AN EXERCISE group launched by Narooma resident April Creed on Facebook in March this year now has more than 50 members spread across the globe.
“I am amazed that what started out as an idea to help me lose weight and get fit has taken off the way it has,” April said this week.
“We now have 54 members, 30 of them locals, and others are from Melbourne, Sydney, Wollongong, Canberra, Queensland – even New Zealand and Florida USA. There are four male members,” she said.
There is now a Narooma group running together in the mornings and a Dalmeny group of walkers.
April called the Facebook page “Get It Happening Group for people with brains (and a sense of humour)”.
There is no cost involved, and the only investment is enthusiasm.
“What started as morning walks rapidly turned into morning runs!" says 38-year-old mother of two, Naomi Crowther.
"As we gained fitness we also gained confidence, without having to be dressed in co-ordinating garb, drive to a gym, pay fees or be part of a multi-national weight loss regime.
“It's just a few ladies who happen to be connected by a similar dream – to get together and get fit. Surreptitiously it's ended up being so much more than that – friendships have been forged based on and our drive to achieve the same goal, and our mutual respect.
“Any parent who can get out of a warm bed after a night of broken sleep and be at the wharf by 5.45am deserves respect!"
The girls say that one morning when five of them were running, they counted 15 children between them.
Naomi said that for the rest of the day after running, the participants experienced a genuine “feel good” factor which gave body and mind a real boost, a feeling of empowerment based on a simple achievement.
She added that founder and group leader April Creed had “an infectious positivity, and her ability to motivate other members is nothing short of inspirational."
Group members stay in touch by posts on the Facebook event wall. Some members post their weekly weight loss, while others prefer to message April privately.
“Collectively we have lost the weight of nearly three adult men and again, collectively, what we have gained in self-esteem is unquantifiable,” April said.