Many of you know that one of the main reasons I started GAALS was that I never wanted another girl to feel like I did growing up in terms of their athletic ability. I was an uncoordinated, un-athletic, chubby kid who hated gym class. I vividly remember the anxiety and embarrassment I felt when teams were picked (and I was always one of the last few people chosen). Being weighed in front of all my friends and undergoing PE testing in front of everyone truly scarred me for life.
Of course it makes sense that those negative feelings – the lack of confidence, the insecurities – tend has stuck with me. And all through college those feelings prevented me from putting myself back in those types of situations.
That’s why this article really hits home, “How You Felt About Gym Class May Impact Your Habits Today.”
It was only through hard work and determination that I was able to forge ahead and make exercise and physical activity an integral part of my life.
Sadly, I did go to a few classes where the women were not welcoming and actually deliberately made “outsiders” feel uncomfortable. But, I somehow mustered up enough courage to keep my head up and go to class each week and just do my thing. My feeling was, I’m not going to let these “bitches” get me down. I am better than that. I was only able to do it because the fitness dance class was enjoyable and fun. That’s the key to success- trying all sorts of ways to be active until the “right” fit comes along. Hopefully then, we get hooked.
If parents and educators can instill this same sense of fun when it comes to sports / physical activity starting at a young age, then perhaps our children will be more likely to live the active healthy lifestyles that we know will serve them well.