Physical education was horrible

Physical education is most likely the bane of most high-schoolers’ existence. It certainly was mine. At the time, I did not appreciate the benefits of or the intentions behind getting pubescent children to exercise. The concept simply went over my head, and I was not the least bit interested. It was almost time to run the dreaded mile. Training for it under the hot and muggy southern sun was brutal and cruel but I knew that the sooner I finished my laps, the sooner I could go inside to bask in the cold air of the school building. I trudged on, dreaming of that wonderful rush of air knocking me back as I walk inside. Then, the nausea hit. A few weeks prior, in anticipation of the mile run, our class discussed the importance of exercise safety. Heatstroke was a common ailment in P.E., although half of our cases were faked to get out of class. Through my nauseous delirium, I somehow managed to piece together what was happening to me and I remembered the lecture. The body has its own “HVAC” system, so to speak, that works to maintain our internal body temperatures in safe, optimal zones. Like air conditioners, our bodies also have “thermostats” to keep everything in check. I felt sick because my body was out of balance and I needed to cool myself down. The nurse’s office is pretty cool—literally. Ice-cold, I mean. The service technicians did a great job installing the new air conditioner units. The paper lining crinkled as I sank into the mattress. The foam breathed a heavy sigh as I found my footing. A smile tugged at the corner of my lips. Thank goodness for air conditioning.

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