By Jenny Assouline, Fitness Instructor
Teaching fitness class to the girls at Derech Emunah has taught me a few things.
I learned it can be a challenge to motivate students to exercise after a long day of learning since I am the last class of the day! However! Once the girls find their “inner strength” after some energetic music, a bit of chitter chatter, a motivational pep talk, and their own explosive body movement (i.e., Star Jumps) -- they are ready to work hard and release all the positive energy they have kept in during the day.
Find out more about Star Jumps
Through teaching this fantastic group of girls, I learned that when challenged, the girls actually surprise themselves [i.e., the expressions I see on their faces: Priceless -- when they master a Push Up (on their toes mind you!)] Or when they actually are able to hold a perfect, 1-minute Plank.
Find out more about the Perfect Plank: https://greatist.com/fitness/perfect-plank
Our fitness class includes regular weekly workouts. Besides that, the girls have been working to achieve proper form on 7 essential exercises. Their success in the class is based on how well they demonstrate the correct form. All the girls took this challenge seriously and did exceptionally well when assessed.
In addition to getting the girls to exercise using true form, I also teach them "persistence." Once they have mastered persistence, they will be better able to work through different life challenges, deal constructively with failures and adversity, and achieve personal goals.
I sometimes push the girls beyond their comfort zone and challenge them to improve their performance by working on something they thought was unattainable. I can see a sense of fulfillment and pride when they reach their goal.
Teaching the girls at Derech Emunah is so very enjoyable, and I am thankful for the opportunity to be able to work with them.
Below: Derech Emunah students build muscles and character.