My middle school P.E. teacher moonlighted as the lead singer in a cover band.  His Neil Diamond hits were especially strong, due in part to the practice he got singing “Sweet Caroline” to us during the 6 week long Social Dance modules.  Fifth period, Mr. H took the stage in his blue & red striped, 80% acrylic tube socks and had the boys line up on one side of the gym, the girls on the other. The boys would then ask the girls to dance, and Mr. H shook his blond locks and let loose with Song sung blue/Everyone knows one…Everyone shuffled left foot, right foot in their boy-girl pairs, learning this awkward thing called social dance.

Everyone except me, who sat in the bleachers with a note from the doctor saying I had a knee injury that prevented me from participating in any physical activity for the next 6 weeks.  That this note appeared every semester, and that the injury lasted exactly the 6 week length of the Social Dance module was of no importance to Mr. H.  He understood Social Dance was unkind, and if a skinny, strangely gendered 12-year old Chinese girl with a bowl cut was desperate enough to try and get out of it by forging a doctor’s note, he would play along.

From the bleachers, I took notes on the steps to the waltz, foxtrot, swing, and learned all the square dancing calls (the multi-talented Mr. H was also the local square dance caller).  And so I passed Social Dance without ever learning how to actually do any of the dances.

How many activities – especially physical activities – have we sat out on because it was so damned awkward? How many notes have we faked t o get us out of doing things – especially physical things – that made us feel bad?

We’re a queer/trans/nerdy/awkward bunch, so a million. Maybe a billion.

Well, we’re getting all of it back, this summer. Oh yes!

This Saturday is day one of 100 Days of Phys Ed. In the last post, I called it the Summer of Trying New & Nerve-Racking Things, but that was too long a name for something so awesome.  Here’s how the 100 Days of Phys Ed will work –

  • You do something new with your body.
  • You let us know what you did, here, in the comments of this here page.
  • This being Phys Ed, there’s some education to this. You tell us what you learned.

That’s it. Simple right? Climb a tree and tell us about it (“I climbed a tree and learned that I’m no longer scared of heights”).  Ride a bike and tell us about it (“I rode my bike to the library and noticed that going up hills stresses out my butt more than my lungs. But it stresses out people driving SUVs most of all.”) Go swimming in Lake Allatoona.  Come to queerfit and pack in five fabulously physical things in 15 minutes.   Use it as a pick-up line (“I’m doing a program where we have to try out new physical things that make us a little uncomfortable.”)

Anything with your body counts, so long as you take some level of risk, and (most important of all) you take notice. Eating. Fasting. Sleeping. Not sleeping. Fucking. Snuggling. Slow dancing to Neil Diamond. Running to get to the D terminal rather than taking the Plane Train.

To encourage you, there are amazing prizes for the people who try out the most things this summer, for the most thoughtful comments, and for the most daring new thing.

To get you started, come out this Saturday – that’s Day 1 of the 100 Days of Phys Ed – for a double-header Queerfit-Yoga session with Zahra.  It’s going to be an awesome Saturday and an awesome summer. Awesome.