Fitness day gives spouses chance to develop physical resilience
Sandra Smith (front) and others dance during a Zumba session as part of the Spouse Deployment Fitness Day Sept. 10 in the Applied Fitness Center. (US Army photo by Daniel Cernero, III Corps and Fort Hood Public Affairs)

FORT HOOD, Texas - Spouse Deployment Fitness Day, a quarterly event hosted by the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation and Army Community Services, provided spouses sessions to promote physical resilience among other topics on the morning of Sept. 10 at the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Training Facility.

During the event, topics of the sessions included Zumba, yoga, self defense, culinary arts, relationship enrichment and financial resilience.

"We interviewed 300 spouses at MSAP (Military Spouse Appreciation Day)," said Stephanie Mello, Mobilization and Deployment specialist with ACS, "and they came back and said they wanted something more physical."

Despite what the name of the day might suggest, the event was open to more than just spouses of Soldiers currently deployed.

"The title is Spouses Deployed Fitness, but that's because they're always in some cycle of deployment; whether it's sustainment or employment, they're in somewhere in that deployment cycle," Mello said. "And that's one of the things they need to understand, too, it's not just when your Soldier's gone, you need to take care of yourself through all of the cycles, including when they're back.

"There are just too many things out there for Families to use to have them fail. We set them up for success, not for failure."

In the self-defense session, Walter Alvarado demonstrated simple techniques and how they can apply to real-life situations.

"The self-defense class is an awesome class, because he (Alvarado) doesn't just talk about beating someone up," Mello explained. "He talks about situational awareness -- in your home, in the parking lot, where you work -- and how to take care of yourself. Last time I think he dislocated his thumb; that's how into it he gets."

Alvarado said he uses the 40-minute session to show the spouses ways to react in a threatening situation.

"I just want them to get a sense of awareness and a sense of confidence that when somebody grabs you or goes to attack you, that person is not in control; you are," Alvarado said. "If you remain calm, you can get yourself out of any situation."

Nicole Boudin-Beasley, whose husband is currently deployed, said she chose the self-defense session because she is from Canada and doesn't have any friends or Family here.

"He was very informative," Boudin-Beasley said, "and he also explained everything -- the good and the bad, about certain positions."

Alvarado added, "We want to do things that are simple and uncomplicated. We always want to use strength to try to win something, when we don't need to use strength. All we have to rely on is our mind; it's the strongest thing we have."

Sergeant 1st Class William Loggins, the operational noncommissioned officer-in-charge of the CSFTF, said that events like the Spouse Deployment Fitness Day are a great way of showing off the facilities.

"It's not just a great promotional opportunity for us to get all of the services we have available here," he said, "but anytime we can do a community event where we're getting spouses and whoever else wants to join, it's something that's needed."

He added, "The fact that we have the ability to host this here (at the CSFTF) and provide all of these services is a great tribute of not just command philosophy at Fort Hood, but the ACS and all of the supporting agencies as well."

At the CSFTF, Loggins explained that they are equipped to provide a holistic education for its patrons.

"We don't just show you what to eat and how to work out," he said, "but how to prepare your food as well. And it's free; go pay for that somewhere and see how much it costs."

Page last updated Thu September 15th, 2011 at 00:00