February 14, 2013

Life Lessons

Today: What I learnt from Physical Education in primary school.

Yes, I did actually learn a life lesson in PE, all while completely failing at refining my motor skills and general fitness (to this day I am unable to climb a rope. It's the ugly truth. I have to admit I have not yet been confronted with a life or death situation that would have required me to successfully climb a rope so maybe making me feel so upset about the lack of upper body strength was a fail on my teacher's side, but it's definitely on a '100 page and growing' to-do-list. AAaaaand breath....)

Today I am not talking about how humiliating it was to be a chubby girl that had to strip down to her underpants to then squeeze into a pair of orange bike shorts and a t-shirt (hand me downs from my siblings for sure) that without fail had a print of a fucking palm tree on it. Oh my...good old locker room. The breeding ground for childhood traumas.

While this, oddly enough, turned me into a hobby nudist, I learned something very important outside of the locker room and inside of the gym.
I remember whenever the teacher was lazy, hungover or angry with one of the students, he would work us up real bad and let us play dodge ball. Now I am not too familiar with the rules of dodge ball here, but back home we call it "Voelkerball", split up the class into two groups and these two groups fight (= aggressively throwing a leather ball) each other. That is, until two of the same group are left and then have to smash each other... isn't there already a lesson disguised in smelly gym clothes right there? Don't trust anyone! ANYONE! If it comes down to the two of you they will turn around smash you in the face with a leather ball that's hard as rock, without a moment of hesitation. Humans...what a rotten species!

So anyway, playing Voelkerball always had a pretty predictable order of events. The really lazy or fat kids would get hit first, because they didn't want to run and therefore where an easy target. I hate to put this into writing, but we also always hid behind the really fat kids, because they were a great shield. We were horrible. I know. Then there were the nerd kids, and the popular kids always tried to  hit them really hard either in the face or the crotch. Now the nerd kids where always hated by everyone in school, which made it even more appealing to hit them really hard, because even the teachers would cheer when they started crying. No jokes. Real life events.
Then there were the semi-popular kids and I belonged to that group. We got targeted next. Now I don't remember much about this particular part, except for sweating in terror and trying to remain as unappealing a traget for getting smashed with a leather ball as possible, but I do remember that whenever we got hit the popular kids pretended that the ball was now "dirty" and didn't want to touch it, especially if it hit us on the ass, which added another level of humiliation to the whole concept that is primary school PE.
Eventually the popular kids were left and the rest of us, wounded, angry, ashamed, some of us crying watched these fuckers kill each other.
Towards the end those two or three boys and girls were so worked up they completely overestimated themselves and usually ended up with an ugly injury (see: broken nose or finger, bloody tongues, open knees) and a broken ego.
The winner was cool for the 2 min between PE and Maths and that was the extend of his/her glory.

So yeah...while this last paragraph might have been a bit of an unrelated slice of my life, I suppose you have to look at the bigger picture, the 'concept of dodge ball' in order to filter the life lesson I am talking about.
You have to keep on moving, otherwise you get eaten alive. You stand still for just a moment and a rock hard ball is already coming your way.
The lesson is: Avoid stagnation! Avoid stagnation of the mind, it's the biggest disease of our society. We have cultural revivals of past decades, because our minds are too small to create a culture of our own. We're too lazy to invent, so we take from the past.
Stagnation is what kills relationships. The concept of "routine" is the enemy. You don't evolute together and you'll start boring each other, which will most likely lead to either one of you starting a secret and tumultuous relationship with a pregnant stripper or something...
Stagnation is what kills your content. If you don't challenge yourself once in a while, if all you have in life is your work/weekend routine you will eventually become unsatisfied with where you are, who you are and who you are with, start taking copious amounts of Xanax and dump your murdered co-workers in acid baths Patrick  Bateman - style.

Come on now, don't let life smash you in the face. Move out of the way.
Do something!