Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Daily Prompt: Land of Confusion - The Physical boot Camp (bare foot)

Which subject in school did you find impossible to master? Did math give you hives? Did English make you scream? Do tell!

First of all the photo of the day. Yesterday I took a trip to my nearest field and the cows had been let out again. They were busy munching grass and the farmer had installed a cow canteen for a refreshing drink: something like a cow bar.


As this prompt was based on school days and they were in the dark ages I do not have a lot to add The Physical Boot Camp, but wait a minute I do. You remember those so-called physical exercise things where we were in training for a fitness boot camp to enable us to survive. It was not really my thing. We all reported in the gymnastic hall and the teacher was already sharpening her fangs and oiling her voice to ensure she was heard in all corners.

Of course we had to dress for the occasion, the latest cry in fashion, we were really sexy. School uniform was green from the under garments to the ones on top, except for the t-shirt which I believe was a sort of beige or white. My memory fails me in that connection, but important were the shorts. No wait, the trainer had a brilliant idea. We were all girls in the hall, no male specimens to see us and so why bother with the shorts, the nice green cotton knickers were just as good. They were not tapered, just straight down and the biggest sex killers you can imagine. So we girls would run in a circle and climb a few bars on the wall. There were even ropes hanging down that you could climb like a monkey. I did not even reach the monkey grade, but remained an earthworm. Perhaps I had problems with gravity, or perhaps my bare feet did not managed to get wound into the rope. Yes, no foot cover was allowed and Mr. Adida was not yet born. He was still sleeping in his pram wondering how to overcome the walking world.

Just for the fun/torture of it the teacher would sometimes bring out one of the super toys, the gym horse. It was not a live horse, although I sometimes had a feeling that it was when my jump over the top was not high enough. The horse would give me a kick and propel me to the floor in a crumpled heap. No worry, the teacher had everything under control. She did a quick check to see if I was still breathing and my limbs could be moved without causing any discomfort and we continued.

“Try it again” she said in a merry voice with malignant undertones.

So I tried it again, and again and again. We all cleared the horse with one exception, yes me. I had no future in gymnastics it seemed, winning a few gold medals for the British team at the olympics. The teacher could not understand that the tallest girl in the class could not run faster or jump higher. She was convinced I was doing it on purpose.

Once a week they let us out to breath the fresh air of the gaming grounds. This meant a 30 minute drive in a coach out into the London countryside, known as Essex (a county/state hung onto the eastern borders of London). I remember one memorable occasion when the coach driver made an emergency stop on the main road and threatened to throw us all out of the coach if we continued to make such a noise and throw various objects. We were distracting him from his job it seemed.

We were allowed to wear our gym dress with the short trousers to be respectable. We changed before leaving the school and when we reached our destination a green cloud of young teenage girls would peel out of the coach with enthusiasm. The hockey ground was ready for an attack. I think land hockey was the only game I ever enjoyed due to its similarity with football, I even understood the rules. My friend and I formed the defence, the right and left back. We were protecting the goalkeeper who stood behind us and we formed a solid wall to stop the goals going into the net. Have you ever been hit by a hockey ball? I would not recommend it, they are made of solid wood.

I remember developing a style of a hot strong shot. Apparently for long distance shots you should have your hands together at the top of the hockey stick to ensure a direct hit. I discovered that if I had my hands at a distance from each other, as in the short distance shots, your hit was much stronger and more direct. So much so that I became a member of the school hockey team. Luckily there was only one match against another school before I left and we lost it. Again my future as a professional British land hockey player was thwarted at the beginning.

The return journey from the gaming grounds was a do-it-yourself thing. Apparently the school did not have the funds to transport us home in the coach, so it was with public transport that we arrived home, finding our own way into London with the bus system. Showers were not yet invented, we had changed into our school uniform probably smelling of the sweat after an hour’s hitting the ball around. Oh yes, happy days, I hated them.

“School days are the best days of your life” my mum would say, but I do not thing she had gymnastic lessons.


  1. The main sport at the grammar-school I attended was rugby. I hated it, because I was so small and built like a strip of wind, I usually ended up face-down in the mud with boot-prints all over my back. I was so glad when I discovered I was a good distance runner and was allowed to miss rugby in favour of cross-country training for the summer athletics season.

  2. Hockey was the only sport I really enjoyed, but that came from my West Ham United Days.

  3. I enjoyed hockey until I got hit on the head with a stick. No concussion but a nice black eye.