We are fast approaching the one-year mark of when we all went to an online modality. In this quick jaunt to becoming virtual, we all lost our daily routine, especially our ability to go to a gym in order to burn off excess energy or to ensure our well-being.

Working from home or studying from home is draining, especially when one is sitting in front of a computer screen from morning to night, and over the weekends. Fitness and self care during this time are much needed, and this is where we went into action and developed the Renegade Fitness program at Bakersfield College.

In collaboration with a community partner, Casey Babcock, owner of Evolvecore here in downtown Bakersfield (www.evolvecore.us), we were able to bring to our Renegade community a 45-minute weekday fitness training program. It started off as a Zoom presentation, Monday through Friday at various times. Each day was dedicated to various muscle groups or a yoga practice.

Noticing that not many individuals were able to join at the prescribed times, we quickly migrated the sessions to feed into multiple social media outlets including Facebook, YouTube and Twitch. This opened the doors for many more students and staff to join and practice with us. Additionally, the sessions were recorded on Facebook and YouTube, allowing individuals to view the workout program recordings at their own time and leisure. I can’t say how many times I tried to make the noon hour but missed it due to work meetings, so having the flexibility to do a fresh program on my own time at night met the needs of my busy life. This also gave our students and staff the flexibility they needed to take a 45-minute break in their day for their wellness.

Each day, Casey and his team of highly motivating instructors present a routine that is adaptable to all levels of fitness, targeting various muscle groups, breathing techniques and practices. They incorporate and show us varying degrees of challenge and adaptations in case we were not able to do the movements exactly as they showed. Personally, I have seen myself become more flexible and be able to do more reps before losing breath. Even though we are all virtually apart and not able to come physically together to workout, this avenue provides a small community for us to engage with each other. Also, as the workouts are shown on social media platforms, many community members have also started engaging with the workouts. We even have a couple of regulars who join in from the states of Indiana and Colorado.

This is another commitment by Bakersfield College to holistic student and employee well-being. So whether you made a New Year’s commitment or not, this is an easy way to stay committed, stay connected and become an active part of your Renegade community. I encourage everybody to join in either live at noon or anytime throughout the day and spend 45 minutes regaining control of your self, body and mind. At the end of the day, if we don’t take care of our bodies, our bodies will not be able to take care of us.


Nicky Damania is the director of Student Life at Bakersfield College.