Challenge By Choice
It’s 6:10 on a dark, cool Monday morning. I awake to the sound of rain pelting my yurt’s roof. The yurts have a good way of making the rain sound louder and more aggressive than it is actually raining outside. This does not help me motivate to get out of bed for our morning workouts at 6:30. It’s the first morning workout since before our expedition, and it is also the first ever MWD (“Morning Workout of the Day”) that a student leadership team has led. After a long weekend, and a “Case of the Mondays,” I think to myself, maybe our Leaders of the Day will cancel the workout. But then right at 6:25, I hear voices and chatter to my left and right coming from the student yurts that sandwich mine and Molly’s. It’s time to get up!
We meet outside the Confluence Building which had its own moat made up of puddles from the weekend’s rainfall. Despite the rain, darkness, and heavy eyelids, everyone is laughing and making conversation. Once all are present, we run together to the barn, avoiding both the puddles and dogs along the way. After we arrive inside, everybody removes their wet raincoats and circles up for the stretch routine. We go around the circle, each person having a chance to lead a group stretch. Then, we learn what our workout will be. On this particular day, the leaders have designed an ab routine with 12 different exercises. Despite the grueling nature of ab workouts, everyone is positive. Throughout the workout, all the students and staff find ways to bring humor and fun into the routine. After completion of the exercise, we all run to the gate and then back to our yurts to shower before starting our week at Alzar School.
The short story I have just shared is a just a small glimpse of the many aspects of life at Alzar School. Whether it’s working out on a rainy cold morning, kayaking challenging whitewater, or doing the chores on campus (not to mention while taking a demanding academic course load), the students not only challenge themselves, but make the most of their experience. Students attend Alzar School because they demand the most out of themselves and their experiences. They are not the stereotypical teenager that is lazy, passive and unengaged. Instead, the students here constantly strive for excellence in all they do. It has been such a pleasure witnessing their growth so far this semester, and I am excited to see what the rest of the semester will bring.