Keeping Up With Mr. Kelly


Mr. Kelly The Adrenaline Junkie: keeping a fit lifestyle through obstacle course training

Aliya Prosser

Staff Writer

      When you think of your typical math teacher, you may think of the intelligent, firm, and critical person that delivers complex lessons for each class. Behind those bright individuals are people with stories and experiences that you may not even think of. Mr. Kelly falls into this category with the intense, devoted, and passionate approach he takes towards the multiple areas of his life. 

       On the surface, many see Mr. Kelly as a teacher that excels in exercises of critical thinking. However, he holds multiple talents and takes part in various activities that show his unique persona. He advises the Math Honor Society, co-advises the ski club, volunteers as an EMT firefighter, and participates in obstacle course training. He would describe himself as, “observant, understanding, communicative, and a good listener.”

      Others have recognized the surprising character that makes up Mr. Kelly. Mr. Peters, chair of the math department, teacher, and wrestling coach also states that he has recognized that he is, “tough in the right ways, but fair and a team player.” In holding such a persistent and inspirational presence in his community, Mr. Kelly is a special individual.

      At a young age, Mr. Kelly developed these traits through his passion for helping others. With his academic success, he also engaged in activities such as martial arts and music. Upon graduating from high school, he enrolled in Western Connecticut State University to encourage his passion for business. While this major sparked interest in him, the process of college was way less appealing to him than expected. This resulted in him leaving the school after a year of attending the college as a freshman. Mr. Kelly viewed this as an opportunity to seek big business opportunities outside of school and set out to become manager of the Starbucks company that employed him at the time. 

      In his time at Starbucks, Mr. Kelly’s hard work and dedication fueled his approach towards his goals. Working 12 to 16-hour shifts each week, he strived to obtain a bigger position with the company. By keeping a perseverent mind, his success was soon more achievable in his future.

      While perseverance is certainly important to him, happiness is also a value he holds. 

      Once he began to notice the lack of enthusiasm his managers carried with their job, he began to consider other occupations that would not only keep him ambitious but content, too. Ultimately, Mr. Kelly returned to school at Southern Connecticut State University to receive a math degree. He shares his love for mathematics and that he wanted to, “share [his] knowledge to others every day.”

       As a college student, keeping a balanced lifestyle of hobbies and productivity were also some of Mr. Kelly’s main concentrations. At his new part-time job at a local coffee shop, he would play guitar alongside friends at the open mic night their shop hosted. There, Mr. Kelly would be able to express his creativity through playing the guitar in an environment that promoted his optimistic view towards life.

       To pay for college, Mr. Kelly made sure to carry his persistent attitude throughout the summer. Along with his part-time job at the coffee shop, Mr. Kelly ran his friend’s ice cream truck in addition to working part-time at the coffee shop. This would occur for two summers serving as an efficient outlet for financial support and fun.

       Once he graduated from college and successfully started his career teaching math, Mr. Kelly proceeded to develop his big personality by seeking ways to maximize his adrenaline. As a lover of Crossfit from his youth to adulthood, being put in situations that pushed him to utilize his problem-solving abilities had a major impact in forming his strong and dedicated character.

      Obstacle course training has specifically allowed Mr. Kelly to embrace his competitive talents. In the intense, consistent practices that he not only trains at but also coaches in, he is regularly tasked with fitness challenges that force him to push his physical limits. As said in the article, “It’s a Jungle Out There” by Sports Illustrated, “adventure [races] force cooperation from the most unlikely pairs and milks humility from the most confident athletes”. Being fit in a fast pace environment that pushes one to face physical barriers requires a type of athleticism that forces Mr. Kelly to be strong and interactive.

      To kick-start his passion for obstacle course training, Kelly trained alongside his sister, Sarah Kelly, to explore fitness in an adventurous setting. She explains her love for the sport when she states, “We both enjoy challenging ourselves physically so we kept finding longer and more difficult races until we realized that we were actually pretty good at this. We’re very competitive and started training for them, which led us to finding CrossFit. Training became as much a hobby as the races themselves and it just evolved into more of a lifestyle after a couple of years”. She claims that the passion for keeping physically active has been a major part in building her bond with Kelly growing up. Personally, Kelly believes that the strenuous races that he completes double as a hobby, and a lesson of perseverance because they teach him to increase his endurance. 

      As the well-rounded teacher that is constantly looking for his next adventure, whether it is through fitness, mathematics, or arts, Mr. Kelly proceeds as a bright individual within his community.