CCA Fitness Club: Lifetime of fun for students of all athletic abilities
Club members will learn how to incorporate exercise into healthy lifestyles and explore the career possibilities available in the fitness industry.
Nicole Buckenberger and Maddie Miller have a message for CCA students and families: Fitness is for everyone.
“Fitness isn’t just for the people who have only 10 percent body fat,” Miller said. “It’s for everybody. Find something that you enjoy, and just go for it.”
The teachers are advisers for CCA’s new Fitness Clubs in the 2018-19 school year. There are more than 40 clubs being offered at CCA this school year.
Buckenberger will oversee the K-5 Fitness Club, while Miller has the club for grades 6-12.
Club members will learn to incorporate exercise into healthy lifestyles and explore the career possibilities available in America’s fitness industry. The club is a great way to show the socialization opportunities available at CCA.
Both advisers lead by example.
Buckenberger has run eight half-marathons and spends much of her fitness time in the gym since becoming a mom. Miller has run 11 half-marathons and one marathon in the two years since she started running seriously.
“The running community is amazing,” Miller said. “I’ve really taken hold of it. It’s a great way to meet people and a great way to socialize. It’s a great way to push yourself. You don’t need any equipment. It’s you and your shoes.”
Under Buckenberger’s tutelage, younger students will grasp the fundamentals.
“Learning how to control our bodies is a big thing,” she said. “If you tell younger kids to jump up and down 10 times, they’re going to jump all around the room. They have to learn that jumping up and down is landing in the same place every time, keeping your hands in your space and not hitting the person next to you.”
Fitness teaches much more than movement. For instance, both clubs will survey students for their interests and focus on goal setting, the need for discipline and how to develop a training plan, Miller said.
Career exploration will be essential to the clubs. Through field trips and other activities, students will meet the people who have made fitness their life’s work – not just athletes but trainers, physical therapists, managers and all those who make a gym function on a day-to-day basis. The peek into possibilities aligns with CCA’s efforts to ensure that students are career-ready.
“I always love to hear what kids want to do when they grow up,” Buckenberger said.
The activities on tap are meant to be age-differentiated and show learners that fitness isn’t intended only for the person who can run fastest or hit a ball farthest. They could include yoga, kickboxing, interval training, dumbbells and body weights, or rowing. The hope is to create a student-driven environment that encourages lifetimes of activity.
“Each month, we want to expose learners to a different thing,” Miller said. “It should be whatever works for you. It has to be something you like because, if you dread it, you’re not going to do it.”
Even ballet-inspired barre classes have their place.
“They really work small muscle groups,” Miller said. “Big football players do it for their balance. It would be neat to expose learners to the fact that it’s not just for petite women.”
Miller said the focus is exposing students to activities they may not have tried before, especially because many school districts have only a few sports offerings.
Both advisers are ready to make fitness a family affair.
“There’s nothing like sibling rivalry to get you motivated,” said Buckenberger, adding that engaging the whole family creates fun with a serious purpose. “Fitness helps promote the overall well-being of the family.”
The goal is creating a welcoming fitness community.
“I’m really excited to support our learners and forge bonds among the ones who need a peer – someone who can show them a way that fitness can be fun,” Buckenberger said. “Even if they’re not feeling super athletic, they can still get up and be part of the group.”