It’s a few minutes after 7:00 a.m. The men of WA have gathered in the parking lot to warm up for Personal Fitness. It’s chilly. There will only be a few more weeks they can be outdoors, but today is a good day. Stretch and hold. Mr. Mike Cho, the Assistant Dean of Men and men’s Personal Fitness teacher leads the exercises.

And it’s time to run. The Crawfish River is flowing swiftly, but not as swiftly as the runners crossing it – over the bridge, past the faculty housing – heart thumping, feet pounding – past the corn fields, the Baptist church – crisp autumn air in the nose, in the lungs – and around the bend to where DuBorg Rd. joins Highway 16. Pause for a moment, then it’s time to turn around and run back –  in the distance, Mr. Cho is yelling encouragement to the stragglers – keep the pace – feet pounding, heart thumping – corn fields, faculty housing – I can see the parking lot – not far now – and slow down. Walk the rest of the way to cool down. Take a quick shower. A warm breakfast is waiting in the cafeteria. Then it’s off to chapel and classes. Not a bad way to begin a morning.

Like every weekday morning for the last six years, students in both dorms gather every morning for a period of personal fitness. Inspired by Spirit of Prophecy counsel and research presented in the book SPARK by John Ratey, we are convinced that young people involved in physical fitness activities on a consistent basis will have higher cognitive abilities, less depression, aggression, and mood swings, and develop sharpened spiritual perceptions.

While some students would rather not wake up at 7:00 am and others wish the personal fitness period was longer than 30 minutes, physical activity in the morning is a part of Wisconsin Academy’s commitment to achieving a balanced program of mental, physical, and spiritual growth. This is yet another way Wisconsin Academy is preparing leaders for a life of service.

Thank-you, Luke, for the the photos.