McCombs Students Learn About Good Living at Wellness Fair
Well, well, well; what have we here?
Everywhere you looked at McCombs Middle School Wednesday it was wellness, as far as the eye could see. The annual Wellness Fair spread out far and wide, inside and out on a blustery day just right for lending an extra dash of liveliness to an already good-to-be-young-and-alive vibe.
The 6th and 7th graders ran the gamut of the grounds soaking up the wisdom of the 8th graders in the form of sample-sized honey milkshakes, turkey bacon and “brownie brittle,” to cite but a few examples of tasty and nutritious treats made possible, in part, by generous community support from both Hy-Vee and Price Chopper.
The gym was a beehive of activities that included fast-paced rope-jumping, bowling, “stunt prep” (i.e., cheerleading) and booths devoted to military fitness and tackle football. Future Lincoln Railsplitter footballers Colby Chase and Michael Harvey were the self-appointed ambassadors for the sport they both plan to pursue in high school. No, they weren’t in pads and there were no tackling demos, but they were armed with plenty of positives to rebut concerns about the dangers of football. They also were conducting an informal survey of classmates’ favorite NFL teams. The early leader was the Pittsburgh Steelers, not the team in Philadelphia that, like McCombs, goes by the name of Eagles.
“They’re doing lots of research about concussions,” explained Colby, a cherub-faced 140 pounder. “Helmets are getting better all the time, too.”
Told he appears to have the makings of a force on the offensive line he said he plans on growing into a big wide receiver who will outleap smaller defensive backs to snare passes. Maybe his buddy will throw them to him. He looked cool under the pressure of a rush of 6th graders who wanted to hear what Michael had to say that they didn’t already know about football, nonchalantly juggling a pigskin while giving it to them straight about proper stretching and conditioning.
If the gym seemed jammed all you had to do was step outside for plenty of fresh air and fresh approaches to team-building and physical education.
Besides inflatable slides and shuttle relays with saturated sponges for batons there were four-way tugs of war and compressed obstacle courses being run by blindfolded good sports (with more than a little help from their friends). The blind obstacle course idea was devised by Ryan Hyslope, Nate Cox, Daniel Hultman and Matthew Gedenberg as a way of exploring their chosen topic: social wellness. The idea was for the blindfolded member of a team to find a way over, under, around and through a series of tires, turns and hurdles with the verbal guidance (no touching allowed!) of a partner.
“We thought it would be a good way to show that life is easier when you’re not going it alone,” said Ryan. Nowhere is that truer than in high school which Ryan said he’s been told is “a whole different world.” Yes (in the sense of you’ve never had it so good) and no (in the sense of it’s nothing you can’t handle).
In fact, if you can tiptoe through some tires and clear some hurdles blindfolded, which everyone who tried managed to do, smiling, on Wednesday, it will be a piece of brownie brittle.