Dickerman's Blog

DIFFERENT AND CRAZY WEEK

July 8, 2019

Week 14 has been a different and in many ways way a crazy week.  The contestants came into week 14 after doing their second 5K race on Saturday.  It was a great encouragement for each of them to see how their running has improved.

Monday night came and the expectation was that this was the start of the blind weigh-ins (contestants would not know the weight). Rick changed things up this year only the top 8 were not told their weight. Some were glad that they heard their weight because they had a great weight loss of the week.

Tuesday was a different workout. The inmates took charge.  The contestants were to show what they had learned with each team taking charge of a station for the daily workout.  The trainers became the trainies.  Everyone was having fun with it.  Some of the trainers gave the contestants a hard time in a fun way. Yes it was a fun time with many laughs but it showed the contestants that when the program is over they have the knowledge to put their own workouts together. The workout ended with the contestants thanking the trainers and staff for all that they have given the contestants during the program to help change their lives.

Wednesday was the 4th of July so the contestants were given the freedom of not having a group workout to do their own thing.

Thursday brought the last pool day of the program.  Nothing was held back as the contestants left it all in the pool for their last pool session. The last pool session helped the reality set in that the end of the program is coming soon and the life that has become normal for the contestants will soon go away.

Friday brought EJ is as the trainer of the day.  He made the workout into a serious of relay races. After each relay race the contestants had to do planks that got increasingly harder. The first round of planks were just normal planks. The second round of planks had the contestants lift their right leg up for a few seconds and then lift their left leg without changing their plank position. The third round was like the second except the time length on each leg was less.  EJ ended the workout with the famous wall sit but he discovered that the contestants do wall sits in a different way.  Shortly after the wall sit started clapping began as contestants broke out into song with a new chorus.  The chorus the contestants sang "What can make me feel this way? - Wall sits, Wall sits, Talking about wall sits" The wall sits ended with great laughter as everyone joined into the joy of the song.

Week 14 is done. You know what that means.  The final week of the program is coming with the last days of each event. Emotions will start growing as the contestants deal with the reality that their new life is about to change.  They have come a long way and it is going to be exciting to see what they do with all they have learned over the past 14 weeks.

SHORT AND SWEET

June 20, 2019

Week 12 is a busy week but this will be short since I am getting ready to leave for the next week and a half to do the Run For The Fallen during their Indiana section of the route.

Monday night was a very special night.  Eddie Merlots invite all of the Smallest Winners out for a very special dinner.  The contestants felt like celebrities all dressed up, photographers taking their pictures as they arrived, and a very special meal prepared especially for them by the chefs at Eddie Merlots.  They showed the contestants how it is possible to have a delicious meal that is also low in calories and high in nutrition.  The chef explained each course and how it was prepared before it was served to the contestants.  This night is always a very special one for all in the family.

Monday night might have been glitz and glamor, but Tuesday morning brought them back to the reality of the gym.  Celebration time was over.  Now it was  back to work and no holding back.  No way are the trainers going to let anyone slide through the end of the season.  Today was a special surprise.  It was to be Mari's workout, but instead she had Elizabeth lead it.  Elizabeth showed them the power of what you can do with one dumbbell pushing everyone to the limits of what they thought they could do.

Wendseday didn't get any easier. CeCe came in turning the heat up even more.  Wall punches, suicides, stair climbing, and laps.  She was pushing them to help them learn that the real workout doesn't come until you reach the point of wanting to give up.  She ended the day warning them that Friday would be even more intense but that she knows each and everyone of them is up to the challenge. 

So how was pool day and what did CeCe bring on Friday? I don't know I won't be there.  I also won't be there next week.  So how can you keep up with what the contestants are doing?  Read their blogs and listen to their stores of what they feel about week 12 and 13.  Take the time to contact them and ask them what they are doing.  Let them know you are following them and encourage them on.  How about this? Why not ask them to do a workout with you and see for yourself what it is like.  I am helping you see what their weeks are like, but there are many other ways you can find out as well.

 

NEW MOVES STILL COMING

June 17, 2019

Week 11 came and you would think after 10 weeks there wouldn't be anything new for the contestants to experience, but the trainers proved that was not true.  This week still brought on new moves or new combinations of moves to make each workout still feel fresh and new.

Tuesday Mari had the contestants partner up and the entire time was made with one partner running to the other side of the court with a stop in the middle to do some specified workout.  When they reached the wall their partner was to run across doing the same thing.  None of the moves in the workout was new but the way it was done gave it a new mix.  The contestants were seeing that there are various ways to do their workout to always make it seem fresh.

Wednesday came with CeCe bringing them into the power room. There were no steppers or weights involved in this workout, but boxing gloves were put on.  CeCe showed new moves as she took the contestants from doing regular boxing moves to adding into their routine kickboxing.  The contestants kept changing between old moves and forward kicks, backward kicks, and side wide kicks.  They kept on moving getting a full workout as they switched from one routine to another as CeCe called it out. The new moves were well received and saw a big smile come on CeCe's face as she enjoyed the effort all were putting forth in the new moves they faced.

Thursday brought pool day and the contestants brought on their own new moves.  As they had to do some of their usual jumps and moves in the pool, many started adding their own grooves to the routine as they added rhythm and fun to their moments.  These changes added fun to the routine but also added more effort which made the workout exciting and profitable.

Friday CeCe took them into the big basketball court room and put on a new spin to an old routine.  She brought with her the alphabet with an exercise assigned to each letter.  This time they were not spelling out their own names with exercises.  This time the whole group stayed together and spelled out the names of the trainers.  For each letter they had to do the exercised assigned to the letter continuously for 1 minute.  This workout ended with the possibility of some contestants having a new reason to not be as thrilled of some trainers as they use to be.  The workout ended with surprises as each contestant received a special art piece from one of the alumni and then the contestants turned around and gave Papa Bear Rick a Father's Day card and gift.  There truly is a family feel in this group.

Week 11 is done, just 4 more weeks left.  The question now is what will the trainers bring on next to help keep things interesting and challenging.  

PUSHING THINGS FURTHER

June 10, 2019

With the coming of week 10 the second third of the season is coming to an end.  Now is the time to really help the contestants to learn how to push themselves further.  Going into the last 5 weeks can be tempting to the contestants to start gliding celebrating how far they have come instead of concentrating on how much further they can go.  With just 5 weeks left the time is also getting closer where there will be no more trainers each morning being there to push the contestants.  The contestants will need to know how to push themselves.  Week 10 was dedicated to help this education take place.

Tuesday Mari came in and had the contestants experience a HITT workout.  This workout is a high intensity workout where you do a high intensity exercise for a minute followed by active recovery for a minute then back.  The workout contains different sets of combination of workouts to deal with different parts of the body.  The steppers had been brought out to the gym so the contestants had the extra burn that increasing step heights bring.  Mari brought them from one round of sets to another. The entire hour was filled with different sets of the HITT workout and by the end the contestants knew they had done something different.

Wednesday CeCe brought in a workout that gave the contestants the opportunity to see how well they could push themselves on a workout. The workout consisted of 7 workout stations around one basketball court. The contestants were to complete one circuit of the stations then run twice around both basketball court rooms including the stairs.  After finishing the two loops they were to start all over again and see how many times they could compete the whole set during the workout period.  The workout then ended with wall sits and sprints.  This was a great workout for the contestants to learn what is needed to make a workout as effective as possible. As a workout goes on our bodies get tired and what to pull back. The  contestant's bodies brought on that reality as the contestants started slowing down as the workout progressed.  CeCe promised the contestants that she would come back Friday with an intense workout that she would show the contestants how far they can really push themselves.

Thursday brought on the pool once again. It is hard to imagine that the pool can get any more intense, but somehow it does.  They do more and longer wall kicks.  They do more and harder sprints.  There is just no letting up as the contestants keep being pushed to new limits and discovering things they can do now that they could never have imagined doing when they started the program

Friday brought CeCe being faithful to the promise she made on Wednesday.  She came with a super intense workout needing nonstop energy.  The entire time was spent with boxing the wall, wall sits, suicide sprints, mixed in with some jumping jacks and high knee marching.  There was no letting up or complaining allowed.  CeCe did her best to keep encouraging the contestants to be smiling as they pushed themselves further and harder than they had ever done before.  One other unplanned thing took place with the workout.  They used the other basketball court room where there is no clock and with the boxing gloves on none of the contestants knew what time it was.  There was no way for the mind to figure how much time was left.  They just had to keep on pushing through.  CeCe challenged the contestants to end the workout with one final suicide run which was to be the most intense they had ever done.  They did it.  Even after the hard fought workout the contestants showed they could still push themselves to do the best suicides they ever had.  The contestants came in with a great attitude and ended with a great success.  They proved how hard they can truly push themselves.  They showed that there is more inside of them than they thought.  They showed that they can keep themselves going and focused to get the most out of a workout possible.  They ended the workout with the proof that they can still handle more.

Saturday FWSW came out together to do the Vision Walk 5K. What a great way to join together in moving while at the same time giving support to a great cause.  Exercise doesn't always have to be hard.  It is good to sometimes use your new physical abilities to help others who aren't as fortunate.

Week 10 is done.  There is just one third of the program left to go through.  How will the contestants face these last five weeks.  Will they get lost in their celebration of success and start coasting or will they get motivated by their success to push themselves for even more? The choice is in their hands and week 10 showed they can do the pushing to new levels they just need to want it and do it.

THE HEAT IS ON

June 3, 2019

Did you feel the temperature raise up last week? The weather men didn't have the full story.  Yes the heat went up in Fort Wayne because of the temperature and the humidity, but it really went up because of FWSW season 11. They turned the fire up even higher to push themselves even harder.  Nothing can hold these contestants back as they see how far they have come and look to how far they want to go. The heat and humidity did make things a little harder for the trainers as they are trying to help turn up the heat but also wanted to keep the safety of the contestants at the forefront.

Tuesday was a great celebration for the contestants.  Monday night's weigh-in was a great one.  Rick stated that in celebration there would be no extra love required on Tuesday.  Virgil challenged the contestants not to easy up but increase the fire burning inside of them.  So Tuesday morning, when they were given the option to not have to get up even earlier, most of the contestants came in for voluntary extra love.  Not only did they come in for the extra love they turned it up.  They held nothing back but added fuel to the fire to start a blaring inferno for the week.  Nothing was held back in the extra love but that did not give them an easy out for the regular workout. They were praised for their commitment but the workout still took place. Tuesday's workout was one of continuous motion. The whole workout time was spent with everyone doing continuous loops around the gym.  At each corner was a station where the contestants had to stop and either do suicides or 12 repetitions of assigned exercises.

Wednesday was CeCe and boxing gloves day.  That pour wall, it was just standing there, and yet CeCe kept yelling out hit it harder and harder. Then came wall sits, sprits, and punching the air. Oh those sweet little boxing gloves. Why do those little things add so much weight when you have to hold your arms up high. With the humidity there were plenty of "Wet Your Beak" breaks throughout the routine.

Thursday brought on pool day when the contestants really kicked things up.  They literally kicked things up as they kept doing long challenges of wall kicks along with their jumping and other routines in the pool. The air in the pool caught so much of the heat from the contestants that the door had to actually be kept open so that the pool did not become a sunna. Even the water of pool day could not cool down the heat building up in the contestants this week.

Friday CeCe moved everyone into the power room where she could keep the contestants the coolest as possible, as she helped push up the heat in the contestants. Whoever thought that CeCe could bring on even more intensity and craziness then she had in the past, but yes she can and she did. There was nothing really new in Friday's workout. They were using the steppers going up and down with all of the leg workouts they had been taught. Those movements were broken up with jumping jacks and burpies. Nothing really new but the changes came quickly and the level of speed and intensity increased. Weights were also brought in to allow the arms to actually have the heat brought on to them as well. That room may have been the coolest place in Spiece at the beginning of the workout but by the end the fire inside of each contestant raised even the temperature of that room.

This week also brought about the start of another FWSW tradition.  Each year the contestants choose a local charity to raise money for.  This is part of the way they pay forward from all they have been given and blessed with.  This year the contestants choose Erin's House which works with young people dealing with the loss and grieve of death.  One of the highlights of the finale is sharing the amount of money raised by the contestant.  Please help the contestants show their gratitude by giving back through this special way.  Asking for donations is not always an easy thing to do. This is a special way that each of you can help celebrate with your family member or friend for all they have done.  If you are asked by a contestant to give please consider the great cause they have selected and help them out by determining what you can donate to their cause.  Want to give but they have not asked you? You don't need to wait for them, feel free to contact them and ask how you can help donate.

Week 9 ended with the fire growing brighter and hotter. One more week and they will be two-thirds of the way through the program. They have come so far, too far to give up.  Help encourage those you know to stay strong and keep the fire growing through these remaining weeks.

HALF WAY MARK

May 28, 2019

Week 8 brought to the contestants the half way point and their momentum has picked them up to a higher gear.  The half way mark is not the point to coast down the hill but to push even harder.  The trainers continue to give the contestants every opportunity to push themselves even harder.

Tuesday was a shortened workout but the energy level made up for the shortness of time.  The whole time was spent with boxing gloves on.  Boxing the wall and learning some new moves against that wall.  They even did a motivational move for squatting.  The contestants were divided into pairs with one throwing punches as fast as possible while their partner had to duck to miss receiving them.  The squats went great as no blows were ever received.  Boxing gloves were also worn as they did wall sits, sprints, and grape vines across the courts.

Wednesday brought on CeCe's famous 1 minute stations.  Five stations were set up for the teams to rotate around: planks, bench push-ups, Tina's favorite party trains, and of course CeCe's top two favorites wall sits and burpees.  After each set of five stations the contestants had to run around the courts but this time they had to go up the stairs and then down the other set of stairs at both ends of the courts.  No time for breaks, there is only half the program left and everyone needs to get all they can out of it.

Thursday, pool day, had a guest appearance by CeCe again.  Hands were in the air and the water was churning.  At the end of the morning they contestants were rewarded with the words that all the trainers felt that this was the best pool workout the trainers had ever seen.

Friday was the merging of the old with the new.  CeCe brought back the marching day workout but with extra intensity.  Instead of being in the usual gym and going across two basketball courts the exercises took place in the other room and they had to go across four courts and do some special exercises at each end.  She also increased the efforts by involving the arms.  Arms were pushed up in the air and then driven down in conjunction with the leg movements.  Each movement along the path involved the whole body.  She ended the workout with the run and stairs again but this time the run involved both basketball court rooms.

At the end of Friday's workout the contestants spent time sharing ideas of how to deal with the pressure of family cookouts over the Memorial Weekend.  One contestant even suggested challenging anyone who tempts her with desserts to a burpee challenge.  The contestants really were working strong to come up with ways to help each other make it through this rough weekend.

The program is halfway done but there is still half of the program left to go through.  No brakes are being put on. No one is setting their gears into neutral and just coasting the rest of the way.  Everyone is committed to keeping the pedal to the floor and finish the course going full force. 

 

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED

May 20, 2019

Week 7 is now over and the contestants are almost half way to their graduation point.  Week 7 didn't make things any easier but it did not act like a normal week.  Throughout the week the unexpected kept creeping into their regular routine.

Tuesday morning everyone came in to start their new week of workouts but there was something different.  There were balls all over the court.  In one area were the medicine balls they had learned to dread.  Another area had stability balls.  The strange thing was a third area had basketballs.  Were they going to be able to play today instead of working out.  The plan for the workout was for each team to spend time at each station, and yes basketballs were one of the station.  What did they had to do with the basketballs? For the entire time at that station they were to dribble the basketball to the basket, shoot a basket then pick up the ball and do it all over again.  Sounds like fun and easy, but they were to keep doing it non-stop for the entire time at the station.  The stabilities added workouts of the abs something a little different.  The workout might have been different but it still was a super intense workout that challenged the muscles in a new way.

Wednesday was CeCe day and she stepped things up.  She literally stepped things up by raising the platforms up that the contestants used for their stepper workout with her.  The routines were pretty much the same routines that they had done on the steppers before.  The difference was they were elevated a little higher.  It wasn't that much higher, but it still made a difference.  There muscles were dealing with the unexpected as they had to work harder then the last time they used those steppers.

Wednesday night began a series of expecting the unexpected.  The pool was temporarily shut down and things had to be rearranged for those planning on pool groups for their Wednesday evening workout.  Tina worked hard to get things rearranged for all that needed to change.  Word was also going out.  In case the pool was not available for Thursday morning everyone also should bring dry land workout clothing in case they had to go to plan B.  They never had to use plan B.  Spiece got the work done and the pool was open in the morning.  Yes they were back splashing in the pool burning the calories, but still the unexpected happened.  In the middle of their pool workout they heard the sweat voice of CeCe.  It was Thursday, it was pool day, how could they be hearing CeCe's voice.  CeCe was in the building and decided to surprise everyone and come to their workout. They worked hard so CeCe was pleased with what she saw.

Friday was completely unexpected.  The workout was a game day.  They divided into their teams and played the name game.  Each member of the team had to put their names on a piece of paper.  They then took one name at a time and spelled it out with a name workout.  There was a chart with the exercise to go with each letter.  The team had to send someone to find out the exercise for the next letter in the name and then have the team do it.  Some teams had the fun of finding out what happens when you have too many Is and Ns in a row in their name.  Some teams may have felt the workout was hard then others but the ones to blame would be the parents and husbands who gave them the days they had to exercise to.  It was unexpected, it was fun, but it still was a workout.

Week 7 gave them workouts that weren't what they were use to.  Some of the unexpected things helped to show you can have fun while working out.  The key thing was to keep pushing themselves and working harder then before.  The contestants all stepped up to the challenge and became champions of the unexpected.

ACCEPTING THE GRIND

May 14, 2019

Going into week 6 Rick warned the contestant they were entering the hardest part of the program.  The first 5 weeks has the excitement of something new.  The last 5 weeks has the excitement of seeing the ending in sight.  It is in the middle 5 weeks that the program becomes a grind that they need to accept and push through.  Week 6 saw the contestants accepting that grind and taking control of it.

Week 6 brought in the requirement for teams to come in early to do another timed mile to see how they have improved.  Before the workout began a group of contestants were up on the track giving their best to 9 laps, 1 mile on the track.  What was their reward for doing their best on the track? Their reward was to be able to go down and join in with the other contestants for another intense workout.

It wasn't just all grinding work this week, there was some fun involved as well.

Tuesday the first half of the workout was teams rotating around workout stations. They worked out on specific exercises for two minutes each doing jumping jacks between each station.  Unlike other station days, the stations only lasted half the workout.  The second half had the teams compete against each other in relay races. The relay races gave a nice break from the regular routine.  It gave the contestants an opportunity to smile, laugh, and cheer on.  Even though there was fun involved, they were still working out through the time.  Workouts can happen even when you are having fun.  That is a very important fact that we all need to realize.

Wednesday was a CeCe day, would she be bringing some fun? She came and took the gloves off, actually she put them on.  She had the contestants use their boxing gloves through the entire workout.  With boxing gloves on, the contestants had to box the wall, do wall sits, and jog/run across the courts. Wearing boxing gloves may seem like a small thing, but when you have to keep your arms up any additional weight on your hands add to the pressure of gravity.

Thursday brought fun day in the pool.  Relay races continued in the pool as they swam and ran against each other along the lengths of the pool.  Once again the racing brought both fun and hard work together into a special workout.  To end the workout the contestants did their usual thing of grabbing the edge of the pool and doing wall kicks.  This time Rick kept taunting them that he was dry.  His taunting was to motivate them to kick even harder to create bigger splashes from the pool.  The motivation worked as many along the side of the pool got wet from the splashes they created.

Friday CeCe came with fun for the contestants.  Her fun was not just for the contestants and alumni but the trainers as well.  The trainers were also part of the teams in relay races that combined running and different workout exercises they have been learning.  This time the relay races had rewards for the winner.  The winning team was able to watch the other times take a sit at the wall and hold out on a wall seat.

Saturday saw the beginning of running groups as a couple of teams met with Ashley and did a time of running.  Things are definitely growing for the contestants.

Rick welcomed into the middle period of the grind but the contestants are willing to face a conquer the grind that is ahead of them for these next few weeks.

 

AND THEY SCORE A GOAL

May 7, 2019

Week Five is over and the contestants are now a third of the way through their fifteen weeks.  If they were at a hockey game they would be done their first period and the score board would be showing home team 24 goals.  They have been kicking it and conquering great things.  They are taking their old lives captives and creating great victories in their lives.  The basic word for the week is "Get it done".

Tuesday brought one team learning about gravity while the others had the stations to do.  The heart was beating hard by the end of the hour as each station worked the heart and muscles in demanding ways.

CeCe brought in a new challenge on Wednesday.  The contestants had minute stations to rotate through.  Each station was just a minute long, then they had to run laps, wet their beaks and go back to go through the stations again.  They kept doing that for the workout process.  Just a minute might seem like an easy workout.  A minute workout does not allow you time to drop the intensity.  You start out at a high intensity and you just keep it there then quickly go to the next one and do the high intensity there.  No wasted time and everyone 'Got it done" and may the most of the hour.

Thursday was churning the pool up into a hot tub as their energy churn the waters and raised the temperature.  The water had no time to be still.  The contestants never stopped and neither did the movement of the water.

Friday, CeCe came back, taking the intensity of Wednesday and cranking it up.  She brought the contestants into one of her favorite worlds - the world of burpees.  CeCe challenged them to not hold back but really raise the intensity of each station that they did.  The contestants listened and gave her what she asked for.  They were all getting it done and making CeCe smile to see everyone not holding back but giving their all every station, every minute.

Outside of their workouts the contestants also have been bringing a new life to Spiece.  This year they are taking part in the group sessions Spiece offer.  They are brining to the classes their energy and love of life.  They are being blessed with the instruction and encouragement of the trainers and other members of the group classes.  Each person in the class is also benefiting with the love of life the contestants are bringing to them.

In a hockey game it takes a lot of hard work to score goals and win games.  This period of the program the contestants have been putting that same type of work and commitment into this program and scoring great achievements.  It is going to be exciting to see how many more great accomplishments they will make over the next two periods.

 

THE POWER OF LOVE

APRIL 30, 2019

Week Four showed the power of this week's word - LOVE.  The contestants faced the week strong and used love to keep them strong.

Tuesday brought the introduction of what has become known as Rick's EXTRA LOVE.  This extra love is a workout a half hour before the regular morning workout. This workout is not a punishment.  It is used to help give a boost to help energize their weight loss.  How do the contestants feel about this extra love? Thursday there usually is not extra love because of being pool day, but those in the extra love asked for it to take place. They were reaching into the power of the extra love.

Tuesday also had Mari take the Gold Team up to her heavenly realm where they experienced the power of gravity.  While the other teams did stations of party trains, wall boxing, and sleds, the gold team experienced the workouts available on the gravity machines. These machines use the force of gravity to apply the weight part of the workout.  This week the contestants started generating smoke with the sleds as Rick would call fire drills which meant whoever was on the sled had to not hand the sled over but bring it back to the other end.  

Wednesday and Friday the contestants found out that CeCe can actually get even more energized than she has been before.  CeCe had the group go into the Power Room and had music playing while everyone used the step platforms to push their workout to a new level.  CeCe was full of joy and would even sing along with the music as she led the workouts.  CeCe also shared a secret with everyone.  She stated that why she gets after everyone and calls them to push further is because she loves them and wants them to go as far as they are able.  She warned them that actually if she stops talking at them they should worry.

Love was seen throughout the actions of many people during the week.  When someone wasn't there you could hear the contestants asking each other if they knew if the missing contestant was okay or not.  They are truly concerned for each other because of their love for each other.  One contestant was not able to be in the pool on pool day so Katelyn willing worked with her in the gym where the alumni were working out so she could still get a good workout for the day. The result of the love was evident as the contestant ended her session by holding a wall sit longer than she ever had.

Friday EJ showed his love by coming in to work with the injured contestants so they could do something on dry ground instead of being in the pool everyday.  The timing was perfect as due to a power issue the pool was closed and they couldn't be in the pool.  With the availability of the pool for Saturday being an unknown, Elizabeth showed her love for the contestants by volunteering to come in on Saturday to do a special workout for those who were scheduled to go to a pool class that day.

There truly is love in this family. The love is there from everyone and for everyone.  The love is making them a stronger family and making each individual stronger in their pursuit of becoming a better person.

This is definitely not a product or a program. This is a family desiring to see everyone succeed.  It is going to be great to see where the next 11 weeks will bring them.

 

NO POWER OUTAGE HERE

APRIL 22, 2019

Week three is all over and the contestants are now 1/5 of the way through the program.  The word for this week definitely has to be energy.  There is an energy that is flowing through all of the contestants.  Everyone can feel it.  The contestants are like that famous rabbit that just keeps going and going.

What a week it has been.  I started out on Sunday as all the contestants met with trainers and alumni at Saint Frances to run in the Formula for Life 5K.  The afternoon was cold and rain threatened, but you couldn't sense that from the contestants.  Their energy was generating heat and excitement.  Normally they have been three weeks in the program before this 5K but this year they have only been working out for two weeks but that was no excuse.  They came on strong.  Every single contestant crossed the finish line in under 1 hour.  As they came around the final turn there was an excitement as they finished the race strong and were excited with what they accomplished.

Monday night the contestants returned to Saint Frances.  They weren't there for a race but rather for a special session when students gave them cooking lessons on healthy ways to prepare meals.  Olive Twist was also there to help them see how adding special flavors can keep their food healthy but full of flavor.  This is so important.  Most of the flavor that we are use to that makes our food enjoyable to eat comes from fats and sugars which has gotten us into the problem we are facing.  Just removing them from our diet isn't enough.  Most people think of healthy eating as blan and unenjoyable.  That is why it is hard to stay on a healthy eating habit.  This class helps to show that food can be both healthy and flavorful.  As each person develops this flavorful way of cooking their desires for the old unhealthy foods can go away as they look forward to eating this new healthier food.

Tuesday brought in a new week of training.  By the end of the week the alumni were checking their calendars.  They felt for sure the workouts were what they usually got in week four and five, are you sure this was week three. Mari and Josh brought in the intensity.  They started with the activities from last week but then upped the levels of it.  At the end all that was missing was some special music.  They had the contestants moving back and forth as fast as the can and then doing the speed skater exercise.  Watching the contestants do those exercises just may people imagine taking a video of it and setting it to music it would be very interesting to watch.

Wednesday CeCe came bringing on what she promised.  Finally the contestants got to put on their boxing gloves and started beating up the wall.  That poor wall was just standing there bothering no one, but here was a long line of contestants and alumni getting into their boxing stance and giving the wall the one-two punch over and over again. At the end CeCe invited all to take a seat.  The only thing is that there was no chairs they had to do the famous wall sit.  Wall sits are hard enough but doing them at the end of an intense workout is even worse.  How did the contestants respond? CeCe keeps telling people to smile to help them out, but the contestants went one step further.  As they were fighting staying down for the wall sit they broke out into singing to help keep them going.  This group is something else.  They use everything they can to keep on going.

Thursday was another weekly episode of "As the Pool Churns." The water never had time to stay calm.  The contestants were kept in active motion using their muscles to keep moving against the resistance of the water.  When anyone walked into the pool area they could just feel the energy coming from the pool.

Friday brought the first of many station days.  The teams were rotated different stations facing new activities from the trainers at the station.  In the gym area CeCe would have one team doing boxing against the wall, while another team was alternating between squats at the benches to stepping up and high kneeing on those benches.  Off from the court Tina was in happy spirits as she introduced everyone to her favorite parties - party trains.  That is having the contestants going up and down the stairs.  In the backroom Virgil had rotations for the teams to do Army crawls, ladder runs, and ball slams.  In the other section of the back room Rick was in his heavenly places as he had the contestants work with pushing the sleds.  All the trainers were definitely enjoying the stations of the day.  The contestants, well the contestants were encouraging one another to help each other conquer the challenges at each station.

Week three high intensity and high energy, both were contagious.  Three weeks down and the question is what is coming next week as the intensity increases even more.

TEAM WORK TO SUCCESS

APRIL 14, 2019

Week two has now come and gone.  Another successful week in the books for Season 11 as they are going back to the basic.  The basic word for this week is 'TEAM'. Yes there is an attitude of competition in the naming of the program but no one sees any other as the competition.  Through out the week the idea has been presented by the participants that they are in this together and are there for each other.

Monday night was their first official result weigh-in for the season.  The members of season 11 came in for the weigh-in with a since of excitement.  There was a desire to see what the first week had accomplished in their bodies.  There was no holding back as each one quickly went up to get on the scales and hear the results.  To celebrate this special weigh-in each contestant received a paper showing the number of pounds they had lost.  The cheers were loud as each contestant saw a loss and all their fellow participants celebrate their success. Everyone wanted to see how much each person lost and cheer their success. This weigh in saw a great number of ladies losing more than 10 pounds and one lady set the record for the most weight loss in one week of FWSW by a lady. Everyone had a successful first week and the celebration was very special at the weigh-in.

Tuesday morning came and thus began the second week of workouts.  It was nosier on the courts this week.  The contestants were right at it cheering each other on.  They were one team doing all they could to help motivate each other.  They were told to be there by 5:45 to stretch before workout at 6:00.  Apparently some of them need new watches.  At 5:15 there was already a contestant there stretching and by 5:30 there was over half there.  They were doing all they could to get as much as possible out of the program as possible.  As the workout continued they were back to the things they were doing last week but with the intensity increased.  They also added in some moving and standing squats.  Legs were definitely being pushed.

Wednesday had CeCe back in the gym with them. It was felt that CeCe's sweet quiet voice needed help so someone brought her a megaphone to use. CeCe's intensity and desire for the best for all could be seen as she kept pushing the contestants to go through varies marches.  She was making sure they had the form correct.  The increased intensity was also seen as more moments of "Wetting your beaks" were given to all who were exercising.  Team Red showed the meaning of team work as for one of their marches they marched together in tempo encouraging each other to faithfully traverse the court in perfect form.

Thursday back to the pool.  Some of the contestants actually believed that being in the pool meant you didn't need to bring water.  By the end of the session everyone was grabbing for bottles of water to drink.  Josh came adding new routines for the pool never done by any other FWSW season.  One of the alumni in the pool admitted that they don't remember the second week of the pool being as intense as this workout was.  It was intense but everyone in the pool showed their determination and never gave up.  They went in as a team and came out as a team.

Friday saw something different.  As everyone was doing their warm-up walks around the courts mats were being put down on the court. Were they going back in Kindergarten and going to be receiving a nap time this morning? CeCe's plans were as far as removed from rest as possible.  The workout today was low impact. No marching. Everything was done stretched out on the floor.  They had to do leg raises and leg bends.  Sounds easy, but try laying on your side and keep your leg straight up in the air. It is very tiring but everyone fought through to keep those legs up.  Then CeCe gave their legs a break.  Everyone got to roll on their back.  First they had to do crunches making sure to use just their abs.  After doing enough crunches for CeCe everyone moved on to full sit-ups.  The day ended with CeCe having everyone go into a plank and holding it.  No buts in the air, no buts dangling down.  Keep the back straight and stay up.  Many wondered if they could do it but they proved that they can.

Friday's workout came to an end finishing their second week. No time to rejoice over success as they were told what was to come next week.  CeCe is planning on teaching them proper squats.  Their walking will start turning into jogging and stairs will be added.  "Stairs, stairs, did someone stay stairs?" said Tina as visions of party trains flashed through her mind.  CeCe also promised the start of one of her favorite things to have people do - wall sits.  Yes things will definitely be increased next week, but that is next week and they will all be ready.  Right now it is just time to do the extra workouts and prepare for what is to come.  Speaking of what is to come all will be heading to St. Frances tomorrow to take part in their first 5K.  No high speed running but they will get the experience of feeling what it is like to take part in a race.  They will be there as a team supporting one another.  They will be there helping a good cause benefited by the race.

Week two is over and the individuals have definitely bonded into a team.  They are a team there for one another. They are a team to help all cross the finish line with success.

LET'S START AT THE VERY BEGINNING

APRIL 7, 2019

The courts are alive with sweet CeCe's voice. New contestants are learning the lyrics to her favorite phrases "If it was easy, everyone would do it" and "If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you." The FWSW family singers are alive and in good voice early in the mornings at Spiece Fieldhouse. 

Season 11 has started and 25 new contestants are beginning their journey of changing the future of their lives.  The theme this year is 'Back to the Basic." Our world is look for the new miracle ways of losing weight without having to give up any of the favorite things.  They are looking for the magic pill or easy exercise routine that offers fantastic results with no sweat.  The problem is there is no such thing and what is needed is to return to the basics.  In returning to the basics there are also basic words that need to become true to the heart of those who want to succeed. 

The word for the first week of the program would have to be 'Commitment.'  Nothing will happen if you are not committed to make it happen. These 25 contestants have made the commitment to change their lives.  The commitment started when they decided to stop sitting back and letting life control them and instead to get up and take control of their lives.  Their commitment started with going through the painful process of applying for the program where they had to be honest with where they were and how they were the ones who got them there.  Then they received that special call from Tina telling them they had been accepted into the season 11 family.  They then had no time to rest, they had to become commitment and start taking control of their lives to do the program.  They had to come in one Saturday morning to get their flexibility excessed and then return the next day for a day full of pictures, pictures, orientation, and oh yes more pictures.  Still a week before the program actually started and they still had more to do.  They had to make appointments to go get their blood drawn for blood work to help show the effect the program will have on them.  Then they also had to go to Three Rivers Running Company and be evaluated for the best type of running shoes for them to wear.  No they just couldn't go to any store and pick up some cheap pair.  If they are to safely do the training they needed to be set up with the shoes best suited for their feet and running style. Then one last thing before the program could start.  They had to gather for their first Monday session to have their initial weight recorded in front of each other and many of the FWSW alumni.

Finally Tuesday, April 3 arrived and the process began.  6 AM sessions on the courts of Spiece.  This week the focus is on the basics they need to get back to the basic.  EJ was there showing the contestants stretching exercises they are to do before all training sessions so that they can have their muscles ready for the workout to come.  Such pleasant names these stretches have, IronCross, Scorpion, BirdDogs, and One Legged Toe Touches.  Then the workouts started. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday basically dealt with marching routines.  High knee marching with the arms and legs working together - opposite arm opposite leg - arms bent at 90 degree angels and hands going cheek to cheek. Then came the butt kicks - kicking your legs backwards as you move trying to get your heels as close to your butt as possible.  Then the Zombie or Frankenstein march with the legs kicking up straight - as high as possible.  Friday the intensity already started growing as they started learning how to do knee kicks and marching sideways in a squat position.  It may sound simple but it is hard work, especially to get the form right.  The contestants worked hard showing their commitment.  They concentrated on getting the form correct over trying to get to the other side as soon as possible.  One contestant always was the last one to cross one day, not because he was slow but because he was working hard on the form and took his time to get it right.  Some looking in might wonder why many of the times the contestants were moving forward with their hands held straight up.  The reason was to take control of their bodies and posture. Holding the arms straight up help to keep their chest out and back straight to give them the form they needed.

Thursday morning was their first day in the pool.  It wasn't any day at the beach.  Every second in that pool was movement going on which caused them to exert power over the resistance of the water.  By the time they ended their time in the pool much water had been splashed over the side. The warmth in the air felt like you were entering a sauna instead of a pool.

This week also included the contestants doing their first timed mile on the track.  The will do other miles to show their progress through the program.

How committed are the contestants? Many of the contestants get to Spiece extra early making sure they are warmed up and ready for the workout awaiting them in the morning.

This year a new part of the program has been added.  The contestants are also required to take some of the group classes at Spiece.  This is allowing Spiece to show in an even greater way their commitment to the program.  They are making sure to have the classes properly staffed to help the contestants as well as the members in the group classes.  The members themselves are also using this new opportunity to show their support for the program by welcoming the contestants into the classes and seeing it as another way to encourage them on their journey.

The contestants have definitely gone back to the basic of commitment.  They are showing their commitment to the opportunity FWSW offers them to take back control of their lives. You can also go to the basic of commitment by making a commitment to truly follow their journey and do all you can to encourage them.  Read their blogs, talk with them, encourage them for the days will get tough but all who commitment to encourage them can help them through those days.