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

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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

US Secret Service Head: White House Security Lapse 'Unacceptable'

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after a recent intrusion at the White House: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid