Sophia practices a new routine in ballet class. Photo by: Ariana Michaud
Sophia practices a new routine in ballet class. Photo by: Arianna Michaud

From the outside

by Emma Fischer|staff writer

As if she ran a marathon, freshman Madeline McJiltion returns home after a three and a half hour practice, exhausted, and still in that time, doing her homework in the car rides. Every single day she runs through her routine after school, her sport being her life outside of the building.

“I am in Artistic Gymnastics,” McJiltion said. “It’s technically my life outside of school.”

Although not on the football field or on the track, McJiltion’s practices are brutal, causing soreness after almost every single practice.

“I practice for about three and a half hours every school day. It goes from 5pm to 8:30pm,” McJiltion said. “On the weekends, we run for four and a half hours. It goes from 8am to 12:30.”

When she was in first grade, she watched the 2012 Summer Olympics, becoming inspired to move to more competitive gymnastics. She works out at J&R Gymnastics, a gym in New Braunfels. Through many years of intense practices and competitions, McJiltion is now a level eight Artistic Gymnast and is going to a region competition in Dallas.

“I would recommend it to those who are willing to put in a decent amount of time to it because it basically takes over your life outside of school, but is a great way to be exercised and to learn to be disciplined,” McJiltion said.

McJiltion, like many students are a part of sports outside of school. Sometimes they don’t want to leave their studios or gyms for the school. More likely than not, the sports are simply not offered.

Sophomore Adyn Vickers is a part of an uncommon sport: Archery. He practices when he can at an archery and gun range called Buck and Doe’s.

“I usually practice for at least four hours on the weekends, but most of the time I get only two hours because of school work,” Vickers said.

Although he may have not been inspired by an Olympic event, he has been doing it for as long as he can remember; his family loving the sport as much as he does.

“I’ve been doing it for at least ten years. I was about five or six when I started. My family had always loved sports like this and I just fell in love with it too,” Vickers said.

Vickers constantly works tireless hours to perfect his technique.

“I would definitely recommend this sport to others because it’s a great skill. It teaches you balance, stability and it will build muscles. It gets you stronger. I taught myself how to use a bow,” Vickers said.

Even though dance is offered in the school, freshman Sophie Wright dances outside of school at Heather Stolle’s School of Dance. 

“I stared when I was three years old,” Wright said. “I do ballet and tap dancing. My parents put me in there and I liked it, so I stayed with it.”

Wright is on pre-pointe, the second highest level of ballet. She is getting ready to go on pointe, a special shoe in ballet that forces dancers to go all the way on their toes with the support of a box inside of the shoe.

“My practices are on Monday and Saturday and they are both about two to two and a half hours each,” Wright said.

Ballet is not offered in Johnson, but on top of the sport not being offered, Wright dances for herself and not to impress others.

“I don’t do it inside of school because of the drama and I want to dance for myself not for the benefits of others,” Wright said. 

Dance, archery and gymnastics are only the few of the many sports offered outside of the building. Whether looking for a dance studio or an archery range, people constantly have goals outside of the teacher’s and student’s eyes. If interested, the one thing a person can do is try out the sport to see if they enjoy it. Even if it is not for competitions or event, people can do the sport for themselves.

“If you fall then it’s embarrassing but we all have those moments,” Wright said. “All you need to do is get back up again.”

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