What’s a Pommel Horse ?
Coming out of Catholic school, where physical education meant “Red Rover” in the paved schoolyard, I was in for a shock.
Uneven parallel bars, rings, balance beam, vault, rope climb, pommel horse.
What sort of fresh hell was this for a 13 year old in a stiff cotton gym suit ?
It was bad enough to discover that I had to quickly learn team sports; field hockey, softball, basketball, volley ball, soccer.
But then, the indoor gym equipment surfaced.
In the 1960’s, we were expected to participate in all events.
But when I looked at the rope hanging from the 50 ft. ceiling, with a 2 inch rubber mat underneath, I knew I was in trouble.
The rope, and the suspended rings were the most challenging for a 70 lb. kid with no upper body strength.
I might have gotten 6 ft. off the ground, I try not to remember the details. I don’t remember anyone mocking me for the effort.
Maybe it was a kinder, more gentle time.
I was more preoccupied with the humiliation of a community shower. And trying to remember the combination for my locker. And how there were no hair dryers for use after swim class. And how I would survive to get to high school.
It all comes back as I watch the Rio Olympics with respect and awe.