JBSA-FORT SAM HOUSTON –
Retired Army 1st Sgt. Al Rodriguez clutches a weight and does crunches in the circuit training taught by Jorge Chavez, a personal trainer at the Fitness Center on the Medical Education and Training Campus.
A few stations down, Auralee Ramos, a military wife tackles push-ups. They both count on one of three fitness centers on Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston to meet their fitness goals.
"I have lost 30 pounds since I started this program seven months ago," Rodriguez said. "It alleviates some of the pain from the ailments I have like arthritis and knee injuries. It helps me stay strong."
It is classes like Chavez' circuit training that have earned the fitness program on Fort Sam Houston top honors, recently selected as AETC Fitness and Sports Program of the Year for the 2012 A1 Awards Program. The program now moves to the Air Force-level competition.
Among the facilities available for service members, their families, retirees and civilian employees are the Fitness Center at the METC, the Jimmy Brought Fitness Center with an indoor pool, the Central Post Gym and the Aquatic Center. The Fitness Center at the METC has an indoor elevated track and like the Jimmy Brought, has multiple basketball courts.
Personal attention, whether in a circuit class or on a weight machine, is the hallmark of the fitness program.
At the Jimmy Brought, lead recreation assistant Shane Sheffield works with Melissa Cadena, who pushes herself to keep working out and even comes with a buddy. A civilian contractor, Cadena works at the Fort Sam Houston Wounded Soldier and Family Hotline Resource Center.
"It's nice to have freedom to work out here," Cadena said. "The hours are great and the facility is nice. It really works with my schedule. It is a great way to start my day."
Some of the most popular events are the upcoming New Year's Eve 5K at midnight Dec. 31 at the Jimmy Brought, as well as the Doggie Dip and the World's Largest Swim Lesson at the Fort Sam Houston Aquatic Center and the NFL Pick at the Fitness Center at the METC, which is in full swing.
"I would say I'm most proud of the staff for the front desk customer service they bring every day," said Ken Hack, director at the Fitness Center at the METC.
The intramural, varsity sports and adaptives programs provide opportunities from badminton and bowling to soccer and flag football.
The Fitness Center at the METC hosted the first-ever Air Force Boxing Championship on JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, while the Jimmy Brought celebrated the anniversary of the Air Force with an inaugural birthday 2-miler at MacArthur Parade Field.
A smattering of familyfriendly programs like the mini-Olympics at the Fitness Center at the METC gave children at Fort Sam Houston's Child Development Centers an opportunity to compete for their own gold medals.
The Turkey Trot at the Jimmy Brought starts the holiday eating season with a healthy run for competitive athletes and trotters alike.
The triathlons from June to September assure there is no lull in the opportunities for fitness on JBSA-Fort Sam Houston.
The Jimmy Brought also supports several paralympics events throughout the year.
"We have been undergoing construction to continue to meet the growing needs of our community and through it all we have maintained impeccable customer service, with an energetic and motivated staff," said Doug Price, director, Jimmy Brought Fitness Center. "They wear dual hats both as lifeguards and certified personal trainers.
"We provide top-ofthe- line programs that directly impact more than 3,000 customers a day. Our central location makes us a convenient facility to service the majority of the population on base," Price added.
The new year will bring Get Lean in 2013, a weight loss challenge at the Jimmy Brought, the Polar Bear Aquathon at the Aquatic Center and the Frosty 5K Jan. 26 at the Fitness Center on the METC.
In 2013, the newly renovated Central Post Gym will reopen and the Jimmy Brought Fitness Center will complete a weight room expansion with a mezzanine, adding 3,600 square feet in work out space.