Lifestyle & Culture

Kakana and graduate school make my life balanced

Kakana and graduate school make my life balanced, and my hope is other students with and without disabilities take advantage of Kakana as well. Graduate school is an exciting and busy time: I am surrounded by colleagues who are working towards the same goal, I might form friendships that last a lifetime, and I get to live and work around a university or college, where there’s always something going on (pre-pandemic). Unfortunately, it can also lead to a pretty monotonous lifestyle.

Hi, my name’s Katie, I am a member of Kakana and in graduate school! I spend most of my days writing papers, completing projects, studying, or planning virtual events. Even though grad school keeps me pretty busy, I try to fit exercise in there too. I consider exercising my “me” time. For 30 minutes, I unplug from grad school and other life tasks to focus on myself. Kakana’s community and short class periods are what sold me to become a member. My favorite classes so far are Strength and Crosscycle!

The community is strong

I love the community Kakana has created, not just with members, but instructors too! The instructors at Kakana have a disability themselves or involved in the disability community. This is rare, especially in a gym setting. It is so helpful when needing an exercise adaptation. Most members join each class 10 minutes before the start of the class to chat before the workout. Conversations range from the weather to where we’re located to our weekend adventures. Some members have even had trivia nights and complete virtual races outside of Kakana together.

Life before Kakana in graduate school

Prior to Kakana, I went to physical therapy twice a week. Attending physical therapy wasn’t as motivating as working out with Kakana for a handful of reasons:

•Variety of classes
•Community aspect and camaraderie with other members
•Live classes with instructors with and without disabilities
•It’s a workout and not rehab

In tandem with physical therapy I worked out at my Universities Recreation Center, there weren’t many accessible machines or equipment offered, which unfortunately limited what I could do even if I wanted to do more.

Classes get me exactly what I need

The 30 minute class times are perfect for my current schedule. 30 minutes is enough time for me to unplug and feel like I’m not falling behind. However, some weeks I have a lot due and use the On-Demand classes rather than the live classes. It’s not the same as talking to everyone, but it still allows me to get a workout in.

Working out with Kakana while in grad school I have noticed has helped me be more productive. Shout to those endorphins! I try to attend the morning classes so I can continue with the rest of my day because I’m already up and ready.

Hope to see you in a Kakana class soon!

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