By Michilea Patterson, The Mercury
A group of students got the chance to test their fitness abilities during a challenging activity at CrossFit Pottstown.
Pottstown High School students enrolled in strength and conditioning physical education classes, closed the semester by putting their skills into practice with a series of exercises. The challenge was to do three rounds of a workout which included high box jumps, rowing using an indoor machine, throwing medicine balls at a wall and more. Each repetition was worth one point and the students were competing against the clock since they only had so much time to do each station.
David Genova, wellness coordinator for the school district, said the activity allows the students to challenge themselves and see how they’ve improved since the beginning of the semester. He said the field trip to the CrossFit gym, which is located at the former armory building on King St., gives the students something to work toward.
“So they’re not competing against each other; they’re competing against themselves,” he said.
Sophomore Brian Carter, 16, said P.E. helped him prepare for the CrossFit exercises and gave him the strength to get through the activity.
“My body’s tired but my mind’s telling me to keep going,” he said.
Junior Ahnile Fountain, 17, took the conditioning class so he could get physically stronger for sports such as basketball.
“It got me stronger physically and mentally,” he said.
Junior Kaylah Pearson, 17, also enrolled in the strength and conditioning class to prepare for a sport. She runs on the track team. She said the CrossFit activity was a lot of hard work but the P.E. class has improved her endurance.
“I have asthma so it helps me out,” Pearson said.
Pottstown High School P.E. teacher Bill Parks said the students have been learning about CrossFit fitness as part of their physical education. He said Rob Matthews, owner of the local Pottstown gym, comes to the school once about every two weeks to teach students CrossFit terms and techniques. Parks said having the students actually come to the gym for the challenge gets them excited.
“It’s a great opportunity for our students to get out of the building and see what type of fitness activities there are in our community right here in Pottstown other than what they do here in school,” he said.
James Martinez, health and P.E. teacher at the high school, said Matthews is a certified CrossFit instructor and that it’s great the students are able to learn from him.
“It’s an entity that he (Matthews) can offer for us that’s outside the regular education setting,” Martinez said.
Matthews said the exercise movements the students did as part of the challenge are the same ones they learn as part of their strength and conditioning class at the high school. He said the CrossFit challenge is a culminating activity of the training they do as part of that class.
“I think they did extremely well,” he said.