Morning Lifts At Witter

Micah Temple, Social Media Editor

Rise and grind; it’s 6:30 AM, and I’m already driving to school. The roads are clear and silent, morning dew still sits in the corners of my windshield, and fresh rays of sunshine are just beginning to peek over Piedmont’s tallest pines. While many students are sound asleep, I’m about to arrive at Witter weight room for a morning lift before first period.

This scene is only a dream for many students like myself, impeded by one frustratingly simple detail: the well-stocked weight room sitting beside Witter Field, complete with all the equipment a gym goer might wish for, is closed. 

It wasn’t always this way. Five years ago, Piedmont had a staff member whose job was to open and supervise the weight room before school so that students could work out at the beginning of their day. This position has since been abandoned, leaving perfectly good racks full of weights untouched in the mornings. 

Working out is an essential part of many Piedmont students’ lives, and it comes with a host of benefits, from physical strength and muscle mass gains, to teaching the art of discipline and slowly developing long-term goals. However, these benefits become more elusive the busier a student’s schedule is, as they don’t always have enough time to get their daily lift in. With school days starting at 8:30 AM, fitting an hour of working out before school is the dream solution to this problem for many students.

While students with gym memberships and drivers licenses may still be able to go to the gym in the morning, even they could benefit from this change, as they could efficiently combine their drive to school and their drive to the gym into one trip.

Another important element that has been lost was the social environment created by an open gym full of Piedmont students; student gym goers could go with their friends for company during a lift or have one of them act as a spotter. The connection formed between two people working out together is a unique one, as they both strive to improve not only themselves, but each other. 

As of now, the weight room is open to some PHS sports teams’ practices, and is used by the weight training class. In order to open it in the mornings for use by all students, a supervisor is required. The challenges that arise in finding a supervisor are that the applicant must be paid by the school, and they must be background-checked and approved by the school system. Furthermore, if this supervisor were someone with a weight-lifting or exercise background, it would increase the cost of the hire. Beyond these challenges, once the position is opened and someone to fill is found, or if a Piedmont teacher steps in to do so, the weight room can be reopened for morning lifts. 

Making this dream shared by many students a reality will create a positive social environment, and give students access to a nearby place where they can lift comfortably.