By Crystal Lewis Brown, Fort Jackson LeaderSeptember 21, 2011
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Nearly 200 Soldiers, civilians, family members and retirees did it in pink Saturday -- "it" meaning exercise, of course.
The group came together as part of Fort Jackson Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation's second "Do it in Pink" Aerobathon.
Organizers said the purpose of the event was to provide a fun exercise experience while promoting breast cancer awareness.
"Awareness is also a part of being fit," said Capt. Marla Washington, with Moncrief Army Community Hospitals' Army Public Health Nursing. Army Public Health Nursing, along with MACH's Surgical Clinic, joined the FMWR fitness department in planning and staffing the event.
"It was a perfect fit to combine everything together," she said.
The free event's only requirement was that participants wear something pink.
Along with three hours of non-stop moving -- post fitness instructors helped participants dance away the calories with soul line dancing, Zumba, African rhythm and island dance -- participants could have their body mass index and body fat numbers calculated by an FMWR trainer, pick up health information at one of the MACH booths, or take a break to have some fresh fruit and water.
Pamela Greene, FMWR's fitness programmer, said she thought the event was a success.
"I definitely found it motivating. I also found it inspiring; so many people coming together, having a blast of a good time. There was so much camaraderie, so much bonding, so much laughter," Greene said.
Willie Bennett, a military retiree who was one of a handful of men who came out to support the event, was decked out in a light pink T-shirt and pink socks.
Bennett, who regularly attends on-post fitness classes, said he tries to support all of the post's fitness events. This one, he said, was no different.
"I just do it because it's fun and it's for my health," he said. "I just like the atmosphere and the camaraderie."
Although Bennett said he thought he was in shape when he began regularly attending on-post fitness classes and events about four years ago, working with Greene took his fitness to another level.
"I came in and met Pam and Madge, and the rest is history," Bennett said, referring to Greene and Madge McNaboe, a nutritionist who works with Child, Youth and School Services.
Alsena Edwards, a family member and another fitness department regular, also came out to show her support for Saturday's event.
"In my family, we have high blood pressure, heart disease (and) breast cancer, so I try to get out here to stay fit," said Edwards, who said she has become somewhat of a spokeswoman for fitness in her family. "I try to support causes like this because of the health problems in my family."
Greene and Washington both said that in their day-to-day dealings, they often come across people who have been affected by breast cancer. Their hope, they said, is that events like the aerobathon will provide a one-stop shop where community members can learn about awareness, prevention and care, while having a good time.
"If we do it in pink, we're putting a spotlight on it," Greene said.
That goes for men, too, she said.
"Let your guard down and embrace this for your sister, your mom, your wife," she said. "Be proud of your pink."