With driving music flooding the gymnasium at First Baptist Church in Lenoir City, women gathered excitedly to welcome the new year with some fun and exercise.
Jan. 1 was a worldwide workout for those involved in exercising program Refit. Streaming from Waco, Texas, where Refit is headquartered, participants from 49 states and 33 countries worked up a good sweat.
“Today is a really good opportunity for people to just check out Refit and see what it really is all about,” Quinna Hatfield, FBC member and Refit instructor, said. “We’re going to be led by the founders of Refit, who are in Waco, Texas, so it’s just kind of a good opportunity to come together. This is a worldwide event, so people all over the world are doing this together today just to get a good start on the year.”
FBC offers Refit at 6 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Sabrina Stamper, worship assistant and Refit instructor, has helped lead the way for the program locally for four years. The class brings in 20 or 30 participants depending on the season, she said.
“We have a lot of visitors to the church because of Refit and we’ve had several join the church as Refit as their door into First Baptist,” Stamper said. “We conclude every class with prayer and devotion and (we have a) community group that we chat through Facebook Messenger, things like that, small groups that we encourage and love on each other, so it doesn’t just happen within these walls.”
Prayer and devotion is the most important aspect, she said.
There is also a fellowship factor with classes, which Stamper said is why some attend.
“There’s something about when you sweat it breaks down a barrier, I think, and I don’t know, Refit is about fitting in — doesn’t matter your fitness level, body size, age, anything,” she said.
Hatfield has been a Refit instructor for about a year, but her ties to the class date go back three or four years.
“First of all, anybody can do this,” Hatfield said. “You can come in here at any age, shape, weight, whatever, and come do this, because you can modify it however you want to. It’s fun. When I actually first started doing it, I would just stand and kind of step in place just to figure it out, but anyone can do this. It doesn’t really matter if you’ve ever worked out before in your life, you can do this, and it’s so much fun. The music is fun. The women here are really the reason I like to do this because they’re just a family. We’re just a complete family here. We’re here to support each other. We’re never going to get judged here. We pray for each other. We take care of each other.”
Getting involved in the program is simple and easy regardless of age, Nicole Burgess, Refit instructor in west Knox County, said. Burgess worked out with the Lenoir City group and pointed to people as young as their early 20s and as old as 77.
“Refit is all about everybody is welcome and fitness is for everybody and every body,” Burgess said. “So it doesn’t matter about your experience, it doesn’t about your fitness level, your age, your background, your beliefs or whatever. Everyone is welcome. ... The thing that drew me to Refit was the music. I didn’t enjoy other fitness music choices and the moves that they would pair with that, so this was something that I felt like I could do and have fun and not walk away going, ‘That lyric in that song made me uncomfortable’.”