Crystal Curry, far right, leads her 10 a.m. Body Pump class at Xtreme Fitness. The class has proven extremely popular and was implemented only a month ago. L&T photos/Elly Grimm
By ELLY GRIMM
• Leader & Times
Summer has arrived at last, and that means late nights, warmer temperatures and for some, a time to begin taking off some pounds.
There are many options for doing so in Liberal, thanks to not only the city’s Parks and Recreation Department but also the fitness centers in town. One of them is Southwest Fitness and Racquetball, located at 1530 N. Western Avenue. The center offers many classes to help people get in shape, including Zumba, kick boxing and step aerobics.
Krista Eagan, manager at Southwest Fitness and Racquetball, said the overall priority for people should be to make themselves healthy and not just toning up to look good.
“If you want to have an active body, you have to have an active mind and you have to work it out whether it’s dancing, lifting weights, walking, jogging, it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you’re staying active,” she said. “The primary reason for everybody, the benefit is becoming healthier, living longer and not just living longer but having a better quality of life.”
Eagan added there is, of course, a natural relationship between feeling better with the improved quality of life and looking good that goes with working out.
David Rine, owner and lead instructor at Rine’s American Freestyle Karate at 2281 N. Grant Avenue, also talked about how the quality of life improves with the implementation of a regular fitness routine.
“Not only are you promoting physical fitness, but you’re also promoting mind, a great attitude about yourself, the ‘I can’ attitude,” he said. “It doesn’t matter who you are, anybody and everybody can do it.”
Rine’s American Freestyle Karate also offers several classes for people to take this summer, including the regular karate classes, Brazilian ju-jitsu and aerobic kick boxing. Rine said something that should appeal to people is they can try out some of the classes for a week for free and then decide whether or not they want to continue.
“We give you a week free because we know at the end of the week you’ll stay,” Rine said.
Rine also said that while his classes are intense, anyone can come and participate no matter age or physique.
“We have on the floor right now 3-year-olds to 55-year-olds, so that’s who we cater to,” he said. “So, different from everyone else, our fitness level caters to everybody.”
Xtreme Fitness also has some intense workouts and classes for people to take, including a newly created Body Pump along with Zumba, cross-training and spinning, which, according to owner Crystal Curry, is the facility’s most popular class. Curry said there’s no reason for someone not to be able to start some form of routine.
“The one I hear the most is people say they’re too busy which, you can still find time to work out,” she said. “You just have to make it a priority and decide that it’s important.”
However, the general concensus was that one doesn’t necessarily need a gym and membership to get in shape. All three mentioned the many parks and other outside opportunities that residents can take advantage of.
“We have beautiful nice parks, there’s tennis courts, there’s the hitting cages, there’s all those different activities they have going on for the younger kids and for adults they have the basketball, softball, baseball leagues so there’s something for everyone in Liberal to do,” Eagan said.
“Just move, get your body moving and don’t just sit around,” Curry added.
All three also said that they have seen either an uptick or steadiness in patronage. There is a unanimous agreement that people will be accepted at any facility regardless of physique or experience.
“We will work with anybody, it doesn’t matter who you are...we don’t just throw you into the masses and let you go,” Rine said. “We actually work personally with that person, so if someone is on the ropes about it and they don’t know or they say they have to get in shape. Our job is to get you in shape, so we will work with you to stay in shape and you get up to those goals.”