Life at Miss Hall’sApr 24, 2020

Exercising Core Values

Written by: Brittany Kickery, Math Department Chair

Before having my son, I had a lot more free time on my hands, so I used to be a frequent gym-goer and did a lot of group fitness classes.

Most people in my classes were women older than me, which was fine, but I was happy one summer when two younger twin girls attended my fitness classes. I couldn’t tell how old they were, but they seemed close to my age, maybe a little younger. They seemed cool, and I was excited to have people to connect with and potentially make new friends.

After a few classes with the new girls, I noticed that they were dedicated and took their fitness seriously. They hustled and did not slack off during any of the exercises. They were working hard and trying to achieve their personal best. This was inspirational and motivational. When I see other people pushing themselves, it makes me want to keep up and challenge myself, too.

They were energized, enthusiastic, and respectfully thanked the instructor at the end of each class. They were honoring their bodies with the gift of exercise, and they were committed to growth: growing their muscles, their endurance, their stamina. Besides their physical performance in the classes, the twins stood out in other ways. They had confidence that was evident upon meeting them. They were mature, friendly, and kind. They didn’t seem like most young people I meet; they were different. There was something special about them.

That summer, I took a class called HIIT — high-intensity interval training. What we did changed every week, but it was always grueling. I usually dreaded it, because I never knew what torture would be in store: high knees, squat thrusts, sprints, wall sits… the exercises I disliked the most. It was the kind of class that you hate going to because you know it’s going to be painful, but you also love it, because you know it’s good for you.

During one class, we did a group exercise in which we were arranged in a circle, holding a seated squat position, and passing a weighted ball around the circle as fast as we could. We had to do this for a given amount of time. We were exhausted and starting to lose steam, when suddenly, we heard, “Come on!” “You got this!” “Keep it up!”

The twins were cheering us on, giving us the support and push we needed to finish strong. The group members were essentially strangers, but these two, being their authentic selves, felt confident enough to speak up, motivate us, and bring us together. This behavior really struck me; it was so rare and unique, yet it was familiar. With my brain in summer mode, I couldn’t put my finger on it at first, but then I realized it was so… Miss Hall’s. As we continued passing the weighted ball around, I noticed something shiny on the twins’ hands: silver rings with shields. The twins were MHS alumnae from the Class of 2013. I inquired about the rings, which got the conversation flowing. We chatted about their MHS experience and how the School has changed and stayed the same in different ways. Miss Hall’s served as a connection between us.

Even before noticing their rings, I had a strange inkling that the twins went to Miss Hall’s. I could see the mission and core values in them. I could see the magic of Miss Hall’s. The core values are not just words. They are inherent in all of us. They truly are what we are. This school is a special place, and I am honored to work here every day, surrounded by amazingly talented adults and students who share these values and beliefs with me.