Thursday, June 19, 2014

Fitness in the Schools

A month or so ago, I was watching my son's basketball game at a local middle school gymnasium. I noticed this sign up ... it made me glad I was NOT a 7th grade boy (I mean I'm glad I'm not for MANY reasons!) I have been incorporating a mile run (ok, jog) into my weekly workouts. Now admittedly, I stay somewhat comfortable at 5mph, which ends up at a 12 minute mile. According to this sheet, I'd get a D- ... Yikes!

Now I'm pretty sure if I pushed myself, I could run faster. A little faster ... I'm really not sure how much better I'd get (10 minutes maybe!). I actually remember being required to run a mile when I was in middle school as well. I remember pushing myself to finish first (out of the girls anyway) and then promptly throwing up afterward. I think I threw up three years in a row, during the first run of the season. I actually ended up running track, and doing good in the sprints. But a mile? That is distance, and I didn't (and don't) do distance.

I did have a 7th grade boy this last year. While he loved his physical education class, I do remember him moaning about the mile. I do think he squeaked in under 8:00 minutes.

As my fourth grader's school came to a close a couple weeks ago, they participated in the Presidential Physical Fitness Challenge. I do have vague memories of this too. Has it been around for a while? I mean if I am remembering it from elementary school, we're talking over 30 years ago!

My little guy suffers from anxiety. They did a "fun run" several weeks ago, and he stressed about that. He had complete meltdowns over the end of year academic testing. Ironically, he is at the top of his class academically and physically.  I wasn't surprised when he expressed concern about this Presidential Fitness Testing too. 

I just told him to do his best. It's never as bad as he thinks it is going to be. He came home and told me about the variety of different exercises they were measured on. He did really good on everything, except the V-sits ... he just isn't very flexible (me either!) I had to laugh though, as he complained about his "abs" for the next few days. Oh, such a workout!

To receive the Presidential Fitness Award, the student must rank in the 85th percentile of each exercise. My little guy missed it by one exercise (only two students in the class were able to get it). If the students are above the 50th percentile, then they still get the National Physical Fitness Award. He (and many classmates in the 4th grade classes) were able to get that certificate.

I do love being a mom to five active boys! They love recess, and PE class ... it was interesting to get a little peek into some of the physical fitness requirements the schools are expecting from the youth today. You seem to see the stereotypical "rope climb" and dodge ball and such when school fitness is featured in films or TV programs. Does anyone actually have to do the rope climb? I pretty sure I'd fail miserably at that as well!  Just Thinking Out Loud about school fitness today *Ü*

Even though school has ended for us ... I've been doing the ol' school carpool still because of basketball camp. #2 is working out with the cross-country team in the mornings, then staying for the basketball clinic from 10:00-1:00. I make a trip to the school at 1:00 to pick him (and friends) up, and to drop off #3 (as the different ages have different times). Then take #2  back at 4:00 for a "shooting clinic" and then I go back at 5:00 to pick up both boys. But today is the last day of that ...



  1. So what grade would you get on the mile run?

  2. Wow I don't feel really good about the grading done for the mile! The teacher in me feels like that should be something done based on improvement. As in, run a mile, then do some training in class for a few weeks, and run a mile again. You're graded on whether you improved or not.

    1. I agree ... I asked my boys, and they said there weren't these specific requirements at their school, and it was more just finishing (although I do still think it had to be until 15 minutes or so, I'm not sure).

  3. Man you stay SO busy!! Good for your boys for staying active!

  4. I agree with Megan. It's not about the time, its about the effort and I think it would be discouraging to kids who took longer, may turn them off of fitness all together.


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