds wonderful. :)
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Sarah S

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I stopped attending in Gym classes in the lower elementary school 3-4 grade ich and didn't attend thru out the rest.

Captain Jigglypuff

Leader of the Jigglypuff Army
V.I.P Member
My ninth grade gym class traumatized me and the worst part is that the school chose to blame me for being sexually assaulted for months. It got so bad that I refused to turn around or interact with anyone and the kid that started it was barely punished the first time and the school didn’t even try to separate us and make one of us being in a different class period until four months later. The school psychologist even wrote down in an evaluation of me that it was “of [his] own doing.” They acted like I was the problem for becoming terrified of gym class and refusing to socialize with the kids in that class and that I was doing it to get out of participating and to be lazy. Well how did they expect me to act after being sexually assaulted multiple times for four months? Did they really think that I was supposed to enjoy being violated every time I turned around? The school knew that I was sexually assaulted at least once and they chose not to help me. After that I never liked gym class again.


Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Anxiety when being picked for teams, anxiety when having to tackle anyone, or relay races and passing the baton. Or competitive racing etc. A lot of anxiety and worry in general. I was ok at some things. Being tall from a young age helped with sprinting, and my long legs made me quite good at tackling people in football/soccer. But I was never overly keen on sport. It was a nice change from the classroom setting though. I often enjoyed the walking in pairs we had to do, to and from the sports centre or park. Those moments I have more memories of than actual sport moments from school.



Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I mostly played hooky the sport lessons or just acted like I would play along. but I was good in endurance run/jogging. I hated teamsport or coordination sport and ballsport.

the three terrible and needless subjects -> sport, music, arts

I always pointed out that these subjects are not relevant for passing the year (even when you have bad grade in them, you pass the schoolyear).


A psychologist said so
V.I.P Member
I was sort of ambivalent to gym. Sometimes I liked it, sometimes I disliked it. However, contrary to the stereotypes and what most people say, I really appreciated the gym teacher. That's because he was the only teacher to really point out that I was the being bullied. I think some other teachers knew, and tried to work some stuff out, but they didn't want to make anything of it and had wistful thinking.

During break, when we were all at the water fountain, one or two of my biggest bullies cut in line right in front of me when I was about to have some water. The gym teacher happened to open the door right at this moment, and loudly asked everyone to go to the gym room. Then he had a short but angry speech about how what he saw was some of the clearest case of bullying he had seen, called the bullies out and acted nice to me (though I didn't particularly like him before this). Of course this didn't have much of an effect on the bullying, and someone else took over next year, but I really liked having someone who actually stood up for me, and called the bullying what it was. I wish more teachers were like that. I suspect he might have been bullied himself as a kid based on his reaction.​

Neonatal RRT

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I don’t think I’ve ever heard an autistic person say that he/she liked gym class. Most seem to have hated it.

Did you like or dislike gym class? And why? (Obviously present tense do for the kids on the forum.)
I was always very competitive in athletics,...very. Second place = first looser,...that kind of mentality. I "walked onto" a division 2 college football team,...and was first team fullback for 3 years,...beating up on team mates that were recruited. Later, was involved in powerlifting at the national level, breaking and rebreaking 11 US national records in 2 different weight classes. So,...yeah,...I kind of liked gym class.


Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I use to get such severe anxity around pe. It was loud, smelly, too peopley and my pe teacher was a bully.

Au Naturel

Au Naturel
f nudity was to see whose body was most developed. That's how schools, peers and the community at large knew which boy/young man had the biggest penis. Of course word of that kind of thing would make it around as gossip to girls. I think it was a sick practice in my opinion. I know some high school guys got off of being naked in the locker room because a few of them would stand around or have a leg up on a bench, totally naked and carry on some conversation wi
The nude showers thing was nothing of the sort.

Pre-1972, gym class was preparing you for military service. (And scouting for high school sports talent but that's another thing.) Physical training and a PE uniform were preparing you for basic training. Sports were a proxy for working in a military unit, mostly team sports with a few individual activities. The showers were preparing you for service too. You can't be shy in the military. The showers in basic are nude and mandatory.

Different sates might have had different rules. I can only speak for Michigan back then.

Can't speak for girl's PE because that was a whole different thing. They had it because the law required it. Maybe they just made it a mirror of boy's PE or maybe not. I didn't have any visibility to the girl's locker room. :D

The original reasons for requiring nudity for swimming started way back in the 1920s when it was considered healthier and less prone to infections. (Ditto nude showers.) Probably not true but it was certainly a lot more comfortable. Unless you were in a nudist camp, (LOL!) pools were always gender segregated. It remained the standard in some Ys until the YMCA and YWCA merged. A lot of people mourned the loss of nude swimming.

Whether some high school boys somewhere "got off" on being naked in the locker room, that wasn't my experience. Some may have been more relaxed than others about their nudity. Being relaxed in the locker room is probably a good thing.

Of course, when I was a kid, same-sex nudity was nothing all that special. There were still a few YMCAs/YWCAs hanging on with their nude swimming pools and being more rural back then, skinnydipping was still a thing. Skinnydipping was part of the American heritage long predating the Revolution and was still celebrated in popular art. Read your Mark Twain.

After the draft was abolished the "nude showers" practice continued in rural and conservative urban schools mostly because "that's how we've always done it." By the 80s it was less common. PE class was no longer to prepare you for military service, It was to give you a break in the day and keep you from becoming a total couch potato. Wannabe athletes pretty much scouted themselves.

By the 90s it wasn't even that. It became just a slot the government said had to be filled. It consisted of a coed group of kids in street clothes wandering around in the yard and doing whatever. You didn't take a shower because there was no reason to sweat. By the time my daughter hit jr. high, you had to ask permission to take a shower and then you HAD to wear a swim suit.

Cell phones with cameras made their entrance (~2001) which killed the nude shower completely for PE and for sports. So did allowing different gendered PE instructors and coaches.
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Active Member
As a cute little kid, loved gymnastics and ballet. Always ended up in the back during a program, though. (The only benefit that came from this was, many years later as a middle-aged, overweight adult attending a kid's birthday party, one of the games we played was to pick up a short brown paper bag off the floor with our teeth, without touching anything to steady ourselves. Well, this other mom and I ended up at the back of the line and we each drew the shortest bag. Man, you should have heard those kids, giggling that they'd outsmarted us old farts... but we had both taken ballet. Found out I could still plie pretty well.)

Actually, I hated organized sports. All it did was show that I didn't have what it took to be part of the group. In softball, I couldn't catch or throw or swing a bat, so I sat in the outfield bored silly picking clovers. (A rival team figured that out pretty quick.) So instead of gym, I swam throughout most of high school. I loved it. I was the only girl who could compete with the two or three guys who were always in the lead, and I loved playing volleyball in the deep end of the pool. I also enjoyed being treated like 'one of the guys', even though no one talked to me much (well, I didn't talk much back then, either, so it worked out okay). But I was never invited to participate in competitive swimming or diving events and didn't know that I probably should have asked. Although, I did ask for extra swim time.

But the one required semester of gym finally caught up with me and I suddenly found myself amid all the clicky girls, the same ones who had made a big deal of suffering through swim class by chatting in small groups in the pool instead of swimming. I'm sorry, teenage girls are just mean. Gym class basically amounted to being a show of who had who's favor and they proved it by openly excluding or accusing those who weren't in favor. And the gym teacher encouraged it. We had this senior gym recital thing to do, a sort of capstone project that the teacher was to film. Well, the instructor had time to spot the other girls, because they "already had experience," and left me to a floor routine. I couldn't do the floor routine--I was a swimmer and had not the physical conditioning to do handstands and such. Besides, the tumbling killed my back. So I found someone willing to spot me at home and give me pointers, and we developed a balance beam routine all without having the use of a balance beam. Filming day arrived and the instructor was mad at me for not having a floor routine. She grew even angrier when my silent partner showed up to spot me on the balance beam. (We knew the instructor wouldn't allow any of the girls in class to spot me.) I took everything I had learned as a cute little kid, plus some advanced tips from my friend, and pulled it off flawlessly. (Swimming had given me an incredible about of physical control.) I still remember her face after I had dismounted-- her eyes wide, her thin hands covering her paper-white face, totally unable to speak. She never talked to me again after that. Which was fine because up until then whatever she had to say only served to create more barriers between me and the rest of the class. That's hard for a kid who already knows they're on the outside.

I eventually found my niche in dressage. I thought I'd go on and make a career out of it, but I became increasingly ill over the years following my trade school training and never did anything much with it, except to teach small children the basics of horsemanship and riding. I'd trade any day in that gym class for another one out playing with the horses.

Au Naturel

Au Naturel
I hated PE.

We'd line up in formation at parade rest. PE teacher would pick the two best athletes who would then choose people for teams and I was always last because I was slow, clumsy, and uncoordinated. (Occupational hazard of being an Aspie.) Couldn't catch, couldn't throw, couldn't run and I wasn't popular. Breaking into my locker and stealing my gym clothes was a local pastime, so I started putting a padlock on my locker. Came in one day and the padlock had been removed and my gym clothes were gone. All the adults assumed I was hiding them because I was lazy and refused to consider that I was being bullied. That's a persistent theme throughout my childhood.

The shower wasn't fun either. I was the only uncircumcised boy in the class and none of them even knew that circumcision was a thing. So I got razzed for it. A tiny bit of education would have gone a long way but we were all pretty ignorant of human anatomy. I learned about circumcision by reading a book about a Jewish boy hiding in France during the Holocaust, not from any instruction from my parents. Being visibly different kind of freaked me out but I adapted. I decided that those other boys were the unfortunate victims of ritual sexual mutilation.

Of course, I didn't tell them that.

In the 50s the circumcision rate for newborns was very close to 100% (that's my cohort) and every hospital did it without asking. By 2007 it was 55% and most hospitals would not do it unless requested. Didn't see any more recent numbers. The American Academy of Pediatrics keeps flip-flopping over whether it is at all beneficial. And if there are benefits, whether they justify the attendant risks and whether there are any negative consequences. The current thinking is that its physical benefits are slim to none.

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