Exercise class helping people “be who God created them to be”

By: Chrysta Carroll - ccarroll@civitasmedia.com

ELIZABETHTOWN — Reasons for getting fit run the gamut from class reunions to New Year’s resolutions. One group, though, might have found the highest reason of all.

ChristFit started in 2014 as a mirror of a popular exercise philsophy and program that incorporates high-intensity interval training, weightlifting, and calisthenics. Participants complete a daily workout of the day, or WOD, which they receive via text, and meet biweekly for a group exercise class.

“It doesn’t seem like it’s enough anymore to just be thin,” said Tyler Carroll, 18, of Elizabethtown, who leads the class. “People want to be healthy and fit and feel good about themselves.”

At Thursday’s class, the warm-up consisted of running up and down the stairs three times, lunge-walking one-fourth of the track, doing knees to elbows around a fourth, leap frogging the third fourth, and doing high knees around the final fourth. Participants repeated the stair/track cycle three more times to complete the 10 to 15 minute warmup.

A typical WOD, which usually focuses on one part of the body per day, might consist of exercises like calf raises, box jumps, lunges, leg curls, and various squats on a leg day. Participants usually complete four rounds of 25 repetitions of each of about eight exercises. At class, they work at their own pace with Carroll assisting them with form for the hour-long session.

“I’ve been a member of the class for more than a year now,” said Mary Clifton. “It’s challenging and fun. The workouts are tough, but I feel great when I complete them.

“We never know what workout we’re going to do when we walk in — it could be all cardio or full-body workouts or the dreaded outside workout — flipping tires and pushing the slide. I’m challenged weekly to push myself and do my best, because if I don’t, I’m cheating on myself.”

“It’s a safe place,” said Carroll. “Nobody has to worry about being judged or being uncomfortable, because we have people at a variety of levels, and we’re all aware that we’re in it for the same reason.”

That comeraderie has other benefits as well.

“We encourage each other and help push each other, and it’s always more fun to work out with someone else than by yourself,” said Carroll. “Having a group keeps us accountable, which is important to keep us from stopping when it gets hard.”

The class — offered free of charge — is for people of all levels, beginner to fitness enthusiast, and Carroll said he and beginners can work together to tailor the workout to get started.

“Everyone is welcome,” he said. “Now that schools are starting back, a lot of people are getting back into a routine, and I just want to encourage people who have been thinking about getting fit to add this their routine. It’s a perfect time to start.”

He added, “My goal is for people to be who God created them to be. I want us to be fit enough that nothing keeps us from doing any task — including physical ones — that God has called us to do.”

The class meets at the gym at Elizabethtown Baptist Church on Mondays and Thursdays at 5:45 p.m. For information, or to get on the list to receive the WOD, contact Carroll by phone at 910-991-1733 or by email at ccchristopherr@gmail.com.

Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.





Chrysta Carroll