We generally associate boot camp with the military. However, a "boot camp" at Calvary Baptist Church in Odenville is helping people shed pounds. This boot camp is for men and woman, boys and girls of all ages and sizes looking to get physically fit.
Running the boot camp is Lori Franklin. She took over after the previous person in charge moved to Texas.
At one time, Franklin weighed 218 pounds. Today, she weighs 135.
"It is important to be spiritually and physically fit," Franklin said. "We generally have 20 to 25 people come work out four times a week."
The boot camp is held every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. It is an intense 45-minute workout.
For those who are concerned whether or not they could make it through boot camp, Franklin said each exercise they do can be modified.
"They can all go at their own pace when they first start," Franklin said. "You do what you can do, because everybody’s different. With people coming in at all different sizes and weights, you do what you can do."
Rev. Chuck Lackey is pastor of Calvary Baptist Church. He was diagnosed with diabetes in November 2012. At that time, Lackey weighed 289 pounds.
"I knew I needed to lose weight and knew I needed some help," Lackey said. "This has been a live-changing thing for me. It has changed the way I eat, the way I think about eating.
"Exercising has given me more energy, and I think it has made me a better pastor. I’m not as tired now."
Today, Lackey weighs 243 pounds, a loss of 46 pounds. He went from a size 42 pants in the waist to a 36.
Lackey said it has been incredible for the church.
"We have actually seen a growth in our church through boot camp," Lackey said. "It’s almost like a small-group ministry meeting three-to-four times per week. We’ve seen some of these people in boot camp attend our church services now, and some have even joined our church."
Denise Dole has been attending boot camp since March 2012, when it started in the parking lot of a local gym.
Dole weighed 210 when she started, and today she weighs 158, a drop of 52 pounds.
"I feel great," Dole said. "I work out four times a week. I’m glad I initiated getting it started here at the church. I was interested in seeing how many we could get to come here for boot camp. With Chuck being diagnosed with diabetes was how it all got started."
Bonnie Filasek has been doing boot camp since June 2012. She has lost 40 pounds, and said this all has been life-changing.
"I feel so much better," Filasek said. "I’m eating healthier and leaving off the junk food. I drink water instead of soft drinks."
Della Baker has been part of boot camp since March 2012. She has lost 25 pounds.
"I feel the best I have ever felt," Baker said.
Filasek said the best part of boot camp is the friendships established.
"That makes me want to come back as much as how good I feel," Filasek said. "That’s a great part of this boot camp. We hold each other accountable."
Kim Tipton has been doing boot camp for the past six months. She has lost 25 pounds.
"I feel so much better," Tipton said. "When I first started, I could not run a lap. Now, I can run several laps."
Bridget Mingle has lost 25 pounds in just two months.
"This has been so life-changing for me," Mingle said. "I have a 1-year-old baby, and I can actually keep up with him now."
To learn more about this boot camp, check them out on Facebook at Calvary Baptist Bootcamp.