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The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

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Conditioning boosts character, strengthens abs

At the beginning of my sophomore year I was a reformed ?bando’. Since the sixth grade I played in band and, having never experienced a true PE class, I decided to take the plunge. A little unsure of what to expect in my first day of ?Independent PE? with Mr. Callisch, I was relieved to find it harmless.

However, my mom, a fitness advocate herself, was determined to get me in serious shape. Aside from a lukewarm interest in softball, I have never been an athlete; my interests fell more into the literary category. I dreaded what my mom was threatening? conditioning.

The idea of working out with some of the best athletes in the school filled me with fear. I had complete knowledge of my incompetence in athletics. My parents were adamant and the argument was an uphill battle. Within a week of school?s beginning, my schedule was changed to include what seemed (in my melodramatic mind) certain doom.

Upon hearing of my enrollment in the class, I got the same response around the school: ?Well, you?ll get in really good shape?. The first two weeks are awful, but the rest isn?t so bad.? Very comforting.

Despite the reputation of the class, which is designed to keep athletes in shape during their off-season as well as push them to become better, I was determined to have a good attitude, however painful it might seem.

For the first three months, I spent 8th period with coach Ericlee Gilmore, varsity basketball players, mostly seniors and my good friend and fellow sophomore Paige Powell. It was 100 degrees and my muscles were perpetually sore for about two months, but within a week, I could run farther without getting tired and actually accomplish several push-ups.

Since then, it has been a long road to become an athlete for me, as I would rather read a book than play a sport. Both coach Gilmore and coach Shailey Jones have pushed me farther than I ever thought possible. Their commitment to challenge my ability and stretch my perseverance has made me considerably stronger than I was seven months ago.

While I admit that I still sometimes dread the class, the overwhelming benefits go beyond the physical improvement. Through the sprints, push-ups and lunges I have truly learned how to work hard. I feel good when I come away from a workout having shaved a few seconds off my running time.

While this extreme form of PE may not be glamorous, it has given me a renewed sense of self-confidence. I can do more every week and the class has brought me closer to my friends. Paige and I laughingly compared it to going through a war together. Above all, I have not given up, dropped out or compromised my schedule to secure a spot in regular PE. I have strengthened a part of my life that was underdeveloped before.

When I think of my PE class next year, the temptation to rejoin the regular class does loom. However, I think I will stick it out. Athletic or not, I believe conditioning has strengthened my character as well as my abs.

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