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  1. Marie
    January 8, 2016 @ 11:40 am

    I too can absolutely relate to this. Attended Catholic HS in Philadelphia, the gym uniforms alone were awful!! We had to have our name and homeroom embroidered on them! The gymnastic segment was one of the worse. Thanks for sharing!!


  2. Marilyn Del Duca
    January 7, 2016 @ 1:48 pm

    Definitely resonates, and now I have an excuse for hating even the thought of “exercise” … though I do enjoy walking – that’s more about being in nature than “exercising.” I was always an honor student except one time when a “D” in gym kept me off the honor roll because I couldn’t do a handstand! Ridiculous! Here I am 50+ years later and life has never required I do a handstand. What a waste. All about health & wellness now & inspiring healthy living … find movement you love & enjoy it, be it dance, walking, swimming or whatever.


  3. Graziella DiNuzzo
    January 7, 2016 @ 11:24 am

    You always write pieces that are so on point and resonate with my life experience. I will try not to be long winded in my reply. I attended Catholic School in NYC, you may know where this is going, and gym class was something the state of New York required and my catholic school could care less about. My gym teacher was a 500 pound (yes, he could barely walk) angry man who was also the boys basketball coach. His idea of gym class was jumping jacks and playing basketball. I weighed about 80 pounds and was forced to wear my older sisters’ uniform (we were poor) – poofy light blue clown bloomers under a cotton sheath, ie. women’s prison. I was always last to be picked for a team. Was it because I was too busy pulling up my bloomers, or was it the demeaning insults? You go Tobi with your new gym experience – we are all counting on you from the sidelines.


  4. Dyann Paoline
    January 7, 2016 @ 9:48 am

    Hi Tobi – Totally agree! I can clearly still see the face of my gym teacher and remember her name and it’s not with glowing admiration…..I’m in my 60’s!
    I now teach Zumba Gold and fitness to older adults and have followed a path of fitness in spite of my gym teacher’s negative affect on me when I was in high school. I think the physical education teachers of today are drastically improved…thank goodness!


  5. Cindy Starr
    January 6, 2016 @ 11:11 pm

    You’re singing my song, Sister! If it weren’t for folk dancing and self defense, I’d probably have failed. And like Jayne, who commented before me, I remember being hoisted onto the upper of the parallel bars against my will. But I have to say, the best antidote is finding something you love to do and a supportive place to do it! Don’t think the gym teachers who mocked me would have predicted I’d turn into a midlife saber fencer.


    • Tobi Schwartz-Cassell
      January 6, 2016 @ 11:25 pm

      I LOVE it! A saber fencer! You GO, girl! And yes–satisfaction is certainly the best reward.


  6. Jayne Weiner
    January 6, 2016 @ 10:37 pm

    Tobi, I soooo relate! Thought I was the only one humiliated by the gym teachers. I absolutely hated the gymnastics segment as the thought of tumbling or twirling over a bar totally frightens me. I had one gym teacher who wouldn’t let me leave class until I got up on the bar and spun my body over it. I told her it scared me but she didn’t care. She hoisted me up and pushed me over. I was late to lunch and my knees were shaking so badly I could hardly walk and I thought I was going to throw up. A funny twist, my sister became a gymnast! Anyway, I hated gym and fabricated many music lessons during my gym period! I bet we could trade stories all night. And yes, changing into those gym suits was the initial humiliation. Gawd. Whoever thought those up?


    • Tobi Schwartz-Cassell
      January 6, 2016 @ 11:00 pm

      Oh Jayne, I am so sorry you had to go through that. But that is exactly what I’m talking about! And I always wondered why, knowing exercise is good for me, that I could never bring myself to get started. Now I know that my instincts were right on target. That those gym teachers were nothing more than bullies. I’m sure there were some caring ones, but I never came across one.


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