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As if they don't get to see enough of each other during the academic year, a group of teachers from Austin Elementary School have been hanging out at Hendrick Health Club over the summer.
"We have a really close working relationship," said Evelyn Moser, a veteran teacher who sort of served as the catalyst for the group. "We love to do things together."
The group took advantage of the club's free two-month membership offer for teachers in the Abilene Independent School District. Moser said the timing - the membership was for July and August - was ideal for teachers.
"It was perfect," she said. "They knew June was when teachers try to get their (professional staff development) hours."
Moser said she wasn't sure how many teachers at her school have taken advantage of the offer, but she said she and four of her colleagues - Kelle Ratcliff, Ashley Roy, Amber Webb and Cindy Ball - are regular workout partners, as are her husband, Carl, a teacher and coach at Craig Middle School, and her daughter Mallory Moser, a teacher at Lee Elementary.
"I'm anxious to get back and see how many others worked out," Moser said.
Moser said the Austin faculty received encouragement to work out from Principal Carla Garrett.
Moser said she plans to continue her workout regimen, which includes
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weights, after the summer ends. She said she hopes the club offers an early-morning program.
"I'm one of those morning girls," she said.
Moser said that although the summer allows teachers to go to the gym at almost any time of day, that luxury isn't afforded to them during the school year. The two-month period, however, has given teachers the willpower to continue working out, she said.
"It was eight weeks," Moser said. "I think some habits were formed. It's a lot easier to do it with a friend."
Moser also said she thinks the benefits will extend beyond the personal level, saying that she wouldn't be surprised to see test scores improve at her school this year.
The teachers who worked out will have a higher energy level, Moser said, adding that, "Our thinking's clearer and our moods are better."
The Austin teachers are just a few of the educators who have chosen to take advantage of the club's offer, said Ron Richert, director of Hendrick Health Club.
"This has been really well-received," Richert said. "We had about 100 teachers who came in. It's definitely something we'll think about doing again. It's been a lot of fun."
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