Fit for Duty

May 16, 2007

Reported by: Britney Glaser

A military-type boot camp is underway this week for 40 Lake Area residents working to build their mental and physical toughness.  If you have trouble pulling yourself out of bed early each morning...then this story is for you.

The last thing most people want to hear in the morning is a drill sergeant screaming orders - but, here in Lake Charles men and women have actually volunteered for that exact scenario.

Long before the sun came up this morning, these "recruits" were done with another day of Project Fit's boot camp.  Trainer Allie Ieyoub Kjellsten says, "We just wanted a way to jump start people's summer to help them start it with more confidence and really to build their mental toughness...that's what it's all about."

At 5:15 every morning this week, these men and women can be found crunching, running and squatting at Barbe High's stadium, to the tune of drill sergeants.  That doesn't bother Erin Miller, a recruit at this week's boot camp.  "It pushes you," says Miller, "it pushes you beyond what you think you can endure.  If it was sugar-coated, then you might be wanting to quit."

These recruits, though, are dedicated.  There were a number of reasons that people decided to enlist in "Allie's Boot Camp" as part of Project Fit.  Chris Brown works out almost every day of the week and came looking for a new fitness routine.  "I was looking for something different, new, exciting...something to charge me up for the summer," says Brown.

Heather Ieyoub had a baby just five months ago and needed an extra push to get back in shape.  "I would keep saying," says Ieyoub, "'next week I'm going to start exercising,' so I just thought this would be a good way to get me motivated and kind of jump start me."

While this scene could seem a bit intimidating for the more faint at heart, these recruits say enlisting is well-worth the workout.  "It's working muscle groups I forgot I had," says Brown.

It's the comradery with the other recruits that Ieyoub enjoys.  "People are right there with you and it's great support.  It's's just been so much fun."

If Project Fit is the motivation that you need to get in gear, there are a couple more boot camps coming up this summer - and one is even for kids.  To learn more about Project Fit or to register for an upcoming camp, click here.