10 Important Life Lessons Everyone Learned In Gym Class

09151012531. Most of success in life is about showing up on time and being dressed appropriately.

If you got to gym class on time and were wearing appropriate clothing — tee-shirt, gym shorts, no-mark sneakers — it was pretty much impossible to fail the class, as long as you didn’t assault the teacher.

So it is in life. Show up to work on time. Look the part. Go through the motions. You may not conquer the world, but you’ll survive just fine.

2. B.O. is the only sin that no one can forgive and that no one ever forgets.

There is no getting past B.O. It didn’t matter if the stinky kid could do 700 push-ups and a 360-dunk. If he stunk, he was the B.O. Kid. And always the B.O. Kid. At the 10-year class reunion, the B.O. Kid can arrive with a supermodel and in a Mercedes. Doesn’t matter. All anyone will think is: “Hey, there’s the kid who smelled like death back in middle school.”

Now think about present day. Name one successful adult with stink pits. You can’t. Those who refuse to use deodorant are unwanted and unloved. As they should be.

3. Diversity creates a fairer and more understanding society.

Any time kids were allowed to pick their teammates in gym class, chaos ensued. The athletes all got together on one team and destroyed the competition. Broken nerd-glasses were strewn across the floor from repeated head-shots in dodgeball. The court — one side of the court — was soaked with tears.  But when the teams were mixed — the sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, waistoids, dweebies, dickheads all together — everyone got a chance to compete and work as one. It made for a better gym class.

In the adult world, if the powerful are allowed 100-percent free rein, they build a world that only benefits themselves — as evidenced by today’s growing jock-dweeb income inequality gap*.

*fancy economics term

4. Hard work can only take you so far.

“If you work hard, you can achieve anything!” Nope. Nope nope nope. Gym class is the first hard evidence to most kids that this saying is pretty much crap. Some people are simply born with zero athletic ability. It didn’t matter how hard little Johnny tried or much he worked, he was never going to dunk a basketball. He was never going to even touch the net. The poor guy struggled to run without tripping. Why fill his brain up with ideas that made him think his God-not-given abilities were somehow due to a lack of effort on his part. It’s cruel. The saying should be: “If you work hard, you’ll eventually find something you’re good at after first failing at lots of other stuff!”

5. It’s easy to get away with cutting corners. 

Sure, there’s a way one “should” do push-ups. Down slow, have your chest touch the floor, and push back up slow. But is the gym teacher really going to notice if you just rapidly wiggle your elbows while dropping your chest an inch or two up and down? Probably not. She’s got bigger things to worry about. Woo-hoo! You got 55 push-ups! Best in the class!

Sure, there’s a way one “should” prepare for a sales meeting. Weeks of research, language targeted for the potential client, and a practiced presentation. But is your boss really going to notice if you just throw some stuff together the night before? Probably not. She’s got bigger things to worry about. Woo-hoo! You got the sale! And a promotion!

6. Some people get very different when their clothes come off.

The shy, quiet kid in Earth Science class turns out to be the kid who, in the locker room, loves parading around naked to and from the shower and casually dries his junk off right in your face. What a freak. Unacceptable.

The shy, quiet girl at work turns out to be the girl who, outside of work, loves to get naked and wants to casually hook up with you at your place. What a freak. Acceptable!

7. Some people never run out of excuses. 

Every gym class has the kid who always has an excuse as to why he can’t participate. Two weeks ago he had a cold, last week he had a sprained ankle, this week he can’t participate in gym because his grandpa, who was a crab fisherman, recently died and the thought of playing crab soccer just makes him too sad, okay? (Of interest: this kid did not have a cold, a sprained ankle or a crabbing grandfather.)

This person will grow up to continue making excuses about everything, never realizing that they can have a rather successful life just by showing up places on time in the right attire (#1) and putting in minimal effort (#5).

8. Exercise is a great way to avoid other things.

Big history test in 6th period? Fifth period gym class can’t go long enough! It’s a child’s last 45 minutes of freedom and happiness.

Need to mow the lawn and do the laundry? Hey, seems like a nice night for a run!

9. Approximately half the population hates the President, mostly for illogical reasons.

Grade school is pretty much a politics-free zone. You don’t hear too many 6th graders ranting about 2nd Amendment rights. But things get pretty partisan when the Presidential Fitness Test starts up. The kids who like gym class are fine with it, the kids who hate gym class assign all the blame from their push-up misery to the highest office in the land. Book it: if there is ever a second American revolution, it will be led by someone who failed the Presidential Fitness Test.

10. Dancing is awful without alcohol. 

Seriously? A dancing unit in gym class. This couldn’t get more awkward.

Seriously? Dancing at this club? This couldn’t get more … [downs six drinks] … AWESOME!

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Also see …

The 15 Greatest Gym Class Activities

If High School Gym Class Had a Syllabus

Flowchart: Are You Going to Exercise Today?

(photo via)