News / USA

A Washington Gym Combines Politics and Exercise

A Washington Gym Combines Politics and Exercisei
|| 0:00:00
X
October 25, 2012 8:53 PM
Through debates, speeches, conventions, and television and radio commercials, American presidential candidates spend countless hours and dollars proving they are fit for office. One gym in the Washington area is putting a different spin on the term “fit for office,” by combining presidential politics with exercise and workouts - to help people cope with the long, grueling campaign season. VOA’s Brian Allen has more.

A Washington Gym Combines Politics and Exercise

TEXT SIZE - +
Brian Allen
Through debates, speeches, conventions, and television and radio commercials, American presidential candidates spend countless hours and dollars proving they are fit for office.  One gym in the Washington area is putting a different spin on the term “fit for office,” by combining presidential politics with exercise and workouts - to help people cope with the long, grueling campaign season.

Not many people can say they have punched the president.  But at the Washington Sports Club in Alexandria, Virginia, participants get their shot at Barack Obama - and his rival Mitt Romney.

It’s just one exercise in a new class that combines exercise with politics.  Instructor Aimee Richardson says the class is helping people in the nation’s capital deal with the stress of the long election season.

“This is Washington, D.C. People are all politics. When you take a topic that people are passionate about, and you put it in a setting where you can really kick some butt ((beat someone up)), that combination can be really empowering for people.  I think people are working harder because of the theme of the class," said Richardson.

 Katie Rodriguez, another instructor at the gym and a participant in the class, agrees.

 “It’s really fun to get all of that political theme out of my living room, out of my computer, and into doing some physical activity and doing something about it. It felt great. It was really hard!" said Rodriguez.

Inside the gym, “balancing the budget” means something completely different than it does on Capitol Hill.  “Running for Office” is very literal.  The term “swing states” actually involves swinging a kettle bell.  And whether you’re hoping for Michelle Obama’s arms or Paul Ryan’s abs, bi-partisanship is important when you’re “Crossing Party Lines” after a push-up or sit-up.

Sarah Heckenberg, who works at a non-profit organization in the Washington area, says the combination of politics and exercise keeps her going.

“I like it because it’s hard to stay motivated when you exercise, and anytime you can add a theme when you exercise, I think that’s very helpful," said Heckenberg.

Just as on Election Day, participants will have to make an important choice: Obama or Romney.  But here, just for one day, they can make that choice as many times as they want.

“I did notice I was attacking one candidate instead of the other, and Aimee had to remind me to use both of my arms and give me a certain number of punches on each side," said Rodriguez.

 “When you start boxing, people are hesitant, you encourage them to get into it, and they can get pretty ugly. They can get pretty mean with those hits," said Richardson.

This Washington Sports Club only has one more Fit for Office class before Election Day, and before things go back to politics as usual in Washington.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid