PE… in College?!

Before college, my experience with Physical Education (PE) classes was limited to synchronized warm-up exercises, running laps around tracks and fields, and the occasional treat of basketball/flag football/fill-in-the-blank ball.

When I began perusing Pomona’s course catalog and general education requirements the summer before my first year, I stumbled upon the PE requirement. “Students are expected to pass one physical education activity course,” the catalog read. Immediately curious, I commenced a search for Pomona PE classes.

I discovered that the course offerings vary slightly by semester, but the course titles looked extremely promising: Playground Games, Badminton, Racquetball, Table Tennis, Hip-Hop, Bowling… the list went on.

When fall semester arrived and the time to choose classes came along, I made a virtual beeline for the PE classes (since class registration is done online). After much experimentation with my schedule, I made a final decision and enrolled in Ultimate Frisbee (not to be confused with the Men’s and Women’s Ultimate teams of the Claremont Colleges).

An aerial view of Strehle Track and the field where my Ultimate Frisbee class took place!
An aerial view of Strehle Track and the field where my Ultimate Frisbee class took place!

Looking back on fall semester, I can say that Mondays and Wednesdays from 1:15PM-2:30PM on Pomona’s Strehle Track were probably some of the greatest hours of my week. My adrenaline pumping as I ran around in the warm Southern California sunshine, my hair flying behind me as I watched the Frisbee ride effortlessly on a light breeze, my heart skipping a beat as I just barely caught the disc, my team bursting into cheers and laughter as we scored a point…

It is no wonder that the last class meeting for Ultimate Frisbee was bittersweet. As fall semester came to a close, I knew I would miss the “Obscure Rule of the Day” that our instructor would read aloud from a small pamphlet during the mid-class water breaks we took. I would miss learning random things about everyone in the class when our instructor divided us into teams by birthdays, favorite ice cream flavors, or how many finals we had coming up. I would miss the good-spirited rivalry between the different colleges represented in the class. I would miss our slightly lame, Ultimate Frisbee-themed inside jokes. I would miss the community we built.

Haldeman Pool: the place where I come to splash around in the Southern California sunshine every Tuesday and Thursday from 1:15PM-2:30PM.
Haldeman Pool: the place where I come to splash around under the Southern California sunshine every Tuesday and Thursday.

This semester, I’m taking Beginning Swimming. It is undoubtedly a different environment, splashing around with several others in the “shallow” end of Haldeman Pool (by “shallow”, I mean 7 feet… but don’t worry, we use these floatie-type things!). However, I can now confidently say that I am no longer afraid of being in water. I have noticed significant improvement in my amateur swimming skills, and it’s all thanks to my Beginning Swimming class!

PE courses are probably one of the lesser of the determining factors in the discussion of the pros and cons of a college. However, my PE classes have surprisingly become a significant part of my college experience. In short, they only add to Pomona’s appeal!

An upperclassman once told me she has taken at least one PE class every semester she has been here. I have a feeling I might follow in her footsteps.