Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now..


I was crap at PE. Not only was I crap at it, but I hated it as well. I hated everything about it down to those horrible scratchy pants we had to wear. Having been blessed with the coordination of Frank Gallagher after a few hours in the Jockey, it’s safe to say that sports were NOT my forte!

This post sums up my sporting achievements and woes (mostly woes) throughout my school life.

~ Infants ~

Lets face it, It’s OK to be crap at PE when you’re five.

GymnasticsOnce a week we went down the local drill hall to do gymnastics. The smell of feet was overwhelming along with the whiff of sick where someone had barfed up their Spam fritter after doing a forward roll. Mum bought me a black leotard, which I spent a lot of time extracting from up my bum! My one and only BAGA award was for a near perfect bridge. GO ME!

~ Juniors ~

The ante was upped in the juniors. Suddenly sport got serious and we were placed into houses, like in Harry Potter, only, shit. I was in yellow house, so in Potter world that would be Hufflepuff..

Rounders – The rounders kit came out and we were picked in teams. Fully expecting to be crap at it, I amazed myself by not being totally crap.

For every few miss-hits, the bat would connect with the ball and I would wallop it across the road. I even managed to win my team a game or two which ensured me being picked by choice the following week instead of being picked last, which was the norm for me.

Things were relatively bearable until we moved across the other side of the city. It was a new house, new school, new people and I was a walking mood, having just started my periods. The new school was big on sports. It had a massive brag cabinet with trophies and row upon row of team photographs (with some hilarious hairstyles) taken over the years.

Dance – All legwarmers and leotards with a really annoying teacher who fancied herself as Lydia (the dance teacher) from Fame. We didn’t pay with sweat. We paid with detention. She soon realised that I looked shite in a leotard and was about as coordinated as a fly after it’s been blasted with Raid.

HockeyI knocked a girl’s tooth out the first time I played.

JavelinI gave myself a nasty clout round the back of the head first throw and nearly impaled one of the teachers with the second.

High JumpSpent more time face-planting the safety mat than I did in the air.

Long Jump –  First (and only) attempt required first aid.

HurdlesAfter knocking them all down (and bleeding all over the PE instructor) it was decided that my talents did not lie in hurdling.

Shot-putt – Hand to eye coordination issues nearly rendered a fellow pupil unconscious.

100 metre sprint  –  Feeling thoroughly dejected by this point, I found myself back on the track (plasters on both knees) with the PE teacher (lets call him Teach for simplicity) shouting ‘For crying out loud, just run when you hear the bang, OK?!!’

Teach fired the starter gun and I ran like my mother had just caught me with one of her fags. Seconds later I was rolling around on the ground trying to get my breath back (I genuinely thought I was dying) when he sprinted over in his obscenely tight tracksuit bottoms and slapped me on the back saying. ‘1st place! You’re in the athletics team!’

I momentarily basked in the glory of actually winning something. But as Mozzer from The Smiths so eloquently puts it…

I was happy in the haze of a drunken hour But heaven knows I’m miserable now

Because within a short time, I found myself racked with anxiety as I was loaded onto a bus on route to the local athletics stadium to run for my town and county.

I didn’t want to be in the athletics team, truth be told. I was agoraphobic even then and the thought of running in front of hundreds of people had me dry heaving for weeks before the events. In his infinite wisdom, Teach put me down for the 4 times 100 metre relay race as well as the 100 metre sprint because, well, he was a bit of a twat. I was still having baton issues in the practice runs before the race. Hadn’t I already proved that I was rubbish at relay?

In the event, it was a fumbled baton exchange. On seeing my team-mate sprinting towards me (all red faced and jowly) I assumed the position, stuck my arse out and prayed that I wouldn’t drop the sodding thing. Somehow I managed to keep hold of it and pass it on to my teammate. I think we came fourth and I can’t remember where I came in the 100 metre but it’s safe to say I didn’t win or even come a close second. Teach (NOT a happy bunny) was sulking away in his X rated track suit.

The euphoria of my sports day win had turned to a misery worthy of a Smiths song. Here was something that I was genuinely good at but my useless brain wouldn’t allow me to take it further without sending my anxiety levels through the roof. So I gave up.

It isn’t just about confidence. It’s about having a brain that doesn’t cope well under pressure. All my life, this is how it’s been. Maybe if I’d have persevered I would have found a way to cope? But the truth is that I didn’t even enjoy running because I was self-conscious of my Brad Pitts and the fact that I wasn’t allowed to run in my cardi.

High School

My sports life consisted of a series of excuse me notes (thanks to Mum), a near drowning incident, a nervous twitch every time I heard a starter pistol and a phobia of batons for life.

Nuff said?

Creative Commons Photo Credit ~ ‘Pete’


20 thoughts on “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now..

  1. Oh this did make me giggle – you have such an amusing way of phrasing things! I can empathise though as I was always rubbish at pe. My favourite thing was hockey where my best friend and I developed the excellent strategy of making sure we were on the best team and then being ‘right back’ and ‘left back’ (ie down by our own goal). Our team’s skills ensured play was always up the other end of the pitch and we got to have a chat. I’m so glad my p.e days are in the past. xx #theprompt

  2. Oh your descriptions – the feelings, the smells and the attire (those black leotards!) are taking me right back to that time. I can remember it clearly now – PE lessons in the dining hall/gym/whatever else, standing in line waiting for your name to be called out for the teams, urgh, it brings shudders down my spine. Great post.

  3. My near drowning incident happened in primary school, as if I wasn’t traumatised enough already by having to stay behind after school to practice catching a ball, I was so unco-ordinated!

    & Bridget Jones has got nothing on giant navy blue PE pants! 😉

  4. Oh Tracy, how I agree with so many things you’ve said, although I never knocked anybody’s teeth out lol. My hate for PE had nothing to do with size, I was a tiny imp, should have been able to run with the wind. My trouble was and still is, I can’t run and breathe at the same time, really not good unless you want to pass out! Those horrific words *cross counrty*…..OMG shudders at the thought! it wasn’t only running through the woods! it was through the streets as well! how effing humiliating! I was actually in the netball and hockey teams but maybe it was cause my friends were in it and I helped make the number up. PE…..the gagging smell of the shower/changing room, if it was bottled, it might stop cats pissing in my garden! I remember you had to strip naked and then walk through the showers, getting wet as possible but with no use of soap, urgh. One day I remember a classroom friend left her towel behind, they made her dry herself on those bloody blue scratchy hand towels, could you imagine the outcry today. One last thought I shall share with you of my hatred, this will now probably stop me sleeping tonight, *hurdles & high jump* I might as well have just self harmed. Bloody lethal things if you can’t jump 1 inch off the floor…..you either have it or don’t…..I DID NOT. After writing this following reading your blog Tracy, I feel I need therapy and maybe I have suffered with lasting issues!!! HELPPPPP MEEEEE

    • “I remember you had to strip naked and then walk through the showers, getting wet as possible but with no use of soap, urgh.”
      Same for us..I hated showers as well – not because I was a stinky sod but because I didn’t like having to parade my foo in front of people, I mean, how undignified! xXx

  5. Laughing too much in sympathy to comment further – I am having flashbacks now and anything after I left junior school needs to be sealed back in the dark recesses of my traumatised mind.

  6. Oh yes. Are you sure you’re not actually writing about me? Though I didn’t get any BAGA badges so it can’t be 😉 Nothing like awful school PE experiences to knock the old confidence, is there? Relate to what you say about the brain under pressure too, I’m too much of a daydreamer for team sports…#ThePrompt xxx

    • I was stunned to get my BAGA badge…I thought I’d dreamt the whole thing at first, I was THAT crap at PE but what I lacked in coordination, I made up for with suppleness. Not that it’s the case now as, thanks to the meno, suppleness is long gone lol 😉 Xxx

  7. Oh, this had the tears running down my face, in a good way! I hated P.E. at school, I would do anything to get out of it (although I did, like you, find myself in a 4 by 100 metre relay when I was about 10/11…!!). I can remember how long it would take me and a friend to run (walk!) the mile around the park near our school… And I loathed team sports. Your javelin story just reminded me of the time a girl in my class actually threw one at a teacher, on purpose… And, I’m having flashbacks of playing hockey in the snow and freezing cold showers, horrendous!
    Funny thing is that now I run 5k races regularly, and I love it! But, really, I’m only competing with myself and don’t care what I look like, perhaps that’s the difference 🙂
    Thank you so much for sharing with #ThePrompt x

  8. I was right there with you, I hated it all too and the thought of going through it again makes me cringe! Mich x

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