Cliff Gardner

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Childhood fitness!

When I was a kid, I had a checkered relationship with personal fitness. Given that I was the little kid equivalent of how short and skinny I am now, I wasn’t very athletic. So, when some folks in my fourth grade class approached Mr. Larkins, our 425 pound PE teacher, about doing extra push-ups and sit-ups to become the most in-shape class in school, I whined like I had been asked to roll around in honey and jump in a barrel full of earwigs (that was the rumored high school hazing ritual that had us all terrified, by the way).

At the same time, though, I knew that it would be cool to get one of those little Presidential Fitness patches that the fifth graders had, so I wasn’t entirely against the idea. I worked hard, and aside from the really slow kid with a lisp who kept farting every time he did a crunch, everything went according to plan and I got my National Presidential Fitness patch. It was red, and at the time I thought it was the most important award ever. Entertainingly enough, I even remember making plans to put it on my college applications. Maybe that was the missing line on my resume that kept me out of some law schools.


  • Those presidential phyical fitness tests - bad memories of the 600-yard run (was that it) - that was my stumbling block that prevented my from earning the patch. Which president can I blame?

    By Blogger magic, and with love from Sam,, at 5:58 PM  

  • Glad to see that Linette didn't send out Emails that spammed back and forth at sub-atomic speeds, possibly making it impossible for you to earn your award.

    By Blogger truax, at 6:11 PM  

  • That was quite humorous! Just what I needed!

    By Blogger Laura, at 10:42 PM  

  • What in the world is an earwig? I'm assuming it is some horrid bug that likes honey, or at least would stick to the honey... but it must be a bug y'all only have on Oregon...

    By Blogger Inside the Philosophy Factory, at 1:25 AM  

  • Thomas - I need to make some clarifications to your story... Red path meant National, not Presidential ( don't know what the difference was but i remember there was one). I don't remember AT ALL ever hearing about that hazing ritual (perhaps you were hanging with the wrong crowd haha). Finally, all I remember of you in elementary school PE was playing hockey and refusing to stand as the goaley but to only play on your knees "because that's how the professionals do it."

    Come to the party this saturday and bring Liz! Yea!

    By Anonymous amy, at 10:16 AM  

  • Thanks for the donut, Thomas!!! I think, oddly enough, that I actually DID qualify for the presidential physical fitness thingy.

    By Blogger Haylie, at 1:03 PM  

  • I never understood why it was called the "presidential" physical fitness patch. I got one too, and while I could pretty much kick every test's ass, the one that gave me so much trouble was the V-sit. I'm not terribly flexible, and they made that one insanely hard on the assumption that all girls are really flexible. After much trial and tribulation though, I got it.

    By Anonymous shea, at 12:10 PM  

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