When I was in high school, the one required class which was all but universally despised was physical education. Only a handful of obsessive jocks were pleased to do all those S&M-like sweat-involving activities commanded by the S&M-like coaches. The rest of us spent our time in that class looking for opportunities to slack off. We were not concerned with "educating" our bodies. Rather, we looked forward to the days when the whole world of adult opportunities for dissipation would be available to us.
Now, even in this small town, not the most well-heeled of places, I see hundreds of adults spending time and a great deal of money to engage in physical activities such as we once scorned. What the hell happened to adulthood? I feel as though the entire world has become high school. I once thought that I would leave that place of nags and meddlers behind, but it has followed me. Even though I have not yet been commanded to enroll in one of their programs, I suspect that the day is not far off when government appointed guidance counselors will drag me into their office and tell me that the coach is not pleased with my lack of attendance, and that I will be getting demerits on my permanent record unless I start doing those crunches.
I have long suspected that I'd have gotten more good from high school, had I been allowed to go for a head-clearing walk for an hour each day, instead of spending it waiting for my turn to run down the path and jump into a sand pit, or standing in line waiting to climb the rope and get a bit of lamp-black on my finger. I'm sure that the facilities in these pricey establishments that are springing up like toadstools are superior to those available in public high schools, and there is probably a lot less waiting and a lot more sweating, but I don't see that as an advantage. The one redeeming trait of high school gym classes was the time we got to spend making remarks about everybody's poor performance, and enjoying the endless frustration of the coaches who so badly wanted us all to be perfect little athletes. It seems unlikely that such diversions would be practiced at Muscles-R-Us.
I won't be enrolling in either of the local gyms, or any of the others that are bound to come along. I'll go on taking my daily (free) walks in the open air, and dreading the day when there are more fitness clubs than bars in our new, self-improved world. Perhaps, with my lack of a proper regimen of exercise, I'll be lucky enough not to live to see it.