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Crossfit for youngsters; free online videos

Be honest: Did you hate gym class when you were a kid?
Of course you did. It was gym class.

You had to get out of your school clothes in second period, to slap on those trunks with your school logo that were too big and that T-shirt with your school logo that was too small.

Sometimes, that T-shirt came off for half-court basketball. Shirts-vs.-skins.

Heck, anytime you were tapped for “skins,” you just knew the girls were going to be on the opposite end of the gym, but in full view, doing ballet, or something like that.

While giggling. And pointing. At you.

There was the dreaded dodgeball and that equally dreaded basic-training rope you had to attempt to climb, looking for all the world like a mortally wounded caterpillar for the foot or so you advanced.

If the communal shower wasn’t bad enough, sometimes you even had to do (shudder!) square dancing. For cardio. And torture.

Yep, as soon as you got that requirement out of the way, you moved on — and never looked back.

Except for now, when you look in the mirror and at your medical chart. The numbers on your bathroom keep doing a steady ascent — way better than you ever did on that gym class rope.


The stirrings of a heart issue.

Maybe all that sanctioned running around you had to do as a kid wasn’t so bad after all.

And maybe your kid needs to be doing more of it, even if he is in the house for the COVID-19 shutdown.

Close-up quads

That’s why Jeff Giosi has muscled his way onto YouTube.

“What are these called again?” he asked, into the camera lens, while slapping his hands on his thighs.

“You there, in the back. Right! Quadriceps. You got it.”
The room he was in was empty, save for him and the camera, but you never would have known it, from his energy level.

Giosi, a former college decathlete and WVU strength and conditioning coach, owns and operates CrossFit Morgantown, a Green Bag Road fitness facility with his wife, Morgantown radio personality Sarah Giosi.

On Monday, he debuted the first in a series of workout videos geared to both elementary and secondary school youngsters who were sent home weeks ago over concerns of the

“That’s what they are,” he said, of the 12- to 15-minute excursions.

“These are actual, themed workouts. We talk about muscle groups and what they do. And the importance of good nutrition. Always goodnutrition.”

Early habits, good habits

The CrossFit workouts, he said, aren’t being made to replace what he says is “amazing work” done by teachers in Monongalia County and elsewhere.

But, he said, he hopes they fill a gap while schools are empty during the pandemic.
Growing up in Long Island, N.Y., he was a track and field athlete who became a gym rat when he was 14.

It’s not about him, though, he said.

It’s about your kid.

And sedentary lifestyles, which invariably led to health problems later in life.

There’s something else: Confidence.

That’s why Giosi encourages, but doesn’t taunt — in the way, perhaps, you may remember from your gym class, if you were a woebegone kid who threw “like a girl” or ran “funny.”
Rae Pica, a nationally known education and fitness consultant, agrees.

If a kid gets shut down in phys. ed., she said,
he just might stay
shut down.

“It means a child who eventually loses confidence in his ability to play like the other kids,” she said.

“He feels clumsy and inferior and, to avoid humiliation, avoids physical activity,” the consultant continued.

“He grows up with the belief that he ‘can’t throw,’ ‘can’t dance,’ is ‘uncoordinated,’ or ‘lousy at anything physical.’ He becomes one of the couch potatoes among us.”
Nope, Giosi said. Not gonna happen.

“We’ll see you back next week,” he said. “Do those workouts.”
To view the videos and to take part, go to YouTube online and type “CrossFit Morgantown WV” in the search field.

The workouts are labeled, “CrossFit Morgantown P.E.: Class 1, Elementary” and “CrossFit Morgantown P.E.: Class 1, Secondary.”

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