Get to Know Your New Campus Recreation Student Instructors

Get to Know Your New Campus Recreation Student Instructors

Sophomore Sarah Jennings hopes to help people combat stress and difficult parts of their lives through yoga. Her goal is to inspire more people by working collaboratively with staff and encouraging wellbeing for students on campus.

How did you get interested in group fitness?

I actually hated group fitness at first, because I was a very self-conscious person. I started doing yoga from Youtube videos and weight training at my local gym on my own.

After a while, I started trying out different yoga classes, and while I liked some, I couldn’t afford a lot of them. Now, I like them because I see how useful it is to have someone tell you what you are doing wrong, how to correct it and how to safely do a pose.

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Do you have any goals for this semester?

I wanted to teach yoga because it has had a huge impact on my life. I have depression, anxiety and ADD, so doing yoga helped me manage a lot of the effects of those things. I want to help other people learn how to manage difficult parts of their lives through a consistent practice.

Do you have any experience instructing?

I was certified to teach about two years ago. I taught at College of Charleston my freshman year, and have been teaching downtown at Paz Studios since May. They sponsor yoga in Bailey Park, a free class that a lot of Wake Forest students go to.

What did you learn during instructor training?

My second favorite part about being an instructor is watching a student succeed at a pose they were having trouble with. My favorite is the look of calm I see on everyone’s face when a class ends.

One thing I learned about myself through teaching was that as I helped and taught more people, I felt even more inspired to do the best I can in my own practice on and off the mat. Yoga is a lifestyle of gratitude, service and discipline. It can be applied everywhere and all the time.

What are you most excited about?

This semester I just hope to teach at least one person something new. I get nervous during a class, when I see students getting frustrated or thinking they are failures. I wish they knew that if they stuck with it, they would be improving in no time.

Freshman Caroline Dai started Body Pump class in China, and hopes to continue instructing Body Pump and learning about the culture of Lesmills in a global setting.

What are you most excited about?

I am grateful that Wake Forest offers opportunities for students to explore interesting programs, and I always love it when participants challenge themselves and go the distance. I also love it when we have people who have tried it for the first time discover the strength about themselves that they have never knew before. Hopefully with Campus Recreation we can introduce this successful program to more people.

Freshman Emma Bossier has tried BodyPump before, but has never taught. Her vision is to bring positive energy to the Campus Recreation program and to encourage participants to feel connected with fitness regardless of experience level.

How did you get interested in group fitness?

I first started doing group fitness in high school because I was so bad at just working out on my own. When I was alone, would get lazy. But when you workout with other people, you are held accountable.  When I had a scheduled class, I would actually go rather than making up excuses.  I love group fitness because you are all in it together — everyone is working hard together.  What I love about BodyPump especially is that it is hard for everyone, even the instructor. Everyone can be at different levels of fitness but everyone can do the exact same workout and just change their weights.

Do you have any goals for this semester?

My goal for this semester is to teach classes on my own and be confident in it.  I want to utilize my confidence and spunk and bring that into my teaching. I am nervous that I won’t look like an instructor because I don’t have rock hard abs or super duper strong thighs, but I’m also excited to get more in-shape and be able to lift more as I get more experience.

What was the training process like?

The training process was actually really fun. BodyPump Bootcamp is a weekend long training session and you learn the ins and outs of being an instructor. You meet a lot of cool people and really learn what your body can do.

What is your favorite part of being an instructor?

When I first started BodyPump, I was obsessed with my instructor, Pam.  She was so spunky and she would dance to the music while we were “pumpin’” as she would say.  I thought she was the coolest person and I saw myself in her, so I thought that maybe I could be like her too. 

My favorite part about being an instructor is being able to do what Pam did for me.  She really made me fall in love with fitness and BodyPump, and I genuinely believe that she changed my life.  I want to be that person for other people. The process of becoming an instructor has really forced me to be more confident.

When you’re teaching, you can’t be shy or timid — you are the teacher and you have to rock it.  I’m still working on this, but I know I will get there.

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