FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- About a dozen people earned a grand prize at the quarterly Cardio Fitness Challenge at Fortenberry-Colton Physical Fitness Facility June 16 - a sense of accomplishment.

The challenge included half-hour sessions of jump rope and cardio strength intervals and a one-hour Zumba session. For some, it was their first time participating in the events.

"I've never tried jump rope before," military spouse Alyssa Allen said. "I'm probably going to make it a regular thing for me now. It was a lot of fun and really challenging."

People weren't required to participate in all three events, but some wanted to test themselves and push their limits.

George Roberts said he enjoyed the challenge and always looks for something to push him out of his comfort zone.

"It was tough, but it was fun," he said. "I'm a cardio person and always up for a challenge. If something's going to push my limit, I want to do it."

Jump rope instructor Jo Van Aswagen Walker said she was impressed with the participants, especially those who had never tried jump rope before.

"I think it's great to see people challenge themselves," she said. "I hope this means they'll want to come back and start taking my class."

Aimee McDonough instructed the CSI portion of the challenge, but also wanted to participate in the Zumba session because it "is something fun and different." She and her daughters, Jordan and Alex, joined the group after the CSI challenge ended.

"This is a great thing for stay-at-home moms who want to get or stay in shape," she said. "Being able to do it like this gives people an opportunity to see what is available and lets them see if they want to continue."

Military spouse Kim Krogh and her daughter, Mary Ashley, also thought the challenge was a great way to spend time together. Mary Ashley is attending Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Ga., this fall.

"This is a good thing to do for parents and children," Kim said. "I really appreciate the gym trying different things and giving us a variety of activities to choose from. It's also really great for calorie burning."

Zumba instructor Amanda DeJesus said most of those participating in the final session were regular Zumba class members, but the new faces made an impression on her.

"Half of the (participants) were my normal group. They usually make me pretty happy because they really get into it," she said. "Some of the others were really having a good time, too, and I hope they decide to come back and take my class regularly."

Each month, Fortenberry-Colton staff offers a different challenge type, Physical Fitness Program Coordinator Caroline Driscoll said. Next month the challenge is spinning, followed by yoga in August.