On the Saturday before the 2016 Los Angeles Marathon, California State University, Northridge kinesiology students experienced what it is like to perform under pressure.
Sharing the stage with top Los Angeles-area fitness leaders, 10 CSUN Department of Kinesiology majors demonstrated the benefits of their wellness program, Commit to be Fit, to marathoners the day before the big race at the Skechers Performance LA Marathon Expo. Presenting at a fitness convention was a first for many of the students.
“The pressure of having hundreds of random people walk by and check out what we were doing was different, compared to our controlled room up in Redwood Hall,” said Kyle Cook, a senior kinesiology major and intern with the Commit to be Fit program.
Commit to be Fit is a free community wellness program for all fitness levels, designed and led by CSUN kinesiology students. Offered Monday through Thursday evenings on campus, the class provides one-on-one and group cardiovascular and resistance training to CSUN faculty, staff, students and community members.
Focusing on mobility, flexibility and warm-ups, the students showed the runners at the expo how training in Commit to be Fit could help them achieve their goals. The students had to use their enthusiasm for fitness and motivating others to encourage interaction, learning valuable lessons about appealing to a different type of crowd in a new setting.
The audience was less likely to want to participate in the demonstration, since they were running 26.2 miles the next morning — which presented a new kind of challenge for the students.
“Usually at a presentation, you have a group of people sitting there waiting to hear what you have to say, whereas [at the expo] you had to do it yourself,” said Teal Geyer, a senior kinesiology major and program intern. “You have to have an intro ready, and you are going to participate and present whether someone is watching or not.”
The presentation sparked some curiosity from onlookers and family members. By raising awareness about the program at outside events like the expo, the group hopes to increase awareness of the program’s benefits to the community while giving students experience outside the classroom.
“These kinesiology students get a hands-on, practical approach to training, and they are getting real-world professional knowledge,” said Shabnam Islam, the kinesiology instructor overseeing the Commit to be Fit program. “It’s our job as teachers to provide them as much exposure to the world as possible within our field, and it would be limiting if we kept that in the classroom.”
To learn more about the Commit to be Fit program, visit http://www.csun.edu/development/training/events/commit-be-fit-spring.