Jaqueline Vargas, Reporter
“I should go on a diet,” is what people often say. “No pain, no gain,” is what Mr. K says.
Mr. Raymond Kalbhenn, known by his students as “Mr. K,” is the Physical Education (PE) and the Strength and Conditioning teacher for freshmen at Samueli Academy.
Strength and Conditioning is a first period elective class that students decide to be a part of every day. “I majored in Kinesiology, which scientifically studies the body and how it works,” says Mr. K. He mainly focuses on “Cross-fit training, which involves moving the body as a whole, rather than one specific body movement,” he adds.
Mr. K is not like any other physical education teacher you would find at any school. According to one of Mr. K’s students, Shalom Hernandez, “Three words that really describe Mr. K with his fitness in P.E class is: strong, motivational, and caring.” She says the type of fitness Mr. K does acts like a stress reliever, and when she exercises, she is able to perform at a higher standard in school and focus better. As a matter of fact, BBC News has recorded research that had already been conducted in some schools in the United States. Dr. Charles Hillman showed that even after just a small 30- minute jog on the treadmill, students were actually 10% better at problem solving,performing better in their school.
“I want my students to find out what their physical limitations are and learn to push themselves beyond them. My workouts help students see the importance of making physical fitness a lifetime commitment, rather than seeing it as a ‘quick fix’ to get back in shape,” Mr. K reminds us. “Never skip breakfast, eat five small portions per day, and eat two snacks between lunch and dinner,” says Mr. K, when he was asked what the best meal plan was.
The President’s Council on Fitness Sports and Nutrition states that “Only one in three children are physically active every day.” However, this is not at all true at Samueli Academy. Mr. K pushes his students every time he has P.E and Strength and Conditioning class with them. Even his students feel accomplished. Zachary Sanchez, one of Mr. K’s P.E and Strength and Conditioning students says, “I would describe his class as tough, but rewarding. During the workouts, I feel like I hate myself, but when we're finished, I feel accomplished.”
Dante Zavala, an athlete in track, Strength and Conditioning, P.E, and cross country mentions, “Mr. K’s P.E and Strength and Conditioning classes are very fun because he is always joking around with people and he makes us smile, but at the same time, his exercises are very painful because we have to do workouts that professional trainers would do.”
According to Daily Mail, one in three pupils in the United States hate their physical education class. Is it because they hate exercising, or is it because they do not like their teacher? Maybe both? An article titled, “Forced Gym Makes Kids Hate Exercise,” written by Penelope Trunk, was written based on her perspective and why students hate their gym class. She states all of the negativity of kid’s physical education, one of the reasons being, “Violent sports terrify a lot of kids.” On the contrary, at Samueli Academy, Rachel Pacheco has her own perspective to Mr. K’s class. Rachel describes her strength in his class, from a one to ten, even almost close to a four, but she admits, “Yes, he pushes us, sometimes too much for me, but I have realized that he does it in a way where we can see what we are capable of doing and what or how exactly to improve.”
Yes, there can be numerous negative things to state about a regular P.E class, but Mr. K’s is different. “It makes them feel better about themselves, promotes stronger bones and adds longevity to their life,” says Mr. K.
Giovanna Cortez, a freshman in Mr. K’s P.E class, tells us what the difference between Mr. K’s P.E class and her previous PE classes. She mentions, “Mr. K’s fit lessons make me want to actually take more care of myself, become fit, and be healthy, which is very hard for me to do on my own. What I’ve gained from P.E is the knowledge that I can do more, I can do better, because he teaches us that all of the negativity that comes to us, is from our mind. He tells us that our body can do things, but it’s actually your mind that hinders you from doing what you want in anything. I believe that I have become better in school, especially in my classes, just because of what Mr. K has told us.”
As Giovanna states, you can not do much with your mind hindering you. Mr. K thinks that the proper attitude to have in entering his classroom and going through his workouts for his students would be: “I can do this, NO LIMITS!”
“You have to be willing to put in effort, because if you start your day with him in his class with a negative attitude, you will probably not make it. My attitude in class changes all the time. I get frustrated when we have to do extra workouts because we don't finish as a team. But on the other hand, I feel extremely content when we finish a workout and I am able to sit down after,” says Zachary Sanchez. The Association for Applied Sport Psychology states, “All team members must agree on what the team is trying to accomplish. Teams work much harder if members have a say in team goals and focus. Having team members discuss on team goals would foster this sense of team commitment.”
One famous quote that Mr. K repeats to his students is, “A person cannot improve if they do not know their limits. Discovering your own limitations, tells me where they need to improve. I can then adjust my workouts to meet their individual needs.” Mr. K has proved that, what he makes his students do, maybe if they cannot do it the first time, they will improve the next time. He has proved that “students usually really don’t know how far they can go, until they do it.” Meaning, until he pushes them farther than where they can go, they realize they can actually do it.
“Don’t forget to keep practicing. Whatever the price, never give up,” Ashley Corrales reminds us, “The harder you put your energy into exercising, the better you will get and gain much more strength.”
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