By Layli Brown
“I wanted to get healthy again”, said Thelessia Hemstreet, CNM’s fitness classes helped her reach and maintain this goal.
Hemstreet is Liberal Arts graduate, Phlebotomy technician, full time Political Science student and a Jingle Dress/Fancy Shawl dancer, she started taking fitness classes over a year ago at CNM.
“Back in 2015 I got really sick and I almost died”, she said.
She lost 70 pounds after spending two months in the hospital, during her recovery Thelessia gained a lot of weight and she even had to learn to walk again.
“When I started it took me 15 minutes to run my first mile, I was so proud of myself when with their help I ran a mile in 9 minutes” she said.
The instructors really work with the students and motivate them throughout, some of the students run marathons and are trained athletes, she said.
When Thelessia first started the running conditioning class she was the one walking behind the group, she said, “everyone would run back and motivate me to keep going, it’s all about the people in the program, they still do that for everybody as long as you try.”
She says, the running drills build up her resistance and the cardio kickboxing has helped develop her footwork.
“I am getting back into Pow Wow dancing and I love it, being traditional puts me at peace and all these fitness classes are really helping me with that”, she said.
She also added her favorite quote by Narijo Moore, “Why we dance: To dance is to pray, to pray is to heal, to heal is to give, to give is to live, to live is to dance.”
“During fall and spring terms I take evening workout classes to let all the stress out”, she said.
Growing up on the reservation, her dad trained her to run in the open spaces and the hills, her brothers ran cross-country, and she always loved basketball and volley ball, she said.
The exercise labs have new equipment and new floors, the classes are combined with people of all ages and have ranges of intensity that work for everyone, she added.
“I love our instructors” said Thelessia, a lot of people don’t know about these classes but even some students from UNM come to take them because we have great instructors, and the price is really good. “My sister and I have set a goal for ourselves to run the hills in the reservation”.
Hemstreet’s personal health tip is to Drink Water, and lemons. This little trick helped her drop 10 pounds in a couple weeks. “I cut out the sodas in my diet and doing the running conditioning class”, Water and lemons 😉 , she said.
I’d like to see more people in the program and more sports classes like basketball for example said Thelessia.
CNM’s Fitness Elective Courses and full list of workout classes.
The Exercise Science and Wellness, Associate of Applied Science and Fitness certification