TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – YMCA locations across the Tampa Bay area will begin opening gyms on Wednesday but, in the meantime, they have adopted a unique exercise routine for the children in their relief care programs.
The children typically watch a workout video starring an athlete but, on Monday morning, one of those athletes stood at the front of the class.
Dominique Jacobs started with a strong introduction.
“Hey, All-Stars! How is it going?”
She captured their attention and she added to their athleticism.
“All the way! All the way!” she shouted from her mat. “Everybody do a pushup!”
It helps that Jacobs is both a wide receiver for the Tampa Bay Inferno Women’s Tackle Football team and a sixth-grade teacher at Pinellas Park Middle School.
“I think at first it was like, ‘Ohh!’ and, then, once we got going, it was like, ‘I remember this, this is familiar,’” said Jacobs. “‘I am kind of back in my PE class or in front of a teacher type figure.’”
She says she enjoyed being a part of something bigger again.
“It was kind of like a no brainer when asked about it,” she said, “so it was like, ‘Let me get dirty! Let me get in there!’”
The coronavirus pandemic, which closed the schools, has been challenging for everyone including Brianda Obispo, who is finishing her fourth grade year at Sheehy Elementary from home.
“I miss my friends and I cannot be with them right now,” she said.
Thankfully, because of this collaboration between the YMCA and the local athletes, these children are finding their groove.
“We did a lot of exercises and touchdown celebrations,” said Obispo as she demonstrated one of her dances.
“They were amazing!” exclaimed Jacobs. “We were all amazing and I enjoyed it so I want to keep going!”