(photo caption: Jenny and her devoted class members)
It is overcast, yet warm on this particular Tuesday morning in April at 6am. Despite the early hour, I drag myself out of bed and make my way to Diamond Teague Park, the little strip of green and boardwalk that sits behind Nationals Park between the stadium and the waters of the Anacostia River. The boardwalk is quiet when I arrive, but the humid air will soon be filled with the grunts and groans of the dedicated individuals who meet here every morning at 6:30 for a workout. Many don’t realize, but there is a cardio-intensive boot camp class that takes place in this little corner of Southeast DC every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday morning.
A group of about 20 devoted members shows up every morning at 6:30 to have their butts kicked by Jenny Wing Harper, the boot camp leader. A quick warmup jog quickly transitions into circuit training rounds in which class members partner up for push ups, burpees, planks, and more. A round of intense sprints is followed up with extreme sit-ups, once again performed in pairs. A quick cooldown rounds out the hour long class, by the end of which everyone is sweaty, thirsty, and gasping for breath.
Many of the class attendees are regulars who sign up for session after session, yet there are usually a few newcomers each month. Solid bonds are formed between the members, no doubt in part because of the shared pain of enduring a grueling workout together every morning. Having the support of a friendly face while working towards a common goal of improved physical fitness creates friendships between these committed individuals. All are welcomed with open arms to share in the rigors of the challenging class. There is no doubt about it, anyone living in Southwest DC needs look no further for a personalized group fitness class that is easily accessible and sure to get your blood pumping!
Boot Camp with Jenny started years ago at the Senate Park. Jenny, the class leader, began the workouts while working on the hill, took a brief hiatus, and relaunched near the Nationals stadium in 2013. The class runs in monthly sessions from March through November. The workouts are held Monday through Wednesday for three weeks and then there is a one-week break. Each session costs $115 and includes nine workouts in total.
For more information about Jenny’s boot camp sessions, check out the website at bootcampwithjenny.com.
By: Julia Cole