Written by Devon Boen
Working out can be a drag, especially in the winter when it’s dark before the work day is over. So where does one get the motivation and how is it possible to keep an exercise regimen fun and fresh?
Well, the residents of Wolf Point can start looking to Jerrelynn Whitmus and Bekah Neubauer, the two young women who teach boot camp classes at the Wellness Center twice a week and a dance cardio class twice a week as well.
Workout classes are often a great alternative for people who don’t necessarily love solo workouts like the treadmill or stair master. They can offer a sense of community and motivation, but Wolf Point lacked a lot of options in regards to classes up until recently. Former teacher of the class, Susan, a transplant from Michigan, started the boot camp earlier this year, but returned to her home state. If someone didn’t step up, the class was effectively over, so Jerrelynn Whitmus decided to take over. Whitmus said she took the class, but hadn’t ever taught one before so she was initially nervous.
She has been teaching the boot camp class for several months now with the help of Neubauer. The two also co-teach the dance cardio class that offers a workout similar to Zumba.
Whitmus, who is a native to the area, said she has always been interested in fitness. She played sports in high school, worked at the Wellness Center in college, and then started taking the bootcamp class in May before taking over.
The boot camp incorporates both high intensity cardio and weights. Whitmus said it was certainly the harder of the two classes, but that both were geared toward having fun and welcomed anyone who wanted to join.
“Once they come, they love it. We just tell them that nobody is judging anybody. We all started in the same place,” Whitmus said.
Although anyone can join, the classes are predominately women. Whitmus has thought up multiple ideas to rectify the imbalance, one being a challenge to local male police officers to come complete the class. This innovative and fearless mindset is what has made the transition from student to teacher easy for Whitmus as well as Neubauer.
Neubauer similarly stepped up to the plate after moving from Seattle earlier this year. She had taken Zumba classes in Washington and wanted to continue but realized that wasn’t an option here. She was a little nervous to start her own class but eventually decided to give it a try. The class became a hit and the new instructor encouraged anyone to come, explaining how she was a fitness newbie as well.
Neubauer said she keeps the attendees motivated by keeping things positive and picking fun new songs.
With a little bit of courage and positive attitudes, Whitmus and Neubauer have been able to offer Wolf Point a place to socialize, have fun and get healthy all at once and are effectively filling an important community need.