Friday, June 10, 2005

Gym is a many splendored thing

Instead of talking about dodgeball--or, more specifically, Ayelet Waldman's piece in Salon on dodgeball--I want to talk about a different gym memory.

One day in sixth grade, we were playing basketball in gym class. With about five minutes to go till the end of class, Mr. D blew his whistle and called us all over to one foul line. He pointed to one of our more athletic boys, J. He told J to stand on the foul line. He told the rest of us, "If you think J will make the shot, stand to his left. If you think he'll miss, stand to his right. Whichever group gets it wrong does five pushups." Most of us, myself included, moved to the left. The folks on the right were jeering, trying to psyc him out. He shot, and scored. I smiled as the other folks did pushups.

Then Mr. D picked another guy, who was pretty good at basketball but not great. The class split about half and half, left and right. He missed. Again, I had chosen right and didn't have to do any pushups.

"We've got time for one more," Mr. D said, and he looked right at me. "[APL]! On the line."

It was amazing. Almost the entire class moved to my right, even some of my friends. I have to think it's because I was a girl. The only people on my left were two girls I was really good friends with. Two girls I played outside with. Two girls who played H-O-R-S-E with me every damn day and therefore had seen me shoot from pretty much anywhere on the court. I looked again at the people on the right who were starting to yell, "Miss, miss, miss!"

I still remember exactly what I thought as I coolly dribbled, once, twice, three times, and took my shot: "Assholes."

The ball bounced off the backboard and dropped right in.

I still remember how great it felt to watch all those people doing pushups because of me.

10 Comments:

Blogger halloweenlover said...

I LOVE IT!!! Good for you! I totally don't have any athletic moments like that. What a victory! I'm smiling at such a great memory.

11:35 PM, June 10, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice lesson for the doubters in your midst. But Mr. D. sounds like a jerk.

8:28 AM, June 11, 2005  
Blogger SuzanH said...

That is awesome.

Can you find those people's numbers so we can call and taunt them?

10:47 AM, June 11, 2005  
Blogger Phantom Scribbler said...

I love you, APL. Have I told you that lately?

10:49 AM, June 11, 2005  
Blogger void said...

Great post! Nice place - I'll be back, thanx! ;0)

11:33 AM, June 11, 2005  
Blogger Deviant Law Student said...

I wish I had been there. Just reading the post felt good.

3:29 PM, June 11, 2005  
Blogger Yankee T said...

aha! Good for you! And yes, the gym teacher sounds like an asshole.

4:24 PM, June 11, 2005  
Blogger kenju said...

I'd like to have seen that! You go girl! I could not make a basket ever, even though I was the tallest girl on the team.

5:52 PM, June 11, 2005  
Blogger liz said...

I'm so impressed that you made the basket! I seldom made baskets (lack of practice due to serious shortness) But you're near my height so I'm doubly impressed!!!

6:25 PM, June 11, 2005  
Blogger Jody said...

That is awesome.

12:41 AM, June 13, 2005  

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