Wednesday 4 April 2012

Phys Ed

Buster and I were on our walk this morning when we had to pause to let a Phys Ed class from Clarence Sansom Junior High run in front of us. There must have been fifty of them and of course at the head of the class were the athletes, followed by those in fair shape, but pulling up the rear were the kids that for one reason or another just couldn’t keep their feet moving.
Buster and I followed them down the street, and the vast majority of kids were out of sight by the time we got to the corner. Those unhealthy few however, were just managing to keep ahead or us, even though we would stop every now and then to sniff at a bush and then try to decide which leg would be best to lift in that particular instance. I noticed that the first group were just wearing shorts and t-shirts, and as you moved backwards in the pack there were more sweaters and jackets and eventually sweat pants. The less you run, the colder you get.

I can remember my gym class and the evil Nazi that ran it. He would make you go and do five laps around the track no matter what the season or temperature. Sometimes it was damned cold! They never let us off of the school property like these kids today. In retrospect, it was a wise decision, because I really don’t think I would have come back. I certainly wouldn’t have been running back any time soon.

I couldn’t run five times around that track! Well, I might have been able to if I hadn’t been a pack a day smoker, but since I was, I couldn’t. Lucky for me and my buddy Ken, there was a large maple tree on the far side of the track, and if you stopped in just the right place it would shield you from the prying eyes of the gym teacher. Then, all you had to do was to count the number of times the “keeners” passed you and after they did five, you start running and cross the finish line at a respectable distance behind them.

I know what you are thinking, “But Ken you wouldn’t be out of breath or sweating near enough to have run around the track five times!” Au contraire my faithful reader. Half a lap would leave me dripping wet and panting like a dog on a hot August day. There is also a very good chance that the gym teacher just didn’t give a damn whether I ran or not. It was my life after all and gym teachers aren’t real teachers anyways. (Sorry Mike and Sharon, just kidding)

As the years went by and I got in worse shape, I would run past the tree and duck into the bushes at the farthest end of track. You see, once there my buddy and I could sit and have a smoke while watching the “keeners” do the laps. I am not sure just how we carried the smokes and matches out, but where there is a will, there is a way. There were a couple of times when we weren’t sent out to run and I had to stick a cigarette in my underwear while we played dodge ball, basketball or attempted to climb the damned rope and ring the little bell. Do you know what happens to a DuMaurier filtered cigarette when you play dodge ball, basketball or attempt to climb the damned rope? It ceases to be a cigarette and just becomes tiny bits of tobacco and a filter stuck all over your nether regions. It is a really unpleasant feeling, and a waste of a perfectly good cigarette.
I have been thinking lately that I should take up jogging in order to get into shape. There would be the added benefit that I would be able to escape if some bad people were to chase me. I thought about doing it today, but those kids were less than inspiring, the ones that I saw anyways. Perhaps I should draw up a plan of sorts. I will start by thinking about running and plan the route, then in about five years I will walk the route for a year or two and then, who knows…

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