JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. -- More than 250 people got out of bed early Saturday for extreme exercise.

Rows and rows of men and women lined the gym at Wilson Sports and Fitness Center on Lewis North for the Sixth Annual Joint Base Lewis-McChord Aerobathon.

"Everybody has their niche of what they like to do," said instructor Sharon Morejon. "They rarely venture outside of their comfort zone, so this is a great way to get people to look at our programs."

The Aerobathon highlighted six classes offered at the various fitness centers on the installation, beginning with a Zumba warm-up at 9 a.m. Zumba is a popular Latin dance-inspired fitness program. Other classes were ABSolutely (focusing on the core), Zumba, body conditioning and cardio kickboxing. The event ended with yoga.

There were short breaks during which aerobathoners ate snacks, re-hydrated and received massages on the sidelines.

Some attended the event for individual classes while others were there for the entire three-hour program. The Aerobathon was also beneficial for instructors. Andrea Van Leer is a Zumba instructor at Sheridan Sports and Fitness Center and had never attended a fellow instructor's class outside of Zumba until the Aerobathon.

Zumba proved to be the most popular of the classes highlighted. Laura Rodela is new to Zumba and the number of people in the gym proved to make it more of a challenge.

"There were just too many people and we couldn't see what the instructor was doing. So we kind of went off on our own," she said.

While the aerobics were in progress, indoor cycling classes were going on during the same time. Rodela and her friend Jess Van Wendel decided to participate in more than one of the cycling classes.
Doug Levien, active in intramural sports and recreational athletics, attended the Aerobathon to increase flexibility to help prevent injuries. Levien participated in all three hours of exercise.

"It's a good way to get into better shape," he said. "Going three hours straight working different parts of the body is a pretty good workout."

Somer Breeze-Hanson: somer.breeze-hanson@nwguardian.com