I’ve been a government reporter for most of my career. So when it comes to official documents, I’m used to the long, the obscure, the dull.
Even so, when a friend forwarded me the new state P.E. standards, my jaw dropped.
“Two hundred-plus pages?”
Granted, it’s a matter of perspective. Two hundred pages would be a short novel. As a reference book, it might even seem skimpy.
But when setting forth the list of what needs to be learned, from grade school to high school, in physical education and health, it feels a tad …excessive. Even at a mere 17 pages or so per grade level.
And then, it hit me.
These weren’t just the standards for fighting obesity among Colorado’s young people. This was the solution. Just issue a copy to every student and there’s no end to what you could do, even in the most budget-strapped of schools.
Toss the manual back and forth, and you have a medicine ball workout.
Have the students set their volumes on the track, and you have a low hurdles course. Do the same on the gym floor, and you have a vaulting horse.
Lie back with it on your chest and you have the start of a bench press routine.
Why, the possibilities go on and on,
Much like the standards, come to think of it.
OK, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration. Still, everyone says we need creative solutions to get our children and our schools in better shape. The tools for just such a solution may be at hand. Unintentionally, of course, but isn’t that always the way of it?
It’s certainly better than seeing it as a head-spinning amount of paper that’ll be obsolete before a first-grader ever reaches middle school.
And let’s face it. This would give a whole new meaning to the phrase “Pushing paper.”
OK, kids, let’s begin those reps! And one and two and ….