Fitness group deserves support, local facilities
Published 4:03 pm Friday, September 29, 2017
As of Summer 2017, Get Fit Women’s only Booty Camp, completed its 19th session, which is generally six weeks long and two nights a week for one hour, for Lincoln County and surrounding areas. It is a cardio and strength-based physical boot camp, using various fitness exercises to shape the body and became a healthier individual.
Beginning in April of 2014, what started as an idea to get a group of women together with one common goal, to get fit and healthy, has lasted for over three years and is about to end due to people abusing the power given and closing doors when they should be opening them up for opportunities like this in a small community.
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As word got out about our Boot camp, participation grew as well. What started with about 20 ladies of all fitness levels, quickly grew to between 50-70 looking to find their way on their fitness journey. Throughout the three years, we have worked with so many different ages, shapes, sizes, and fitness levels. Results and hard work have been out of this world with the dedication of these women.
However, of course with all the good, there comes the bad. Originally, we started at the Veteran’s Park in Stanford as an outdoor boot camp. Once the weather turned cold or rainy, we needed the capability to move indoors. A participant, also a member of Stanford Baptist Church, offered their Christian Life Center as a location to use, so we could continue our boot camp through the winter months.
This lasted two sessions, until certain members of their board decided that “profit” making entities could not use their facility, even though, after both sessions, we had made a donation to the church. Then we were told they would have to charge us an obscene amount of money to use it and we would have to have Liability Insurance, which we had in place. The church building board wanted to make a profit off of our program, but didn’t want us to make a profit from it. As of today, I am still trying to figure out how that makes sense.
In between times, we were able to use the Parks and Recreation WELLNESS building, on rainy or cold days. A proposal was sent to their board to ask their permission to use the facility for the full six weeks and offered $150 to do so. We were denied and told we needed to pay $300 to use it. Being that after insurance, expenses, shirts, and prizes, there is not a PROFIT to be made, we just couldn’t afford that amount for a building we were pretty sure that was granted there for Wellness, hence the name.
We then gained the ability to use the Sixth Grade Center, after having several school employees and students involved with the program, along with the permission of the principal at the time. However, we were told we needed the school board approval. We set up a proposal and then were denied by the School board attorney because we are not a non-profit organization. After explaining and showing proof of Insurance and an expense report clearly stating there is not a profit made, we were granted access in 2016 to use the middle school and then the Fort Logan gymnasium. We also offered discounts to school board employees and students. This was largely due to the backing of a few knowledgeable board members and employees that see the benefit in what we offer, and to them, we are so very thankful.
Now, here we are in 2017, denied yet again by the school board, because of the “profit” being made and now funds have to go toward the students, argued by the esteemed Lincoln County Board of Education attorney. We do know there are other individuals that use school facilities for similar activities and make a profit, but since we went through the proper channels, we are the ones being turned down and doors shut left and right.
Both instructors work full time in other areas, teach additional fitness classes through other facilities, and are mothers. This so-called profit being made doesn’t pay anything after the time, expenses, equipment, insurance, shirts, and prizes that this Boot Camp offers. We do this because we have a passion for helping other women to get healthy, as well as what it does for our personal fitness and health. Our prices are not only half of what most boot camps charge, but we offer more than most as well.
For such a small community who recently promoted Get Healthy Stanford initiative, it doesn’t seem to be a priority in this area as we’ve had every door slammed in our face.
It is hard to find instructors that are dedicated and will take time away from their own busy schedules and families to do what we have done in the past three years.It is a shame that we have all these facilities in this town and we have been hit with roadblock after roadblock and jumped through all the hoops that have been thrown our way, only to be denied because we don’t have the correct last name or “friends in high places.”
Several people have asked why we aren’t doing another boot camp right now, and we wanted to make our fellow community and our community leaders aware of what is going on. If you want to know if this boot camp works or if we have the correct credentials, we suggest you look at the ladies or even talk to them, that have been with us for several rounds of boot camp, and their results, as well as our own, speak louder than any words ever could.
Kristian Benedict and