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Porter Ridge's Extreme Makeover: Fitness Edition

Students using one of the new elliptical machines in Ms. Rorie's class.

Two weeks ago the Porter Ridge High School physical fitness department received an “extreme makeover.” Though no walls were torn down and no one shouted “Move that bus!” the transformation surely deserved the approval of even Ty Pennington. 

As movers wheeled in state-of-the-art elliptical machines and treadmills to be placed in the new fitness room, a surreal feeling crept over the P.E. teachers. This unexpected delivery was the result of PRHS winning the Carol M. White Physical Education Program Grant, a grant which awarded the school with $90,000 in state-of-the-art fitness equipment.

“This presents an amazing opportunity for kids at Porter Ridge,” declared Lael Rorie, teacher of the Fit for Life classes. “Not many high school students are privileged enough to have access to this type of equipment which would usually only be found in gyms.”

Not only do the students learn the correct way to use each machine but they also learn the proper way to exercise while still receiving the “max workout”. Rorie teaches her students about target heart rate zone, a level of intensity a student must reach in order to effectively improve fitness and burn the most calories. The target heart rate zone allows students to determine on their own how much they need to push themselves in order to have a productive work out.

Though still a vital resource, the weight room only allows students to work on building muscle strength, and its restricted area also greatly limits the class size. With the fitness room P.E. teachers have much more room to work as well as the ability to build students cardiovascular and strength endurance.

“It’s just fun,” admits Josh Crosby, a senior, “and we are really lucky that our school can provide something like this.” Crosby is not alone in his opinion. Many teachers also enjoy spending the afternoons in the fitness room benefiting from all it has to offer.

In addition to keeping students in shape, the fitness room allows injured athletes to maintain their fitness level while they wait for their bodies to recover. Damarrell Alexander, cornerback for PRHS, and running back Javonte Truesdale, were excited to find they could still work out after injuring themselves in previous games. Truesdale broke his thumb and uses the seated elliptical to stay in shape while Alexander, who sprained his ankle, utilizes the upper body chest press.

“I really hope the new fitness room will inspire kids to stay in shape,” admits Rorie, “and now that we have the right type of equipment, there really is no excuse.”

Written by: Josephine E. Mendez, PRHS Student Staff Editor
Posted: Sep 27, 2010 by Ms. April Dawkins

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