PE department cancels popular Cross-Fit elective due to finances

The astonishment at the recent cancellation of the Cross-Fit elective was felt by many high schoolers.

Not only  was the class immensely popular with students, but it also achieved its goal of getting participants more active during the day, sophomore Aishwarya Nadgauda said.

Cross-Fit’s goal is to combine “physical skills and adaptations (that) would most universally lend themselves to performance advantage,” according to the website

“Cross-Fit was definitely harder than PE because Cross-Fit was non-stop working out for the whole elective,” senior Leslie Rieger said.

“In PE you take breaks, and sometimes the sport you could be playing doesn’t require that much activity.”

Given this, why would such an elective be cancelled?

The answer is familiar and simple: funding.

Cross-Fit started as a two-week segment of teacher Michelle Myers’s PE class.

Students in her classes choose activities. After voting, they negotiate which activities to do and how long each should last.

For the first and second trimesters, the PE department—along with Alisha Harris, a certified personal trainer and group exercise instructor—created a Cross-Fit section to see how the students liked it.

Harris’s second-trimester payment was covered by the PE budget.

“(The students) ended up liking it so much they wanted to have it as its own elective,” Myers said.

The course consisted of weightlifting, strength training, plyometrics (jump training), cardio, and core training exercises combined with basketball, football and soccer drills, Harris said.

Turning the two weeks into a full trimester was easy enough to accomplish at first.

Harris was easily accessible since she was already coaching the girls’ basketball team.

Hence, the Cross-Fit elective was created,  becoming the craze of the high school as soon as it appeared.

“We even had some students use their free periods to take the classes with us,” Harris said.

In fact, the class size in the third trimester was 12 students, about the average size of a regular PE class.

However, in the third trimester there wasn’t enough money in the PE budget to cover paying Harris if Cross-Fit were to remain its own elective.

“(Harris) donated her time for the (first) two-week session,” Myers said. “But because the elective was a whole trimester, we had to find a way to give (her) a stipend. You have to pay two teachers for working (at the same time), instead of one.”

So Harris’s salary came from a different high-school budget in the third trimester.

But Cross-Fit hasn’t been obliterated. Each PE elective still has the option to incorporate it into their class.

The difference is that these courses would be taught by Myers instead of Harris.

Harris still comes to school to work out with members of the faculty and student body before and after school, as she has done since last year.

Among the participants are teachers Alan Beamer and Patricia Kelly, Nellis and receptionist Erica Wilson.

“It’s good to do something that makes you feel good after you sweat,” Wilson said.

Whether Cross-Fit returns as an elective is up to students.

“It really depends on the kids and the elective,” Myers said. “If the majority of them want to do Cross-Fit (instead of standard PE sports) the whole time, we certainly would do that.”

The only obstacle would be Myers’s Cross-Fit certification.

“I’d probably have to take classes to get certified,” she said.

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