I can’t tell you whose story this is, cuz she’d shoot me. But it’s a great story nonetheless.
Gym is a required class according to the government, but it’s not exactly accorded the same respect as, say, Chumash class, in Bais Yaakov. Also, the whole exercise / marathons / crossfit craze has yet to really penetrate the frum community deeply.
In this particular school, the mandatory phys-ed class typically consisted of aerobics or a game of machanayim for 30 minutes every other week. If you showed up, you got an A. If you didn’t, you got an F.
Except for this one student, who we shall call Gila.
“Gym is dumb,” she declared. And she cut phys-ed on the very first day of school.
Once she’d cut the first class, it wasn’t hard to skip the second. Or third, or fourth. She got through the entire first semester of school without ever stepping into the drab, grey cellar that passed as a “gym.”
And she got an A on her report card.
“Cool,” she said. And she repeated this winning strategy for the second semester.
Got an A in gym on her report card again.
“Obviously, I’m doing something right,” she said. And continued to not show up for gym class for the third and final semester of the year.
Until the very last week of school. “I have one chance left this year,” she thought, waxing nostalgic. “I should enjoy everything available to me. And maybe throw gym a bone and show up once.”
So Gila went to class for the first time on the last day. She did her jumping jacks and touched her toes and stepped to the left and right, and the entire time, the gym instructor was staring at her oddly.
“Like, as in, ‘who is this girl? Does she belong in this class?'”
She must have asked someone afterward. And then wondered, “So who is the person I’ve been calling ‘Gila’ all year long?”
For her final semester that year, Gila received a big, fat, enthusiastic ‘F’ for her gym grade.
Sometimes, you need to just stick with a winning strategy.
And sometimes I wonder: who got Gila’s “F” the first two semesters?