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ciples many dubbed “crazy.” What began with a curious peek at the CrossFit website and a few experimental after-school workouts quickly snowballed. “It was completely different than anything I’d ever done,” said Hobby, who began with burpees and thrusters, two fundamental movements. “It left me a complete mess. I started experimenting by myself, but gradually more and more students would join me.” Before long, members of Sierra High’s PE Department and administration and football staffs were taking exploratory trips to Sacramento-area high schools to see CrossFit in the classroom. Boyd said they were blown away by their discovery. At Del Campo High, they watched three separate body conditioning classes – approximately 150 students in all – complete a WOD simultaneously, sharing the same space and equipment. No one was waiting on a machine, lingering between sets or distracted by the marvels of modern technology. “It was like, ‘Wow, this is what our classes need to look like. This is what PE should like,’” Boyd said. Soon, it would. Thanks to a $20,000 state grant, Sierra made the twofooted, no-turning-back leap into the CrossFit culture. The school gutted its weight room, removing all the traditional machines and other apparatuses in lieu of six double-sided racks, kettle bells, bars, boxes and weights. “We believe the human body is the machine,” Boyd said, “so we emptied the weight room.” Change was met with some skepticism, though. While the athletes and advanced students welcomed the challenge, the non-athlete stepped cautiously into this new-look playground. “It’s interesting, as this has grown and progressed, a lot
HIME ROMERO/209 Healthy Living
Sierra High senior JoJo Macias demonstrates proper technique.
of our kids, the ones that you think wouldn’t be excited about weight-training, have been our kids that have excelled the most,” Boyd said. CrossFit has leveled the playing field, putting the Book Worm and Jock on the same plane in an arena where only the muscle-bound and athletic once excelled. Weight aside, the Book Worm and Jock rifle through the same number of reps, completing the same prescribed workouts. They share in the agony, the sweat and the triumph. “The human body is the human body; it moves the same,” Boyd said. “We can have a varsity football player working out next to a kid holding a PVC pipe, and the neat thing about this model is that all our kids are able to excel and do well.” The hook: No two WODs are ever the same. The workouts change, keeping the body in a state of flux and the curriculum fresh. It also helps to have a teaching staff that “practices what they preach,” Boyd said. It’s not uncommon to find Boyd, Hobby and Cannon in the weight room
after school completing the very same WOD they administered to their students just hours earlier. “For me, personally, I was getting bored with PE back before we started doing this,” Boyd said. “This has really rejuvenated it for me. The kids will see each other in the locker room between classes and ask, ‘What’s the WOD today?’ A lot of times they won’t tell them. ‘You have to wait.’ It’s neat to see that kind of excitement.” ••• Fittest on Campus On a campus that loves its basketball, football and soccer, CrossFit has become a bona fide player in the athletic realm. This spring Sierra will host its second annual “Fittest on Campus” competition, in which participants take part in a series of workouts deemed “life’s skills.” The inaugural event featured swimming, running and lifting. “Train for the unknown and unknowable,” the press release read. “Anything from throwing a baseball to lifting weights, to gymnastics, even swimming is fair game.”
The top-three boys and girls are awarded prizes. While “Fittest on Campus” is a crown bestowed once a year, informal competitions take place every day in the weight room. For years, a boys’ leaderboard hung on the wall, touting the department’s record-setters. In November, the girls decided they wanted a board of their own – and said as much to Boyd, who was teaching a body tone class at the time. “The girls kept giving me a hard time,” he said. “We’ve put one up and now they’ve got their names up there.” What’s more, five girls – Annisity Miller, Priscilla Ramirez, Chabryel Fay, Tayler Moss and Jen Chavez – have transferred into a predominantly all-boys body conditioning class. “They like the challenge and I feel like they get pushed a little more,” Boyd said. “... It’s been neat to see the progression of the girls.” To contact Managing Editor James Burns email jburns@ mantecabullet.com. Follow him on Twitter at jburns1980.