Between the screams -- much of them from parents -- and the flashing camera bulbs, it was obvious today was no ordinary day at Millersville Elementary School.
Arnold was coming.
"We've been here since 7:30 this morning," said Rita Brooks, the mother of Brock, a fifth-grader at the western Anne Arundel County school. "Since we first found out he was coming, we've been so excited."
Schwarzenegger came today to work out and pump up with the students of Millersville to promote physical fitness and sports. In addition to acting, he chairs the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.
"I'm here in Maryland obviously to promote physical fitness of our youth," Schwarzenegger told the crowd of about 500. "You are very lucky in this state because you have a leadership that believes in youth fitness."
Schwarzenegger was joined by Gov. William Donald Schaefer, state Superintendent of Schools Joseph L. Shilling, U.S. Rep. Tom McMillen, D-4th-Md., a former pro basketball player, and tennis star Pam Shriver.
Millersville Elementary is the only school in the state that Schwarzenegger will visit as he travels around the country to promote fitness. The state Department of Education considers its fitness programs a model for other schools, said physical education teacher Rick Wiles.
About 20 fifth-graders did jumping jacks, push-ups and stretching exercises with Schwarzenegger, 43, a three-time Mr. Universe.
"The best part was just meeting Arnold," said Jeff Crawford, 11. "I'm a big fan."
Chris Hess, 9, is a fan of Schwarzenegger's tough-guy movies, but he didn't even want to come and meet Schwarzenegger, said his mother, Dolly.
It was understandable. Chris Hess broke seven bones in his leg when he fell 10 feet from a tree recently. But having Schwarzenegger sign his cast improved his mood.
"He's in pain," Dolly Hess said. "But I was excited for both of us."