In school, physical education class (PE Class) was not my friend. In fact, I hated PE class.
Some may love it, but don’t count me as one of those people. There were many reasons why that I’ll share in a moment.
I tried my hardest to get out of PE class. Whether it was faking being sick or any other thing I could do to skip it, I would do it. I hated PE class so much that I didn’t care how dishonest I had to be, I just wanted to be excused from it.
In fact, I was so good at faking an illness that I learned to elevate my body temperature. From experience, I knew the school nurse would take my temperature if I reported to her that I was sick. All I had to do was think about being sick and elevating my body temperature and by the time I got to her office, I was running a fever.
Of course, she’d call my mom at work to come get me and take me home. I really did feel bad for my mom but never let on to what I was doing. If she knew, that would be the end of what I was attempting to do. If she ever figured it out, she never let on that she did.
The fact that I hated PE class so much that I would go to these lengths to get out of it says a lot. Below are nine agonizing reasons why I hated PE class.
9 Reasons I Hated PE Class
1. The PE Teacher
He was this older guy that just didn’t seem to care about me. We never hit it off from the start when I came to that school. In the other schools, it was pretty much the same thing. They enjoyed sports and I didn’t, so we were never going to be on the same page. Plus when others would bully me in PE, the teachers would look the other way, almost as if they condoned this behavior and it was just the norm. Oh how I hated them for not caring, but then if you read my book, you’ll see it was the way of life I knew.
My classmates would scream at me constantly. It is one of the reasons I hated PE class so much. If we were supposed to learn something, it was that school and my home life were one and the same. I could get yelled at home just as easily as I could get yelled at in physical education class.
These classmates were relentless. You had to be perfect and if you weren’t, they would call you every name in the book. They called me stupid and told me how worthless I was. Before PE class, my stomach would be in knots. Nothing I could say or do would stop it and of course the teachers just looked the other way. It was almost as if they never saw it yet I knew they did.
Why schools allow kids to be bullied, I have no idea. They act as if it isn’t their problem and meanwhile, the poor kid has to deal with it then and for the rest of their lives. Schools and teachers that allow classmates to berate, scream, bully, and abuse them should be ashamed of themselves.
3. Picking Teams
Another reason why I hated PE class was that when it came time to pick teams, no one wanted me. I was in the last group to be picked. Sure, I realize I wasn’t great at sports, but time and time again it told me just how worthless I was.
At home I was constantly fed those messages, and at school in physical education class, it was the same. Why on earth a teacher would do this is beyond my comprehension but far too many, especially my PE teachers, didn’t care how other students were treated. They seemed to only want to collect their paycheck and cater to the athletic kids while neglecting the ones that needed extra help.
Maybe there are some good PE teachers out there, but I sure never encountered them while I was going to school.
T-ball was something I was forced to do by my dad when I was a kid. I would have to ride my bicycle a half-mile into town with my older brother and play T-ball every afternoon. I hated every minute of it.
I couldn’t really see a ball coming at me, but it didn’t matter to anyone. It meant that I couldn’t catch the ball, but of course, I would still try. I had no depth perception in those days and felt like a ball coming at me was nothing different than ducking from a blow by my dad when he was in a rage and beating me. It taught me that I was no good at sports and my hatred of it became part of the reasons I hated PE class.
5. No Sports At Home
I didn’t really grow up in a house where sports were followed, at least when I was younger. I can’t remember a game being on TV until my older brother was in high school. It wasn’t something we watched for the most part that I can remember.
Sure my dad sometimes thought we should play catch with a baseball. I guess all dads must think that this is something boys want to do. However, I hated playing sports. It wasn’t my thing and I was more interested in creative endeavors or exploring the outside world. There was nothing I loved more than to be outdoors, especially if there were animals.
6. I Couldn’t See Well
My eyesight was never great and no one noticed it or realized it. When you are a kid and can’t see well, you just know no different. It becomes something you automatically live with because how are you supposed to know that you can’t see when that is all you have known.
Playing t-ball or baseball or any other sport required me to be able to see and judge a ball coming towards me. I could not do either well, so while I tried my hardest to catch it, most of the time I was way off.
It didn’t matter if it was baseball, dodgeball, badminton, volleyball, basketball, football, or anything else that resembled these things. If it was coming towards me, I was more likely to run rather than attempt to catch it and fail almost every time.
So many days I can remember being yelled at and screamed at by other kids in my class. I was called stupid, repeatedly. No teacher or coach stood up for me and no one questioned if I just couldn’t see the ball. They just assumed I was uncoordinated and a klutz and stupid. Oh, how I hid deep within from the pain of PE class.
Due to all the abuse I suffered growing up, showering in PE class was a nightmare. I had to endure showers with my older brother and my dad so we could “conserve” water on the farm. Of course, showering with them meant that the sexual abuse would take place and I’d have no way to escape it.
I was sexualized at an early age. My dad loved to watch me dress and undress. He loved to talk about sexual habits of a teenager and of course there were the demonstrations of sexual activities.
This is in addition to all the sexual abuse I went through as a kid. If you want to know more about that, check out my book on Amazon, “Overcoming A Mysterious Condition.”
Showering with a bunch of other naked guys was not easy. I would take my time at the end of PE class so I could shower by myself if possible. I didn’t want anyone to see me and I was afraid to look at them. In my house, if you looked at anyone and it turned them on, then the sexual abuse would most likely start.
While I didn’t realize it at the time, I was gay, so showering with a bunch of naked guys was difficult. All of those feelings and realizations were locked away within me, yet in those moments, I felt very uncomfortable. The confusion between being gay and being sexually abused when it came to showering in PE class was horrific.
8. Getting My Head Bashed
I’ll never forget a guy by the name of Scott in PE class in fifth grade. We were sitting there waiting for the coach to get through talking about whatever it is he was discussing that day. I believe we might have been wrestling, which I hated.
Anyway, this friend of mine had new gym shorts that I thought were cool. Okay, I didn’t realize it was crossing a boundary to comment on that. Unfortunately, I learned the hard way from that experience. If only people knew how boundaries were obliterated in my house, this wouldn’t have been a big deal.
However, after that PE class was over and we got home, my friend waited at the laundromat where I picked up my newspapers for my route that I delivered. All of a sudden, he attacked me and bashed my head into the wall repeatedly, until I had a concussion.
I was barely able to ride the mile and a half back to my house on my bicycle as everything was blurry and fuzzy. If anyone was in the laudromat at the time, they never stopped the assault.
In a way, I think my dad felt that this kid taught me a lesson. I don’t know. It seemed like no one really cared that much about the assault.
9. Had No Idea What I Was Doing
PE class and sports didn’t come easy to me. I had no idea what I was doing. Most of these sports were new to me as we didn’t do that stuff at home. Again, I had no interest in any of it.
Part of me did not want to be in close contact with others. There was a part of me that was not coordinated when it came to team sports. Even in church and summer camps, I hated the team sports that they would make us play.
I was more content to connect to the outdoors and escape the reality of competition with other humans. I just had no desire to be a part of this.
No one ever took the time to teach me what to do. They all just expected that since I was a guy, I should know all of this. I despise the way some teachers and kids treated me.
Some of The Worst Days Of My Life
PE class was part of the worst days of my life. I hated every minute of it. There was no fun to it, only dread and fear. My stomach would be so tied up in knots that I struggled the rest of the day. Any other subject was fine in class except this one.
The sad thing is how no one seemed to notice. All these adults should have suspected something, but they didn’t. Maybe they were just plain ignorant or stupid. I have no idea. If that sounds harsh reading that, understand that what I experienced was much worse than the words I write here.
I’ll never forget the teachers that stood by and watched as my classmates humiliated me, yelled at me, bullied me, and belittled me. It wasn’t like there were that many kids they looked after in PE class. All of this behavior was plain to see and it happened right in front of them.
When I think about how much people talk about stopping bullying, I remember all that I went through and realize that no one attempted in the least bit to stop it. If they were against bullying, it was only words.
The reason I write this is so hopefully others will know that they aren’t alone if they are experiencing this, or have gone through the same treatment in PE class. Maybe educators will wake up to the role they play in allowing abuse and bullying to take place on their watch.
To the classmates that treated me this way, I have no respect for you. You showed me how little I mattered and I have no desire ever to reunite with you because you are dead in my eyes. Again, this may all sound harsh, but if you’ve been through this, you’ll know that I’m holding back way too much.