Meet Fit Columbia Intern: Shannon Reagan
Shannon's post-internship review.
It has been almost two weeks since I have worked with the Epworth boys and I miss them more that I imagined! The Unleash Your Ironman program was originally going to be open to whoever wanted to be apart of the class, but I am so thankful that we were able to provide this to the boys in the Epworth cottage. It was such a joyful and fun experience.
Before the class began, I figured boys in this age group would try and be cool by acting disinterested in what I was asking of them. Boy, was I wrong! These guys tried every activity that was presented to them. They did not always succeed, but they tried their best. They especially thrived off of activities where they got to compete with one another in challenges or high energy, explosive activities like flipping tires or kettle bells tosses. I was also prepared to deal with some disrespect from the boys towards me and towards each other. Again, I was very wrong. These boys were so respectful to me and to Angie. Never once did I feel disrespected during the program. They were also respectful to each other. I could see a brotherhood between the boys. Even though they are all very different, they worked hard to get along with each other. I also loved interacting with their supervisors! They were so joyful and helpful. If there was anything we needed help with they were happy to jump right in and help out. I could see a genuine love and care for those boys in them.
After working with these boys, I realize that I would love to someday offer something like this for whatever community I am apart of. I love that Angie was able to open her gym and offer her equipment to love and teach these boys. Not only did we teach them fundamental lessons of weight lifting, but we were able to show them that they matter and we care about them. We showed them that women can lift just like men and we encouraged them as we saw them succeeding at different activities. Because Epworth is not a permanent home for many of these boys, we may never have the privilege of interacting with some of them agian. It does make me sad because I loved working with this group so much, but I am very thankful for the influence, though small, that we could have in their lives. I hope they were encouraged by us and that they took away at least one positive truth because that would absolutely make it all worth it!
A NOTE FROM Shannon Reagan:
Fitness is vital to life and research shows that our perspective on fitness begins when we are kids. The experiences we have with fitness when we are young, significantly impact our willingness to engage later in life. Because of this, we are so excited to host a class for boys 10-14 years old from Epworth Children’s Home. We are calling the class “Unleash Your Ironman”. This class will equip these boys with the knowledge and skill they need to feel successful in the weight room. This confidence and success will encourage boys to find their passions in fitness. Each of them will know they have strengths, they are capable, and they can succeed. We will take them through pre-testing and post-testing in order to help these guys see their progress. Our emphasis is on safety, control, and quality of movement rather than quantity of weight lifted. These boys will be encouraged to set goals for themselves. These goals may be short term, like trying out for the wrestling team, or they may be long-term, lifestyle goals. Thank you Pennington Law Firm for your gracious contribution to the program. We were able to buy the equipment necessary to teach these boys because of your generosity. We will also be giving these guys a t-shirt that says “Unleash Your Ironman”. We are so excited to serve Columbia, Epworth, and these children.
Fit Columbia Intern