Thursday, June 01, 2006

A Much Resented Nap

Reading Tex's post about imagining his bed was a space craft in his precious youth reminded me of my own days of childhood yore, in which I would imagine that our gym mats were special designed aircrafts.

Let me rewind back to grade 3 gym class. Some strange (new-age?) bozo had waltzed into our tiny school and sold the teachers on the idea of a "Relaxation" session for the kids. Apparently, it was supposed to calm the ever hyperactive children. The worst part about this stupid "Relaxation" session was that it replaced one of our gym classes that we had three times a week. We were all very disappointed and would inevitably groan when the teacher mentioned that dreaded "R" word.

So, we started doing the "Relaxation". I was even more disappointed to find out that we would lie for half an hour on hard gym mats and only allowed to have a mini towel under our neck (how I longed for a pillow!) and a normal beach towel covering us. Also, we were forbidden to lie on our sides; we had to lie on our backs, and we weren't even allowed resting our hands on our stomach! The whole ordeal was extremely uncomfortable, especially for an eight year old.

So, we all had to lie on our backs, two of us per mat. I remember always being beside a boy with cooties whom I didn't particularly like, which made the half hour all the more unwanted. As soon as we were all settled into our stupid towels on the hard mat, it was time for the "soothing" tape to begin. Now, this tape had nothing to do with the word "soothing" at all, and after hearing the same man with the dreamy voice say the same things every single week, well, I soon grew tired of it. I hated how I was being told to relax my left foot, and then the right, and then move on to relaxing my torso, and so on. I hated how I was being told to empty my brain and to think of nothing else but my breathing.

After doing the "Relaxation" for a couple of weeks, I developed an intense hatred towards everything to do with the dreaded half hour: the fact that I couldn't move positions, that I couldn't lie comfortably with a blanket and a pillow, and the fact that I had to hear this stupid guy rant on and on in this whispery voice that I had begun to hate. So, everytime he said to relax the left leg, for instance, I would start moving it, but just a little bit and not too crazily, so as not to bring about too much attention. Everytime the tape guy said to clear your mind, I would try to think of as many things as I possibly could. Man, I was bad. I felt I was really rebelling. Well, rebelling as much one could as an angelic little third grader.

I had all sorts of evil thoughts: one of them was replacing the "Relaxation" tape with a mixed tape of loud rock music. I imagined what my teacher's horrified expression would look like upon hearing the shake yer booty music. I even imagined choegraphing a dance with the entire class, in which we would stand up, chuck the mats to the side, and flee out of the gym door, obnoxiously yelling and screeching.

Another entertaining thought of mine was imagining what it would be like if our gym mats could fly. With just one push of a button or one turn of a lever, our gym mats would become fast flying crafts, in which we could just jet out of the gym, leaving behind a shocked and bewildered teacher. We would fly out of the gym doors, fly up into the sky, and have parties on our mats. Thinking of this always made me smile.

Good thing that this "Relaxation" craze soon enough died out. Maybe it was because kids were pretending to fall asleep, and then they wouldn't have to go to class until they woke up. I was angry at those kids, but at the same time, I envied them and thought about pulling the "sleep trick" myself one day. Needless to say, I never did.

No comments: