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Humans of the Hilltop: Jenna Dellaria

Jenna Dellaria leads her group kickboxing class on Monday evening in Markin Recreation Center.
photo by Sammantha Dellaria

Some college students see their goals in three categories: getting good grades, having a social life and staying healthy.

Managing to achieve all three can be challenging, but Jenna Dellaria, a senior elementary and special education major, thrives in all three fields thanks to her recent involvement at the Markin Family Student Recreation Center.

Dellarias latest concentration of interest is instructing the cardio kickboxing fitness class at Markin, one of the group fitness options organized by the Campus Recreation office.

According to Dellaria, her involvement in teaching kickboxing courses began once Markin made the fitness classes free to Bradley students last semester. Dellaria said she noticed kickboxing fitness groups were not available on the existing list of classes. So she decided to change that by starting her own class.

I really wanted to make that happen, Dellaria said via email. I paid for my certification resources, studied hard and then took the exam for my certification [as] a kickboxing instructor.

Dellaria said she was motivated to teach kickboxing because she has always recognized the many benefits of that form of exercise.

It is a great way to get in shape and motivate other people to get healthy, as well, Dellaria said. It’s fun and engaging and really works your whole body and mind.

In total, Dellaria said she spends around six hours each week teaching the class. Other than getting used to taking multiple showers a day, Dellaria said teaching the class was a smooth transition into her busy schedule and is happy she decided to create the program.

I love [teaching the class] so much. It doesn’t matter if the class has four people or 20 people, as long as I am there to help someone for an hour during the day to get fit and motivated, to become stronger, Dellaria said. It is very rewarding, not only for myself, but [also for] other people. It makes me happy when I see people leaving my class sweaty or tired because I know I’m doing my job right.

Dellaria said she has become involved to the point where she has started to do homework for the class during her free time on Sunday nights.

I usually spend an hour or so on Sunday nights thinking of ways I can add new combinations or plan new routines, Dellaria said.

Dellaria said she believes being involved in the fitness class rewards both the social and health facets of her life, as well as her academic demands.

Since I am an elementary and special education major, I guess you could say [instructing fitness] is giving me a new perspective on teaching groups of people, Dellaria said. I have to come prepared, start on time, constantly be moving, provide instructions, make it fun, end in a positive way and then clean up.

Students who are interested in fitness classes can find more information on Bradleys Campus Recreation web page, under Group Fitness.

Kickboxing classes are held every Monday and Friday 4 to 5 p.m. and Wednesday 7:15 to 8 p.m. Group fitness classes are free to all undergraduate Bradley students.

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