By Diana Giraldo, Reporter
The idea began with a passing thought that stemmed from a yearning for unity; “You know what Clovis needs? Clovis needs more information about what we have available to us here in the area that’s healthy.”
Catherine Reeg knew from experience starting a healthy lifestyle with no resources was difficult. She wanted to find a way for people in the community of all ages and fitness levels to converge with locals in the health industry. She knew this way those who were working toward a healthy life would have a network of people who could help them reach their goals.
“We wanted to encourage people to enjoy the trails and the parks,” Reeg said. “We want to encourage them to just take that one small step that will motivate and empower them to continue.”
With this one wish Get Fit Clovis, a health fitness challenge that encourages the Clovis community to begin working for a healthier tomorrow, was created.
Initially Reeg was thinking of the campaign to be solely based upon social media.
“It was just to get people talking over Facebook, Instagram and Twitter,” she said. “I wanted to have people in the community connect with each other and talk about health and fitness.”
But the idea began getting traction when Donna Melchor, publisher/owner of the Clovis Roundup Newspaper and Reeg’s mother, began asking people in the community if they were interested in a program like this.
“Everyone she talked to said it was a great idea and they would love to be a part of it,” Reeg said.
With each person they would receive feedback and Get Fit Clovis began to grow, developing into more than just a social media hashtag.
“It just kept snowballing until it became a whole campaign because of everyone’s input,” Reeg said. “When my mom got involved, my small idea kept gaining more and more traction. I just felt surprised by the desire in the community for something like this.”
Reeg wanted to initiate a program like Get Fit Clovis because when she began her fitness journey she faced many challenges. At 21, Reeg hit a turning point in her life when she looked at her birthday pictures and saw how much weight she had gained.
“I didn’t realize how big I was getting too because I always thought I was fat. I wasn’t healthy mentally either,” Reeg said.
She quickly began building a fitness routine. Starting by walking the dog, then eventually jogging and then working up to running for an extended period.
“The first time I felt the endorphins of running for a long time, like the runner’s high, I thought, ‘this is amazing!’” she expressed.
As Reeg was getting accustomed to her new lifestyle a new struggle was thrown her way. She found out she was lactose and gluten intolerant, which was also contributing to her weight gain.
“At first I thought, I’m not going to completely cut everything out,” Reeg said. “That didn’t work. It’s funny now that I think back to it because I didn’t realize how uncomfortable I was. It was the only way I was used to feeling. I didn’t know what it felt like to go one day without a stomach ache.”
Once she cut out the gluten and dairy from her diet she realized she felt better.
“At first it was so hard to find anything that fit into the non-dairy and gluten free category,” Reeg said. “It was still around the time people were seeing if gluten intolerance was even a thing, if it was real or just a fad. The restrictions were crazy. I just felt like I couldn’t eat anything.”
Reeg began looking more in depth into the world of health, fitness and nutrition. Her hobby quickly turned into a passion, and she decided to pursue a career in nutrition.
“I was doing all this exercising, but I didn’t know what to eat afterwards,” Reeg said. “I have always struggled with food in my life. That has been a very big thing for me because at first I wasn’t eating enough and then I was eating the wrong thing. I just didn’t know nutrition wise what to do.”
She began researching and reading articles that had to do with eating healthy but she felt like she had to go on a hunt for what she was looking for.
“Reliable information wasn’t there, and when you do find something you have to figure out what they are promoting; ‘Are they trying to sell me this protein shake, or this supplement?’” she said.
Now a few years since she began her new fitness-centric lifestyle, Reeg, now 23, has not only dropped from 170 to 130 pounds but she hopes to use her experience and convert it into a field of opportunity to help those beginning a lifestyle change.
“When I thought of Get Fit Clovis, I wanted the information that I was trying so desperately to find to be readily accessible for other people so they know where to start, or so they have a place to go to learn more” Reeg said.
Through Get Fit Clovis, Reeg hopes to build a community of people of the same interest who can help motivate each other to achieve their goals.
“I was running all the time and I was running alone and at night. I didn’t have anyone to go with,” Reeg said. “That goes into accountability too. People can make sure that the other person is also keeping to date with their workout.”
Through weekly Saturday meet ups, Reeg hopes people will have the opportunity to explore different exercises, talk to trainers about their goals and meet new people who they can exercise with.
“For example, crossfit,” she explained. “To me crossfit is intimidating. Especially when I was overweight, I didn’t want to try anything new because I felt so embarrassed. That’s why I wanted people through Get Fit Clovis to get out of their comfort zone and try something new in a positive and friendly environment.”
Every Saturday different trainers, nutritionists and other fitness experts will speak. People who want to join the challenge and participate in the weekly meets can sign up on the Get Fit Clovis website free of charge.
People who are not able to make the 7 a.m. meets will have the opportunity to see all of the action through a live stream that the Get Fit Clovis team will broadcast on social media.
Live streams will also be broadcasted through social media on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from the Undoubted Training facility, where Ruben Rodriguez will be showing different exercises. This will make it possible for people to follow along with the workouts, which will show different modifications of each exercise so people of all fitness levels can participate.
Through the Get Fit Clovis website Reeg also hopes to build a place for everyone, those who are aspiring to be healthier and those who are aspiring to build on what they have already achieved where they can find tips on nutrition and exercises. The website will be a platform where people can also see what’s going on in Clovis through an event calendar and discover different types of exercises and reputable information about nutrition.
People who want to participate in the social media challenge can tag their fitness and healthy eating pictures with #GetFitClovis.
“I love to see everyone’s posts. I like to see when people are out in the morning and they take a picture. I like see people’s selfies in the gym, just seeing what other people in the community are doing to stay active,” Reeg said. “And we repost what the people in Clovis are doing.”
At the end of the three months, August 27, there will be a big party for the finale at Sierra Vista Mall. Everyone that is participating in social media and the weekend meets will have the opportunity to win prizes for different achievements.
“My goal is to challenge the people in Clovis to start thinking more about health and to incorporate that into their day to day lives. I want to get everybody in Clovis as excited about health and fitness as I am,” Reeg said. “Clovis is such a tight knit community already, so I want to use that. I want everybody in the health and fitness industry to come together and help people who may feel intimidated and encourage them to come out and participate.”