Windermere Prep hosts Dad’s and Daughter’s Lift workout
The Saturday morning session saw student-athletes at the school help lead their dads through exercises.
| 12:41 p.m. October 2, 2019
Most times the sounds coming from the weight room on Windermere Prep’s campus are that of weights hitting the floor and music loud enough to make the walls vibrate.
But on Saturday morning, there was something a little bit different. The sounds of weights hitting the ground still rang out, but above that there was laughter.
This wasn’t a normal workout for some of the school’s female athletes — they were participating alongside their fathers in a dad/daughter workout, and for many of them it was a chance to enjoy watching their dads get a challenging workout in.
“It’s pretty funny,” junior Hannah Allen said with a laugh. “My dad, I’ve never really seen him work out like this so it’s funny. He’s all cardio — he bikes — and he hasn’t done weights in 10 years he said, isn’t that crazy? He’s sweating everywhere — he’s sweating on me and it’s gross.”
The morning’s hour-long workout was actually partly the brainchild of Allen, who one day was talking with Micah Kurtz — the school’s director of athletic performance — about her dad, which sparked the idea in Kurtz’s mind to do a dad/daughter workout
“I was like, ‘Yeah! There’s always fun stuff like daddy/daughter dances and what’s better than working out?’” Allen said. “It’s really fun.”
The fun aspect of the morning was something that popped up for everyone, but for Kurtz it went beyond that.
Female athletes like Allen — who is a member of the cheer and weightlifting teams — put in a lot of work for their sport and make an effort to get better and they deserve to be recognized for that, Kurtz said.
There’s also something special about the weight room that brings people together — it’s a place where stereotypes can be smashed. It’s why he thought a dad/daughter workout would be a positive event to put on.
“I truly think that the weight room is one of the best areas to become a better person and to learn about teamwork and working together and overcoming obstacles,” Kurtz said. “We have a great group of kids and students — especially females that do a great job in our workouts.
“There’s still that stereotype that girls shouldn’t lift heavy weights — it’s not true,” he said. “I want to empower the females that strong is in, and then have them invite their dads to show what they have been doing, and I think the dads have a newfound respect for how hard their daughters work.”
The routine itself is what Kurtz called a “dynamic warm up” that featured three different tiers — all of which included three to four different exercises.
Tier One included the bench press, trap bar deadlifts and medicine ball reverse lunges, while Tier Two featured chin-ups, dumbbell squats and medicine ball slams. Tier Three consisted of rack rows, push ups, side raises and dumbbell rows before finishing off with some ab exercises.
“I was like, ‘Yeah! There’s always fun stuff like daddy/daughter dances and what’s better than working out?’ It’s really fun.”
— Hannah Allen
Through the workouts the dads in the weight room really did get to see the kind of work their daughters have put into their craft, and the change seen is always rewarding, said Justin Tanner — whose daughter, Kelsey, is a member of the cheer and weightlifting teams.
“Kelsey has been working out all year — through the summer actually — with Coach Kurtz and she was a little apprehensive at first, and I told her, ‘Just give it time,’” Justin said. “Before you knew it she was here four to five days a week working out religiously.”
Going from cheerleading to weightlifting has been a unique experience for Kelsey, but it’s a change that has really grown on her.
“The first practice we had I didn’t know what to expect,” Kelsey said. “We started these new workouts we had never done before, but I just really eased into it and it’s just really fun for me.”
With work and other adult responsibilities, just having time to spend with their daughters was something that made Saturday morning even more special.
“It’s great daughter/daddy bonding and it’s great to see how connected they are to the school,” said Dr. Gary Allen, Hannah’s father. “And you get to meet some of their other friends and family — it’s a good sense of community building.”