Good Morning Everyone, Here at the Island School, we are constantly pushed physically and mentally.  Every activity we do is meant to stretch our abilities and broaden our horizons.  We are often pushed to our limits but in doing so we discover things about ourselves we never knew and gain strength and support within our community.  One of the most challenging parts of the Island School experience is the exercises.  When describing the workouts to our friends and family, they often asked if we were going to a military camp.  Even though we do take navy showers, it is so much more than that.

The Island School approaches every activity with an optimistic, enthusiastic attitude that can turn any task into a valuable lesson.  The workouts are no exception.  This quote summarizes the community’s attitude towards morning exercises: “We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong.  The amount of work is the same.” –Carlos Castaneda. We are constantly challenged and pushed to try new things, and although this is often difficult as a community we persevere through it and become stronger.

Last night when Liz told us we would be waking up at 6 am to do a workout called “psycho”, we were all pretty nervous for the morning to come.  Sure enough, the next day we all awoke and gathered at circle to find out what they had in store for us.  After being divided by North and South wing, we were told that psycho was like “Simon says” on steroids.  Whatever our leader did, we did.  This meant if he dropped and did push ups, we dropped and did push ups.  If he sprinted, we sprinted.  If he challenged us to a plank contest, we beat him in a plank contest…or at least tried to.  So together, with the rising sun in the distance and the moon still hanging in the sky, we ran around campus following our ever “psycho” leader.

Despite the temptation to give up and go back to sleep in our dorms, we forged on through the workout, all of us supporting each other and at times metaphorically and literally carrying each other to the finish.  It was a challenge for all of us but we did it as a team and saw it not as a tedious experience but as an opportunity to grow and create a stronger community.

Jimmy & AnnieJimmy and Annie Jimmy and Annie