Teachers staying active outside the classroom


Photo courtesy of David Gesk

Math teacher David Gesk balances on a paddle board.

Regina Zheng, Staff Writer

Mike Antrim

When it comes to running, our cross country team is renowned for its success and talent, but chemistry teacher Mike Antrim runs just as much, if not more. Mountain trails are his specialty, and he runs on average 30 to 50 miles a week, which include runs ranging from seven to 10 miles during the week and long runs lasting over 10 miles on the weekends.

“It’s a way I can challenge myself to test my limits; I enjoy the competition because I enter races, marathons and ultra-marathons,” Antrim said. “I’m training for an ultra-marathon in Yosemite right now that I’ll be doing next month.”

Ultra-marathons cover longer distances than the usual marathon length of approximately 26 miles.

Antrim first started running about 12 years ago when he was the school’s cross country coach. Since then, he has participated in numerous marathons, including the famous Boston Marathon.

“I really developed a passion for running. It’s a sport for a lifetime,” Antrim said. “It’s something you have to build up to. It’s not something you just go out and start.”

David Gesk

Math teacher David Gesk first began practicing yoga when he was in college 25 years ago and he has loved it ever since.

“I needed to take some kind of elective class, and I thought yoga will be a piece of cake, and I was really awake, and I thought it was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do,” Gesk said of his first experience with yoga. “It hurt; the poses hurt. It sparked an interest, how some people could look like they were floating effortlessly, while I was struggling just to touch my knees. That’s when I realized that this is something that I need.”

With a busy work schedule and a family to raise, Gesk tries to squeeze in time to practice yoga as often as he can, which is usually three times a week.

“Yoga is not a sport. The goal of yoga is to gain clarity, clarity of the mind, to be present in the moment, which is what the practice should do,” Gesk said. “One of the biggest challenges is to make it not competitive, to allow yourself just to enjoy your own path, to find your own self-exploration through the journey.”

Jeff Alexander

Just last year, English teacher Jeff Alexander put together the school’s first ice hockey program, which has been a great success. Also in January of last year, Alexander himself began playing ice hockey every Wednesday night in Yorba Linda at a hockey rink owned by the Anaheim Ducks.

“I just love the sport of hockey and the camaraderie, and it’s a great way for me to stay in shape,” Alexander said of the experience.

Alexander plays on a team, which is part of a 6-team league that competes in a play-off format. During his first two seasons playing the sport, his team won the championship back to back.

“I’m still relatively new in the sport, so for me I’m just trying to get better as far as being a faster skater,” Alexander said. “With me, it’s all about having fun out there.”

While Alexander has never had experience with ice hockey before, his interest was sparked in college when he began playing roller hockey. In addition, his aspiration to start an ice hockey program at Woodbridge further motivated him to get involved with the sport himself.