On a team of their own

Students stay active without varsity sports

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Graham Ross/ The Scroll

Muaz Khan (12) builds his upper body strength with push-ups. When he is not at the gym, he does pull-ups, push-ups, and ab exercises.

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With the stress of extracurriculars and the school day, many students turn to exercise as a way to stay fit and blow off steam. Three of these workout warriors are Emmett Campbell (11), Muaz Khan (12) and Chloe Littlejohn (9). 

Campbell jumped from sport to sport when he was younger, playing everything from tennis to lacrosse. Once he reached high school, however, he found sports to be a huge commitment.

“I knew that going into my junior year, it was already going to be really difficult,” Campbell said. “I wanted to give myself the ability to have a more flexible schedule.”

Initially, Campbell found it difficult to make the switch from team sports to working out individually.

“The thing that prevented me from wanting to go to the gym for such a long time was that fear that people are going to be judging me,” Campbell said. “Over time, I’ve learned that no one is going to be looking at you when you’re in the gym because we’re all tired and working out.”

Khan has a similar story: he ran cross country and played soccer but then decided to begin exercising on his own. 

“When you’re working out on your own, you’re working out for yourself- your own mental health and physical capacity,” Khan said. “When you’re working out with a team, from my perspective, it feels like I’m the property of that team and I’m working out for that team.”

He tries to stick to certain facets of the ketogenic diet: eating low-carbohydrate, high protein foods; however, he does not like to adhere to a rigid diet plan. 

“I tried keto once, and I got really unhealthy,” Khan said. “I could see dark circles under my eyes. It’s an okay diet if you do it right, but I guess I did it wrong.”

Littlejohn chooses a different way to stay active: yoga. Her mom initially taught her how to do yoga, but she now enjoys practicing on her own. 

“It’s a really fun thing to do, and it’s good for you if you don’t like traditional workouts,” Littlejohn said.

These students’ desires to stay active helps motivate them to exercise.

“It’s a really good way for me to destress because Junior year sucks sometimes,” Campbell said. “Just being able to go and push myself and not think about anything other than what I’m doing at the moment.”