Story by Sgt Sarah Ralph on 01/31/2019From encouraging students to competing with them, Marines from Marine Corps Air Station Miramar visited Standley Middle School located in University City, Calif. for their 9th annual Marine Corps Fitness Challenge. The Fitness Challenge consisted of multiple circuit courses in which students get split into three groups; Alpha, Bravo and Charlie, before starting the challenge during their physical education class. The students then spent roughly fifteen minutes at each course before rotating to the next one. The Marines demonstrated how to properly go through each course and constantly motivated the students to push themselves through the obstacles.
The Marine Corps Fitness Challenge has become a great event for MCAS Miramar and the surrounding community because it permits Marines to demonstrate a different side to physical fitness to students. Events like this also support the students who come from military families to and allow them to show others what they've had the opportunity to grow up around.
Throughout the day, Marines and students are able to converse with one another, which in turn provides students the opportunity to ask questions they have about the individual Marine or the Marine Corps. In many cases, Marines are able to connect and form a strong mentorship with students, whether it's to help with their homework, checking to see how they're doing or just being a friend. This comradery with University City and MCAS Miramar helps build a stronger community.
When asked, what was something he got to take away from this Fitness Challenge? Sgt. Isaiah Brye, an air traffic controller with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, said "Definitely giving back to the community and coming out here to see these little kids being physically fit, challenging and motivating themselves really makes me happy."
The United States Marine Corps has always had a strong mentality when it comes to physical fitness and encourages Marines constantly to push themselves physically throughout their lives. During the fitness challenge, the Marines were not specifically telling the students physical fitness is important, rather, the message was portrayed through their actions.
"This is something the kids really need today," said Aaron Hartin, a physical education teacher at Standley Middle School. "With the video games, phones and all that, sedentary lifestyle is unfortunately getting worse and not better."
Today's youth has changed greatly from the previous generations when it comes to physical fitness. Currently, children live in a gamer generation' and do more sitting around than running around says William Pearson, the principle at Standley Middle School.
"I think it's really important for these kids to take away recognition of how important their physical fitness is and to be pushed a little bit to their limits." said Pearson. "I think it's healthy for these kids to see what their actual fitness levels are. "
Special occasions such as this, orchestrates a better understanding of the military to the students than what they see on TV. Close interactions and activities with the Marines gives kids a positive outlook on what occurs on the installation.
"MCAS Miramar's goal toward this event is to support the Standley Middle School P.E. classes with physical fitness," said Kristi Terry school liaison officer at MCAS Miramar. "Through the entire day of the challenge, Marines were trying to inspire the youth and show them they can do anything if they put their mind to it. People often forget that even the smallest of things can have a huge impact on others. Bringing the community and our youth to a better place mentally and physically is what the Marines tried to do".