Christiansburg Boot Camp battles against cancer
Traditionally, boot camps are used to provide men and women with the tools needed to defeat an enemy in battle.
Tuesday evening’s session at Christiansburg Primary School was no exception, as more than 40 people showed up at the school’s soccer fields to battle against one of humankind’s greatest enemies – breast cancer.
The group participated in the hour-long Boot Camp to Fight Breast Cancer put on by Boot Camp Challenge – New River Valley. All of the proceeds from the event support Jennifer Rush and her sister Lora Howard’s fundraising efforts for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.
Rush said when she and Howard learned their mother had been diagnosed with breast cancer about a year ago, she immediately wanted to do something to help. She said it was Howard who convinced her to take part in the two-day, 39-mile walk in Charlotte last year and attempt to raise $1,800 for the cause in their mother’s honor.
At the time Rush committed to the walk, she was already a part of Boot Camp Challenge – New River Valley, participating in various strength and cardio workouts in local parks and under the guidance of franchise owner and Drill Sergeant Jenifer Messer.
Messer said when she learned of Rush’s commitment, she offered to help by putting on the one-time, $10 class because one of her goals when she started her business was to be able to give back to the community.
She added that the event helped fight cancer not only by raising money for research, but also by promoting physical fitness which studies have shown reduce the risk of developing breast cancer or having it return once it’s in remission.
Once the course began, however, it was clear her goal shifted to making sure the participants got their money’s worth.
Beginning sharply at 6:30 p.m., Messer put the men and women through an hour of exercises including running, squatting, push-ups and sit- ups. Each exercise could be modified according to each individual’s fitness level and Messer provided a steady stream of Drill Sargent-like motivation.
Following the session, many of the group members lingered to discuss their enjoyment of the event, as well as to purchase a commemorative $15 T-shirt, from which the proceeds also went to the cause.
Del. Nick Rush, R-Christiansburg, who experienced an actual boot camp as a member of the Army’s 82 Airborne Division, said the workout was a lot of fun, though he seemed a little surprised by its intense nature.
“It was actually really tough,” Nick Rush said.
Jennifer Rush estimated that between workout fees, shirt sales, and donations, the group raised close to $1,000 to support the Avon Walk and the battle against breast cancer.
She added that anyone who would like to contribute to her walk can do so at her personal Avon Walk page or by searching for her name in the “Find a Walker” searching of www.AvonWalk.org.
The Roanoke Times | 381-1643
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