By Cathy Spaulding
Phoenix Staff Writer
As she faces the holiday feasting season, Cathy Daniel’s says she plans to lose at least 11 pounds.
She could have plenty of encouragement and company this year through the Holiday Fitness Feast at Muskogee Swim & Fitness Center.
Now in its fifth year, the feast encourages people to trim down and get fit during a time people otherwise would put on pounds. Fitness Center Manager Brooke Hall said the seven-week challenge helps people get the willpower to achieve their goal of not gaining weight over the holidays.
Participating teams weigh in before Thanksgiving, then participate in seven weeks of exercise and classes. At the end of seven weeks, the teams weigh in again. The team with the highest percentage of weight loss wins $300.
The Santa Stompers team weighed in on Friday. Birdie Pingleton, an auditor with the Creek Nation Casino said she and friends to on 5-kilometer runs together and motivate each other to get fit. She said her team is made up of co-workers and family members.
Daniels, a clerk with the city of Muskogee’s revenue department, said she and co-workers participated last year. She said she lost 11 pounds.
“We had a weigh-in every week. One week we would do pilates, or we’d work out,” Daniels said. “You watch what you eat and how much you eat.”
Hall said people do not need to be members of the fitness center to enter the contest. Each team will get 10 free passes to the center.
“We’ll have weekly special classes that will be going on that anyone on the team can participate in, whether they’re a member or not,” Hall said. “And if you join a team, then decide to join the center, we’ll waive the (center’s) entry fees.”
Special classes include pilates, cross-training and cardio-building workouts. A new class, Sink or Swim, includes 60 minutes of deep water aerobics.
Then there’s the Belly Buster Boot Camp, which Daniels remembers from last year’s Fitness Feast.
“Clint put us on this vigorous course, running around tires, jumping through hoops on the ground, lifting weights and doing sit-ups,” Daniels said. “The biggest challenge was that football training.”
However, the most fun part was the teamwork, she said.
Hall said the city’s team won the “most spirited” award last year for gathering the most participation points during the contest.
Over the previous four contests, people lost a total of 203 pounds, Hall said.
Daniels said she gained back many of the pounds she lost last year. This year will be different.
“This year, I’ll lose 11 pounds, plus,” she said.
Reach Cathy Spaulding at (918) 684-2928 or email@example.com.
If you go
WHAT: Holiday Fitness Feast Competition.
WHEN: Now through New Years Day. Weigh-ins through Nov. 21.
WHERE: Muskogee Swim & Fitness, 566 N. Sixth St.
WHO: Teams of three to five people, older than 16.
ENTRY FEE: $75 per team.
INFORMATION: (918) 681-4733 or www.muskogeeparks.com.