Confessions of a Gym Class Heroo

As I promised last week, this week's Whack will be devoted to the beauty and splendidness of physical education.

I am the single most despised individual in high schools throughout America; the gym class hero. There are four types of people in the typical gym class. First there are the people who attempt to get out of taking gym, as Malcolm X would put it, by any means necessary. Since I am such a fair and nice guy, I won't bring up the fact that the majority of these people are, by some sort of coincidence, female. Second are the people who view gym as a necessary evil. They hate gym and would prefer not to be there, but they don't put up a big stink about it and just put forth as little energy as possible. Third are the people who actually do find some enjoyment in gym, and put forth some effort. These are usually the people with the greatest amount of athletic abilty, but with the least motivation. They realize that they having nothing to prove in gym, and they hate to sweat too much. But these are the people who always try to put on a show and impress people. A type three person could be lagging through a basketball game all period, but then a girl walks by and all of a sudden he's Michael freaking Jordan. Lastly, there are people like me, the gym class heroes.

I'm gonna pay props to my man Jeff Foxworthy and steal from his routine for my explanation of gym class heroes. If you know your slugging percentage in wiffleball, you might be a gym class hero. If you ever called a hand check foul in basketball, you might be a gym class hero. If your goals per game average in soccer is higher than your G.P.A., then you just might be a gym class hero. If you run set plays in floor hockey, you might be a gym class hero. If you ever dove while playing badminton, then chances are that you might be a gym class hero. If you preach the importance of setting in volleyball, you might a gym class hero. If you keep score in archery, you just might be a gym class hero. If you bring cleats in for flag-football, then all signs are pointing to you being a gym class hero. And finally, if your gym teacher sends you a card on Christmas, then, without a doubt, you are definitely a gym class hero.

Gym class heroes are a rare breed. They are not blessed with a multitude of athletic talent, but they are driven by a unknown force. They have no fear, they feel no pain, they just run on all heart and adrenaline. The biggest clash in any gym class is when a group of gym class heroes are pitted against a group of real athletes. This is when gym class heroes are at their finest. There is not a greater feeling for gym class heroes than when they beat real athletes at their own game. The athletes won't give the loss a second thought, but the gym class heroes will remember the win forever. But to accomplish this, a gym class hero must first find his faith.

I remember the day clearly when I found my faith. Once we were playing basketball in gym, and it was pretty much the starting five for varsity against myself and four other players with little to no skill. After we were dunked on a couple times we started slacking off. Then one member of our team, my mentor, Sir Leonard Barnett, yelled at us for not playing serious. "Do you really expect us to win?", one of our players asked him. Leonard then looked all of us square in the eyes, and exclaimed, "Gym IS the unexpected!!" And from that day on gym class heroes around the world were united under the single battle cry, "Gym is the unexpected." We all had faith, and with faith we could move mountains.

I think I better stop now, before I start getting real spiritual and start talking about the zen of gym. So in conclusion, high school girls hate gym, setting is essential in volleyball, and Lenny Barnett is the Moses of gym class heroes.

And now for this week's feature, the top ten greatest gym class heroes that you probably never heard of unless you attended Hopatcong High School:

10. Rob Sterling
9. Mike Wichart
8. Gregg Mills
7. Ron Dunster
6. Vasko Gulevski
5. Jay Green
4. Ed Kirwan
3. Bob Gianduso
2. Sir Leonard Barnett
1. Douglas "Feff" Palermo