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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Cejka kicking her way into lives of BVU students

Monday, September 10, 2001

Many people have heard of Tae-bo, the quick-moving combination of aerobic training with kicking and punching which has experienced skyrocketing popularity nationwide over the past few years.

Today, Robyn Cejka is providing Buena Vista students with their own version of Tae-bo right in their backyard.

Cejka (pronounced ce-jay-ka), a senior biology major from Storm Lake, is teaching several aerobic classes this year, including a cardiokickboxing session which has found its way into the weekly schedule of many students.

She decided to start the class due to a lack of similar aerobic outlets on the Buena Vista campus in previous years, and was thrilled with the large number of students that showed up during the first week.

"It has just erupted this year," Cejka said. "We're holding class in a small wellness room, and I had to turn 30 people away last week because I could only fit 12 people in the room. It's great to see the high turnout."

"There's a real need for something like this here," Kelly Ashbe, the new Wellness Coordinator at Buena Vista, said. "The class Robyn's teaching is more than full. The demand is definitely there for this."

This is the first time Cejka has taught the class, but Ashbe said the students able to have her as a teacher were getting a top-notch instructor.

"She's worked with the fitness center here in town and she's taken a number of classes here," Ashbe said. "It's her first year of teaching, but she's definitely more than capable of handling a class like this."

Cardiokickboxing is a fast-paced aerobic exercise which incorporates a combination of kicks from martial arts such as Tae Kwon Do with a variety of boxing punches.

Set to music, it does not require any free weights or heavy equipment, and people are able to go at their own pace throughout the entire workout.

Tae-bo enthusiasts say group training classes also provide structure and incentive for those who might find it difficult to start an exercise program on their own.

Cejka said she got the idea for such a format at BV from her own participation in fitness programs in the area. With nothing similar to cardiokickboxing currently on campus, she decided to fill that void with her own Tae-bo session.

"It's kind of a take-off of Billy Blanks' Tae-bo," Cejka said. "I took some classes on fitness here, and then I decided to start it up as a good way to get exercise and provide something like this here on campus."

The popularity of the class the first week has caused Cejka to discuss moving the group from the small exercise room in the lower level of the Fieldhouse to possibly a place on the main level of the new Recreation Center.

"We've had to think about going to other places, because I'd like the class to be available to as many people as possible," Cejka said. "I think if we put our numbers together and show we need the room we might be able to have the class in a larger area so I don't have to turn away so many people."

"There's a limited amount of space right now, and we're also waiting on the rec center to get done," Ashbe said. "Once that gets done, then we might be able to locate Robyn's class to another space that can accommodate more students."

The only cardiokickboxing instructor on campus, Cejka said she enjoys being able to see other students develop confidence and physical strength while in the sessions.

"It's a fun way to get a great workout," Cejka said, "and it's also an empowerment thing for some of the women here too. It gives them a very positive feeling about themselves when they're done with their workout."

Students need not be super-athletes to gain benefits from a cardiokickboxing routine. Cejka said the workouts would be helpful to any Buena Vista student looking to improve their physical, mental and social lives in a positive format.

"Group fitness is really good," Cejka said. "It's a great way to get exercise, and there's really a sense of community with the people you are with during the class. Not only do you get a workout, but it's a nice place to talk with people too."

The new leadership role keeps Cejka's schedule extremely busy during the week.

She teaches cardiokickboxing classes at 4 and 5:15 p.m. Tuesday afternoons, and also has two Thursday classes - a basic training session at 4 p.m. and a toning period at 5:15 p.m.

With medical school in her near future, Cejka does not plan to become a professional aerobic instructor, but she hopes to have as much fun with the cardiokickboxing class this year as possible.

"It's probably just going to be a college thing," Cejka said, "but I think I'm going to have a great time with this this year."

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