Being physically flexible as a youngster was not my forte. I remember elementary gym class where we were required to do stretching exercises and basic gymnastics. I hovered at the bottom of the totem pole. Touching my toes, only if I bent my knees. Front and side splits, forget about it. Back bends made me dizzy. Furthermore, I was not willing to work at it. So I stayed physically stiff and certainly not gymnastics material.
But I LOVED dodgeball. For me dodgeball was about strategy, grit and releasing pent up energy.
I think this is one of the reasons why gym teachers loved Friday dodgeball. A great way to expel all that extra emotional and physical adrenaline. Get it out on the court, so it didn’t inappropriately manifest itself and send you to the principal’s office.
Another reason is the gym teachers/coaches can tell a great deal about a student/player by how they conduct themselves on the court. True personalities surface when a little team competition is involved.
Yes, dodgeball did expose the class bullies that felt the need to exercise their power over us minions. But the key was solid, hyper-aware gym teachers calling the shots. Making sure no one kid or gang of kids were dominating the play. There were wipeouts, tears and bruised egos, but man it felt good if you did not end up on the floor reeling in pain or on the sidelines in tears. Total release.
The physicality, teamwork and intense interaction of dodgeball was more attractive to me at the time than the individual hard work and finesse of gymnastics. And foremost, it signified a basic foundation for the give and take flexibility I would need down the road.
Flexibility in Our Foundation
Our behavioral foundation begins in childhood. What we learn through the actions and interactions of our parents/caregivers, friends, school, environment lays it out for us. The residuals of this foundation may not be what we expect as we grow out of our youth and into the reality of adulthood. We may come to realize those learned behaviors need to change.
What often holds us back is the disfunction and various forms of trauma that are a part of everyone’s life. Those who…