Weight group ‘loves’ its early lift
A shrill booming noise pulls you out of a nice cocoon with but two thoughts on your mind: turn off that "dang alarm" and two hours until daylight. This is the story four days a week for a select group of Baldwin athletes and their morning weights sponsor, football coach Mike Berg.
Around 10 Baldwin High School and Baldwin Junior High School athletes come in to lift weights at 6 a.m. Monday through Friday. Why would anyone wake up at this hour?
"To get stronger," said junior Hans Broers.
The athletes come from different sports, activities and grade levels. They range from junior class football players to junior high school athletes. All share a common bond however... dedication.
"The best part of morning weights is seeing kids dedicated and committed to their programs," said Berg.
The morning weightlifters lift to strengthen arms and legs on separate days twice a week, and also participate in some organized plyometrics and conditioning after their sets are finished. They are supervised and advised by Berg, and most of the participants are current or future football players.
Juniors Mark Gastelum, Tyler Inzer, Brett Myrick, Hans Broers, Caleb Mason and Mike Hubbel; freshman Micah Mason; and BJHS students Brian Hubbel, Josiah Mason and Tress Potter are the morning regulars and pride themselves on seldom missing days. The early morning atmosphere, blaring music and the common bond of improving themselves makes for a lot of camaraderie between lifters and their supervisor.
"The reason I get up this early in the morning is to show improvement for programs in the district and to build relationships with players," said Berg.
"I love feeling that I am getting stronger and having fun with my friends," said Mike Hubbel.
Another common bond among the lifters is the hatred of early mornings.
"I hate getting up before dawn," said Caleb Mason.
The weightlifters are also joined later in the morning occasionally by the pommers and wrestlers.
"Weights is way too early but I go to pick on Inzer, see the pommers, and get ready to kill someone next football season," said Gastelum.
All the participants in the voluntary morning weights sessions are concerned about being the best they can be for their upcoming sports.
"Weight lifting is important because it keeps you healthy, out of the training room, strengthens joints, tendons, ligaments and muscles," said Berg.
"I get up this early to prepare for track season," said Broers.
Although the weight lifters enjoy each other's company, the pommers, and the knowledge that they are improving themselves vastly, they do feel as though something is missing.
"I hate not ever seeing the sun," said Gastelum.
The lifters are hopeful all their time, sleep deprivation and dedication will pay off.
"Weights help your performance by making you stronger, getting more endurance, helping prevent injuries and to build confidence," said Berg.
The lifters are joined with a deep sense of camaraderie, although at 6 a.m. some disputes will arise.
"The best part of weights is listening to Led Zeppelin," said Caleb Mason.
"I love Led Zeppelin, but I can't take it everyday. I mean, come on!" said Broers.
Everyone agrees however, that Zeppelin is better than that "dang alarm clock."