By now, almost everyone in this day and age will have done the beep test. Did you know that the beep test was invented by Canadians in 1982 at the University of Montreal? Thank you Canada, for creating a personal nightmare for everyone. At first, it might appear easy. There are two objects, 20 meters apart. Your mission is to get to each side within each beep at whatever speed you choose.
Harmless, right? Wrong. It isn’t long until your body quite literally stops in its tracks from stress and you cannot continue. This is a test used to evaluate cardio strength, they say. Is it not strange that sprinting until you feel like fainting or throwing up is seen as “athletic?” Never mind the fact that after this awful trial your legs and feet feel like they will give out beneath you after the horror that they have been put through.
For some people, the feeling of agonizing muscles can last for days after the evaluation. What makes the whole thing even worse is that it counts for marks in some gym classes. Yes, most people would like to pass gym class, but not if it involves stressing yourself out to new heights both mentally and physically.
There is always the age old question that the beep test singles out heavier, less athletic students and uses them as an example of what not to do. While that may sound like an honest possibility, it is not true. The beep test may be a nightmare in the form of exercise, but that is no excuse to turn it into a fat-shaming issue.
The bottom line is that different people have a different set of limits, expectations, and confidence in their own physical health. It isn’t fair to force an entire group to compete at the same level because there will not be much improvement. The student who might excel at intense cardio workouts and the student who can barely run five feet without wheezing are probably feeling the same thing- disappointment. Mr. Jeremy Neufeld is a P.E. teacher at Riverside Secondary. “The beep test is a good indicator of where students are at with their mental and physical health. It is a great test for anyone’s cardiovascular system,” said Neufeld when asked about his opinion on the test. Until then, beep. Beep. Beep.
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