BY C.L. HARMON
It’s been five years this week that Dan’Yel Swafford and a couple of friends decided to play outside. And when I write play, that means play hard as in bootcamp style. But unlike military bootcamp, this program focuses on health, family, nutrition and friendship.
It’s a unique brainchild that’s success is rooted in the important aspects of life and getting fit and healthy is a by-product. This is in contrast to the type of typical fitness programs where the main focus is on the body and controling weight. It’s a multi-faceted concept incorporating solutions to various aspects of life that keep people who are interested in pursuing excercise from doing so.
By-Product is a good word description for this scenario. For example, one result are children actually playing physical activities…and enjoying it. No television or video games. Just good ole fashion playing in the yard and having fun. The children can do this because the parents are out there too. They, however, are pursuing a tad more rigorous regiment, but still having fun.
“We are an out of the box fitness program, because we don’t do anything inside,” Swafford said. The program focuses on being outside. Hot or cold, the participants are out there performing all sorts of unusual exercise regiments, including, the worm push up, the pyramid and several other unique calestinics to improve health. Last year, the group practiced even when the temperature reached 17 degree. She did say that on the rare occassions when sleet or snow are present, they are forced to move inside, but mostly they work outside only.
“The program has grown consistently since its inception with 200 members in and out. Over the last two years they have consistently kept at least 20 members at any given time.
“Comradery, team building and sharing goals” are the muscle fibers that weave this program’s success together, according to Swafford.
Several of the members are husband and wife teams. There are also single mothers who are attracted the program because it allows them to bring their children and provide an example to them as to the importance of fitness and nutrition.
One man has lost 80 pounds after joining one year ago. He quit smoking and needed something to keep him from back sliding. He joined and has been alcohol and tobacco free for a year. He credits the program’s unique design of family type support for his success. There is story after story about the reasons for joining and the successes that have followed. The common fiber it seems is the unity which keeps people coming back for the “very intense” one hour workouts with only a two minute break. As one member said, “it’s social involvement and spending time with friends.”
The program meets at the high school track or driving range twice per week and at her home in Lake Country on Sunday once a week. For more information on the Mannford Boot Camp Program, call Dan’Yel Swafford at 405-747-6912. There is currently a Commit To Fit Program that is free unless a class is missed. Regular cost is $80 per month