Blazers strive to get in shape in the new year
Sophomore Gardi Royce and his father, Jimmy Daukas, lock eyes from across the dinner table. They are both enticed by the delectable desert in front of them. Not willing to give in to the allurement or the calories, Royce pushes it aside and smirks at his father. Royce's dad, too, refuses to yield to the tasty temptation. After all, this is a competition.
Royce and Daukas started the friendly contest after Daukas announced that he wanted to get into better shape for the new year. Royce challenged his dad to see who could get a six-pack first.
Royce's dad was pleased that the contest with his son has been an inspiration for Royce to stay in shape. "Gardi already exercises and lifts weights," Daukas says. "But the competition really got him committed."
Motivation is not the problem plaguing junior Sam Zucker, who worked tirelessly to get in shape for a national fencing tournament last February. "People tend to think that you don't have to be in great shape for fencing," Zucker says. "But in my last tournament, I wasn't fit enough and that might have cost me the win."
Working it out
Zucker pushed himself this year by lifting weights every other day and restricting his diet. "I haven't had dessert in a very, very long time," Zucker says. "It's been hard, but then again, staying fit has allowed me to pursue cooking as a hobby because I've had to experiment with healthy foods."
That hard work and effort paid off. Zucker placed third in the under 20 category of Junior Olympics and accredits his success to his tough work-out regimen. "When you go that far in a tournament you need to have a certain level of fitness," he says. "I knew couldn't get tired because I ate junk food and my self-restraint is probably why I placed."
Not all teens can find Zucker's motivation. Physical education teacher Rob McMahon knows firsthand how difficult it can be to encourage active behavior among adolescents. "Too many people stop working out after they're young," he says. "What I've learned is that if you allow people to do something that they enjoy, they are more willing to become fit."
By giving up favorite meals like fast food and picking up running, Smith is working to shed those excess pounds. "I love French fries," she says proudly. "But I'm trying to eat less of them...psych!"
Despite her weakness for fries, since the beginning of January, Smith has seen some small but encouraging differences that have kept her going. "I don't think I've lost any weight, but my tummy's getting smaller," she says enthusiastically.
Jenna Bushnell. Jenna Bushnell likes sunshine and funfetti cupcakes. In her free time she enjoys excavating ancient Mayan temples, choreographing classic Broadway revivals, and smiling at strangers. For the right price, she will recite all of the words to "Rock Yo Hips" by Crime Mob. More »