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Just not sporty: how to embrace exercise as an adult if you disliked it as a child

Life and style | The Guardian

Bad memories of PE can give people the lifelong impression they’re not cut out for sport. But plenty of adults have left behind sedentary lifestyles – you just have to find the right approach

When Sarah Overall was a child, a PE teacher held the entire class back because Overall would not do the high jump. She was tiny – as an adult, she is under 5ft (1.5m) tall – and was scared of hurting herself on the metal bar. “I was too short to get over it,” she says. “I remember the whole class watching.” Netball was “pure hell”. She enjoyed hockey, which suited her body better, but she felt written off by her PE teacher. “I was like: ‘Do you not get that I actually work really hard at the things I can do?’”

Now, years later, Overall is a personal trainer and sees the damage that bad PE lessons have had on her clients. “It’s pretty much everybody who comes to me,” she says. “I don’t think I’ve got anybody, especially a woman, who has said: ‘I was good at sport at school.’”

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September 16th 2019, 7:26 am
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