Shengliver’s Note: Thanks to the trend set by some star high schools in China, group running has become a fixture on most high school campuses across the country. One of the teens in my class, Miss Peng Yajuan, casts doubt on it, however.


I wonder why we run in the mid-morning break daily. Does the person who came up with this idea really want to strengthen our bodies? If the answer is yes, then why is the running as it is now?


It seems that we run together just to show off how tidy we are. It is ordered that we stand and run in a straight line, at the same pace, no talking and no laughing in the process. We run like robots with the same movement and no mistakes are tolerated. It is required that we 63 students fall into the same step and shout slogans as we go. But how? Our legs are not the same length and our bodies can’t be controlled by one single mind.


As far as I am concerned, the mid-morning exercise, whatever form it might take, should aim to boost our health. We should not be used as tools to satisfy the teachers’ vanity.


Visual artists exercise because they want to keep their body shape beautiful. Some guys exercise because the workout can release their pressure. In contrast we students exercise just because the school orders us to. If we don’t, then we will get in trouble. I hate it.


When I was in middle school, the mid-morning break exercise was a happy thing. As the PE test approached, we were able to run around the playground the way we wanted. We did not have to run as we do now, in a group, robotically. And we could choose how much we wanted to run. It was that free. I miss it very much.


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