Monday, June 29, 2009

Slimmin' With Simmons

Have you ever met someone and thought, wow,I have never met anyone so friendly and down to earth? Two weeks ago my class had the opportunity to travel to New York City to meet Richard Simmons. It was quite the opportunity for us and one that I will remember forever.

It all began a few months ago. My principal passed on the word that we would need to start exercising in the classroom as part of a district initiative. I will be honest, at first I thought how in the world will I ever be able to make time for exercising along with all of the curriculum demands that we have? But I decided to try it. I quickly realized that jumping jacks and "Mrs. Hickok says" were not exactly producing the results that I wanted. I really wanted the kids to be in to it. So I decided to introduce them to this guy.

My class was instantly drawn to his energy. So we started to work out to a few of his DVDs three times a week. On days that we worked out with Richard my students were more alert and ready to work. I also noticed that difference in me too. I felt like I had more energy which makes for a better environment for my students.

I decided to contact Richard. He has a website and so I sent him a quick email sharing with him what my students do. I was shocked when he responded to my email. You know what I am talking about. How many times have you written to someone "famous" (don't lie, you know you have) in hopes to hear back from them and you receive a big fat nothing? I really wasn't expecting him to respond but when he did I was thrilled. So thrilled that I ran into the bedroom and jumped on the bed, talking a mile a minute about the email I got from Richard. Poor John! He hasn't seen that much excitement since our newlywed days. Just kidding!

In the email Richard offered additional DVDs and said that he would send a signed picture of himself and he did. About a month and half ago I received another email inviting my class and myself to New York City for a PE Pep Rally. The pep rally was held on the steps of City Hall and Richard introduced the City Council Resolution 1925/2009, which called upon the 111th Congress to pass the FIT Kids Act,federal legislation that would improve the standards for physical education. You can imagine how excited we were. So after a bottle/can drive and some very generous donations given by some pretty amazing people (mom-in-law, PTA, STA, and the principal) we hopped on bus and traveled to the Big Apple.

Let me just say that when my students got their first glimpse of Richard, you would have thought Miley Cyrus showed up. Richard greeted us with hugs and spent so much time with us. He was so interested in my students and just perfect! The day was awesome and one that I am sure my students will remember forever. Richard surrounds himself with pretty amazing people as well. Anne is one of "persons" and she is so super fabulous! Everyone was so friendly and kind. I was also able to speak at the press conference. It was the perfect trip for a pretty amazing school year.

So like I said at the beginning, have you ever met someone so friendly and down to earth? I have and after spending the day with Richard, I was sad to leave and so were my students. He makes you feel like you're an old friend. And as for Miley Cyrus, sure she's cute but she doesn't compare to our Richard.