Out with old P.E. and in with the new

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Many years ago, in a fit of patriotic passion, we joined the Army. It was there we made the acquaintance of Drill Sergeant Love. He was a most unforgettable character. Tall, lanky and with one eye bigger than the other, he was able to strike terror in the hearts of new recruits with just a glance. Even today, on those restless nights when sleep proves elusive, he is apt to double-time unbidden through our troubled dreams &045; shouting curses and demanding a never-ending string of push-ups.

A favorite ploy: &uot;Do you like Louisiana, private?&uot;

So it is that when we hear the phrase &uot;old P.E.&uot; it kindles troubling associations. In the new parlance, however, old P.E. refers to physical exercise that focused on traditional team athletics.

The &uot;new P.E.&uot;, by contrast, focuses on each individual and his or her general health.

The Selma YMCA is helping to battle obesity by promoting the new P.E. in city and county public schools. With the help of two major grants, the YMCA has been helping to institute new P.E. programs for area students.

YMCA CEO Angie Miller calls the programs &uot;absolutely cutting edge.&uot; The final result should be healthier and more active students.

Drill Sergeant Love, rest in peace.