PERTH - It’s hard enough being first up, but imagine being the first group to tack the dreaded “Dirty Thirty.”
That’s the name given by St. John’s Catholic High School’s first-ever personal fitness class as they tested their mettle in the cross-fit competition, comparing their times first set way back on Sept. 12, 2012, with their times on Friday, Jan. 18.
“This is a really, really good benchmark to see how far you have come since September,” said teacher David Peters, addressing his class before they embarked on some of the most intense 15 minutes of exercise some had ever seen, taking in everything from lunges, weights, basketball wall throws, and skipping rope, to name a few.
Every morning for the past several weeks, the students have taken on one such event, and focused on it, for seven days, in their newly-expanded workout centre.
“The cross-fit is sort of new,” said Peters. “These guys, they are amazing. They have really bought into it.”
The students record their progress online to keep track of how well they are doing – or where they need improvement.
Peters gave his students a pep talk before they started out on their endurance test.
“You guys have taken ownership of your own fitness,” said Peters.
Even with the expanded facilities, with dozens of sweaty young men and women hustling in a spot packed with workout equipment, a bit of self-policing was necessary, leading to some memorable lines.
“Just make sure you are out of the way of people swinging cowbells,” said Peters, something you wouldn’t likely hear in calculus class.
Other lines were heartening to hear in a sports setting, especially in light of disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong’s interview with Oprah Winfrey the night before.
“No shortcuts!” Peters insisted.
At the end of the test, many of the students had improved on their September times by as much as 10 minutes or more.
“At the risk of inflating your egos any more than they already are, the last seven days were the most incredible seven days of my nine years of teaching,” said Peters. “You guys deserve to feel the way you do now.”
In the end, the male and female students with the best times were awarded with glittering tiaras and barf buckets, showing that they had gone the distance.