New fitness challenge contenders pose risk for standing champs


Francisco Salazar

New contenders pose a risk for standing champs at this year’s JMR fitness challenge.

Every year at Morton East, Mr. Romero hosts the Joseph M. Reitmeier (JMR) fitness challenge. (Joe Reitmeier was a respected Morton High School athletic coach and PE teacher who passed away unexpectedly several years ago.) Fitness is a period during which an individual or group sets specific fitness goals and works to achieve them. Fitness challenges can vary in duration, intensity, and scope and may focus on several aspects of fitness, such as cardiovascular endurance, strength, flexibility, or weight loss. The JMR fitness challenge includes push-ups, sit-ups, squats, and burpees with 6 laps. Depending on the grade and gender, the challenge ranges from 20-30 of those exercises.

One of the former competitors feels like there was more energy at the event.

“I feel as though there was more enthusiasm for this year’s challenge than last year’s,” said Nick Rodrigues.

However, some other competitors feel like they could have achieved something greater.

“I wish I would have done better, but I admit that I have not been putting in as much work as last year. This just motivates me to work harder so I can be better,” said Daisy Herrera.

Despite not easily being intimidated by competitors, some competitors had a feeling that the upcoming year would prove to be much more challenging than the previous one.

“I am not one to let myself get intimidated by my competitors, but I was aware that this year was going to be harder than the last,” said Joseph Dean.

A lot of people, especially those in sports, have their make or break moments. However, a common theme that always possesses this challenge is when competitors make it to the burpees.

“My make it or break it moment was during the burpees. They are brutal, and it’s what slowed me down big time,” said Joseph Dean.

It is always helpful to offer advice to fellow competitors who may be facing similar challenges in the future. Therefore, last year’s champion Joseph Dean had these few words of wisdom.

“If you want it, work for it,” said Joseph Dean.

At the end of the day, this competition is not simply to see who the fittest person truly is, but it is more than that. It is what people have worked hard to achieve. It is hours of sweat, pain, and dedication.

A wise man once said, “Every one of you worked your butts off to get here, and you should be proud of it,” Mr. Romero.

This year’s JSM Fitness Challenge winners were the following: seniors Fatima Duran and Fernando Quintana, juniors [names to be filled], and sophomores [names to be filled].