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A-Z: gym classes I would want to take

Before I launch into an entire alphabet of physical activities, let me say what inspired this post: 1) Sam’s post on Three Things on a Thursday: Watch, Read and Listen. I watched and then I read, and then 2) I got completely caught up in what I read. It was a blog post by Greta Christina on How I learned to stop worrying and love gym class. I encourage you to read it (along with the watching and listening, as Sam advises). However, if you are way too busy this week, here’s the tl:dr version:

Gym class becomes fun physical activity when you get to choose what you do.

Yes, dancing with an umbrella should be a gym class option. Thanks, Verne Ho for Unsplash.

I found myself thinking, what would my gym class favorites be if absolutely anything was an option? How to pick? Well, why not let the alphabet be my guide. So, without further ado, here we go– here’s my A–Z list of activities offered in my version of the Platonic form of gym class.

A: Archery. It’s not just for camp anymore. I just saw that there’s an archery center near my house; it may be on the list of potential birthday party outings I’m planning with my friend Steph.

B: badminton! For me, definitely not-basketball! I like to think I’m living proof that one doesn’t need to be able to do a lay-up in order to have a happy or successfuly life.

C: Capoeira! Wouldn’t it be fun to learn something that’s both dance and combat at the same time. If you’re at all in doubt, check out this video of women moving in powerful and graceful ways, capoeira-ing.

D: Deadlifting– I’d definitely work out with free weights more.

E: equestrian sports– I rode as a child, and it was so much fun. I wish more kids could spend time around horses.

F: fencing– I took a few lessons in college. It would be great to pick up an epee again.

G: gymnastics– I liked the vault and did minor tumbling. Maybe more rolling around on mats would be fun now. G is also for golf. I never played golf, although I’m a huge fan of minigolf, which I play on beach vacations with my niece and nephews.

H: hiking, which I like in theory but am no a huge fan of in practice. Climbing down steep rocky things is not my favorite. So I could give that a miss.

I: ice skating– it looks so graceful, and I took lessons in grad school. But then I broke my wrist. Maybe that can be cut from the list.

J: jiu jitsu– I took a few lessons and found it intense and challenging. I wish I had tried it sooner than in my 50s. Maybe next life…

K: Kayaking– yes, I love it. Wouldn’t it be fun to kayak with a whole gym class? Another option: knife throwing– wow. wish they had PE classes with this, although if they don’t I can easily understand why nor.

L: luge? No, too scary.What about lumberjack competitions? Hmmm. If you’re on the fence about this, how about watch Martha King:

M: mountain biking, mogul skiing. and yes, miniature golf!

N: Nordic (cross-country) skiing– yay! I’d also like to be better at nine-ball– a billiards game.

O: open water swimming– yes! Obstacle course running (not to be confused with parkour)? Definitely not.

She definitely looks like she's having fun, but this seems too messy for me. It's a woman laughing, lying back in a sea of mud.
She definitely looks like she’s having fun during the obstacle course , but it’s too messy for me.

P: pickleball– something I’d like to try. Plus: ping pong! parkour! Can you do both at one time? There’s only one way to find out.

Q: Quadrathlon, which I never heard of, but sounds good. It’s swimming, kayaking, cycling and running. Well, three out of four ain’t bad.

R: Racketball– I love racket sports! No to running for me– I had to in gym class and also in the two triathlons I did. Just not my thing.

S: Squash– love it! Snowshoeing, swimming, snd scuba diving! Lots of S-things to do.

It’s not on my list, but sumo wrestling is increasing in popularity among school-age young women and girls.

“Female Sumo Wrestling” (CBS This Morning 2019) from Randy Schmidt on Vimeo.

T: tennis! I started playing at age seven. And then there’s trampolining! If you’re not familiar with it, here’s some video from the 2021 European women’s trampoline championships.

U: ultimate frisbee– no. ditto for ultra marathoning. But hey– there are underwater ream sports– soccer, rugby. hockey who knew? I can’t resist another video here. It’s Australian women’s underwater rugby.

V: volleyball– I was so not good at this in gym class! But, loved the vault.

W: weightlifting– I definitely want to do more of this. And yes to water-everything!

X: a little license with spelling gets us xc mountain biking and skiing. I enjoy both of them.

Y: yachting? Never tried it, but I watched a yacht race once. Does yo-yo count as a sport?

Z: yes, there’s a Z-sport. It’s Zorb football/soccer. It looks hilarious and impossible, which is the perfect activity for gym class. Am I right?

So, readers, what would your perfect gym class activities be, if you could either go back in time and choose, or take a gym class for you-as-you-are-right-now? I’d love to hear from you.

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