This Empty Room Meant So Much More to Students Looking To Be Fit for Life
By: HealthCorps Coordinator Daniel Isinhue
When I first stepped into the school, it had just moved from Midtown Atlanta to the former Oxford Industries building. The school gym was under construction much of the first year but had an empty room with a sign: Weight Room. While the room was small and the ceiling low, I could see the potential this empty room held. I eagerly wanted to impact the wonderful community, and this was the perfect opportunity. The President and the Athletic Director handed the reins to the weight room to another young staff member and me. We worked tirelessly to buy the equipment, obtain quotes and examine the possibilities of running an after-school fitness program. In just a few short weeks, we gathered all of the items to make a practical and functional weight room.
Having a weight room at the school has been a meaningful addition for the faculty, staff, and students. I helped to start a fitness club with a few seniors and sophomore student. Each had their own reason for wanting to be there, but all came out with a mindset to improve each day.
The Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School weight room
It became clear to me that we were doing something special that many don’t have an opportunity to do in high school. We’ve run the program throughout the year, and have consistently seen students in the club take ownership of their health. It’s amazing to see the time and care each person spends after school to become better and healthier. One senior, who first came to me and asked if I could help him become more fit, told me how much this opportunity has meant to him:
“To me there is no better feeling than after a workout. My head is cleaner, and I feel like I can take on the world. I have always been active. I played soccer for most of my life and I consider myself fit. However, that changed when I found out what it takes to be a professional soccer player. In 2018, I began to hit the gym [with the fitness club and work out with Mr. Isinhue] and saw a big jump in my performances playing soccer. Therefore, I stuck to it. Now, I am addicted, not just because it made me a better soccer player, but also it made me feel healthier. As a result, I take every opportunity I get to work out because I know my body, my mind, and my soul will thank me later.” – Senior at Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School
While the weight room is functional and practical, it will be ever growing. I can’t wait to see the evolution of the weight room, the school, and most importantly the students.