Are you interested in improving your physical fitness? Labor day may be your chance.

Ashley Chappell, trainer for Camp Gladiator Athens, and Mabank Run Club are teaming up to host the 2019 Labor Day 5k/10K Run at 7:30 a.m. Monday, Sept. 2. Runners should report to the Mabank baseball fields at 420 South Park Blvd. Registration is free on the Mabank Run Club Facebook page.

“I come alive when I do this,” Chappell said.

Chappell's passion is fitness. She is a busy wife and mother, delivers mail by day, in an oven of a mail truck, and lives her dream in the wee hours of the morning and at night. How does she have the energy for all this? Fitness.

Born in Dallas, Chappell moved to Cedar Creek when she was 5 years old. Her love of fitness began with her participation in youth sports and cheer.  When she had children of her own, naturally she got them involved in sports.

However, something inside just seemed like it was missing.

Chappell joined gyms but just didn’t feel like she fit or knew what to do there. So when a friend invited her to a Camp Gladiator class she figured, why not?

Camp Gladiator is a fitness group consisting of a wide variety of individuals looking to improve their health and create a positive self image while reaching personal goals. Workouts are progressive and can be adjusted to be more or less difficult based on fitness level. Workouts consist of a one-hour program customizable to accommodate student's current abilities.

“I never really felt like I fit until C.G,” she said. “You miss feeling like you are part of a team as an adult. This helps you feel like you're part of something bigger again.”

As a mom, she valued the fact that it was family-friendly. She could bring the kids and not feel guilty, or she could leave them at home with dad for some “me-time.”

“Physical fitness is very important to me because it helps me be the best me I can be. I want to set a good example for my children,” she said.

When the instructors approached the students about those interested in becoming trainers, Ashley had already considered it.

“I thought I was crazy chasing a new dream at 35. No matter what age you are, if you really want it, put all your heart and hard work into it, you can do it.” Chappell said, a philosophy she instills in her students of all ages, genders, ethnicities and abilities.

They are a family and she stresses to them that they can do it. It is OK to do it at your own pace.

To be an instructor, Chappell had to attend an affiliate program, study under veteran trainers and gain their approval before going into the academy.

The day before her physical test, she was hit by an 18-wheeler crossing Hwy 175. She knew she had to take the test banged up and bruised. She showed up and was able to pass.

“I went after it, and I did it! I showed my children you can do anything you work hard for,” she said.

So how do you get involved?

Camp Gladiator is currently offering an annual special that allows the first four weeks of classes for only $10. Classes are offered all over the country, so if you travel, you can join a class anywhere they are offered.

In addition you can take as many local classes as you can handle.

Chappell hosts classes at Trinity Valley Community College Athens at 5 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and 5:30 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday. Additional sessions are available at 6:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays in Eustace.

Please contact Chappell for more information: ashleychappell@campgladiator.com or 903-880-8336.

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