Thursday, July 28, 2016

A New Vision for Physical Education in our Schools

As diabetes and other metabolic disorders skyrocket among the young, we should stop and ask ourselves if we are truly meeting the most basic health needs of our kids.  There are lots of proposed solutions, but the only thing that really speaks the truth is the data.  You can't argue with data and the data is revealing that we are losing the war on preventable disease specifically related to fitness and nutrition.  My own kids have always been active, but it was until the last year when we joined our local CrossFit affiliate "Snake River CrossFIt" in Nampa, Idaho that I really began to see them become passionate about fitness and nutrition. They literally beg me to get them there early so that they can do "skill work" before the actual workout. They are telling their grandparents, on their own, "I can't eat that, I need something with more protein and less processed sugars."  When was the last time your pre-teen and teenager said something like that.  Basically, everything that I have been telling them for years has all of the sudden clicked. I believe it is a result of their exposure to the CrossFit community, communities are powerful, and this is redefining what it means to be healthy for my kids.  This ultimately led me to get my CF-L1 last spring and apply to become a non-profit school affiliate with CrossFit HQ.  The upcoming 2016-2017 school  year will be our first year offering CrossFit as a class to our students.  We have even partnered with Northwest Nazarene University to offer this course for college credit to our high school students.  I have always had a passion for health sciences (I have BA in Kinesiology Ed. and a MA in Science Education) so this seemed like a natural fit for our school and possibly a working model for other schools.  The data will be the only thing that informs us if this experiment truly works, luckily the model set forth by CrossFit is easily quantified with real numbers and real data. I have a hunch that we are on to something big.  Stay posted throughout the year as I reflect upon what it looks like to start from scratch, to start a CrossFit afiiliate in school, and to hopefully start a fitness revolution to win back the health of our youth.  As a science teacher, I love experiments, we will see what happens with this one.