Community Captains of the Month December

Community Captains of the Month December: Team REFIT

Active SWV is proud to have REFIT Beckley as part of our team so we would like to say “Thank You” by declaring Team REFIT as Community Captains of the Month. Team REFIT joined Active SWV in July of 2017 and have been growing and going strong ever since. Classes have expanded from one location to three and now REFIT is available 6 days week. Please join us in celebrating the wonderful work of these women and their dedication to making a happier health community.

View the current schedule of REFIT classes on the Active SWV Events Calendar.

Community Captain Sandy

“My name is Sandy Lawson and I live in Prosperity. I am married and have four children and two grandchildren. My journey to become healthier began about two years ago. My husband and I are foster parents and we adopted our little girl two years ago and it hit me, I need to be around for her and any future children that come in our home. I started to look for a workout that was fun and that I would enjoy. I found REFIT®️ through a friend and loved it. They have a no judge zone and the classes are for everybody. I became an instructor this year and enjoy teaching my own class. Becoming an Active SWV Community Captain is great support for REFIT®️.”

Advice from Sandy

Getting the people of southern WV active again is so important for the health of our state. I would encourage someone who wants to get healthy but doesn’t know where to start to just do it. Make the first step by trying a class. Remember that you are worth the workout!

Community Captain Jennifer

“I was born and raised in Indiana, but have lived in West Virginia for the past 14 years. I ended up in this beautiful state when I met and married my awesome husband Brian who is from here.

November 21, 2013 will always be a date I will remember. I got a phone call from Indiana saying my sister, who was only 32, had passed away. We later learned it was from a massive heart attack. I was in so much disbelief because she was so young. My heart was absolutely broken but it also made me to start thinking about me and where I was physically I was severely overweight, not exercising or eating right, and knew things had to start changing because I was heading down that same road. That’s when I slowly started making changes. At first, I started to modify what I was eating and started walking. I really wanted to start working out more so I went to YouTube to find something I could do and found REFIT® that is where it all began.

I searched for local REFIT® classes in our area but there were no instructors or classes nearby so I continued to just use the YouTube videos at home but thought so many others needed this in their lives and wanted to bring REFIT® to our community so others could experience the same thing I did. I became a certified REFIT instructor to show others that working out can be fun, and you can see results, in an environment that welcomes and accepts you regardless of where they are on their fitness journey. We are so happy to have REFIT® in our community now for over 3 years. We were truly happy that we were offered the opportunity to team up with Active SWV to further let our community know we are here and ready go along your fitness journey with them. We are also excited to see our surrounding communities beginning to experience this life changing fitness!!

“I stay motivated through the community we have within REFIT® here locally through our amazing instructor team, our loyal participants and the Refit home office in Texas. They are always inspiring and encouraging each of us to keep moving forward.”

I think people should join an Active SWV program because it’s right at your fingertips allowing you to become part of a team that will encourage you and run alongside of you. I am very thankful that I get to share REFIT® with those in Beckley, WV. We would love for you to join us at REFIT®. We offer a place where you can be the best you, offering fitness that is fun and truly for EVERYBODY.”

Advice from Jennifer

To those who have thought about going to a class and are nervous about it, there is no judgement here, we have all been there and are still on our journeys, so fight back those fears and give it a chance you won’t regret it! I’m very thankful that I get to share this program with others it didn’t feel right keeping something so awesome to myself. I just had to let others know how fun and exciting working out can be!! I am very happy to be a Community Captain for Active SWV to allow those in our community to experience fitness and have fun doing it!

Community Captain Elizabeth

“My name is Elizabeth Phipps. I am 35 years old and I live in Raleigh WV. I am a mother of a 9 year old boy and I have worked at the Raleigh County Public Library since I was 14. After I had my son, I began to put on a lot of weight and eventually was at 270 lbs. It had gotten to the point that just walking up the stairs caused me to be out of breath. I started to realize that it was time to do something about the weight and the way I felt. Not only was the weight a physical issue but also a mental issue because I was struggling with how I looked and was constantly unhappy with myself. After hearing about REFIT® through my church, I decided to give it a try and fell in love with the program and the community that was being built. I decided to become an instructor after much pushing by my fellow instructors (I am an introvert so being in front leading class was very hard). After doing this, I followed through with becoming an ACTIVE SWV Community Captain because I wanted to be able to share this exercise program for free with my local community. This has been one of the best decisions I have ever made because it has helped me to grow so much over the past few years.”

Advice from Elizabeth

Being able to help people work their bodies and minds has been so wonderful and I have enjoyed watching people change not only physically but also mentally. Seeing participants gain confidence in themselves has been such a blessing. If you are on the fence about participating in a physical activity, don’t hesitate. Yes, the first step is scary and hard, but once you do it, you won’t regret it.

Community Captain Allonna

“I am originally from Wyoming County (Mullens), but now live in the Beckley area. I wear many hats in addition to REFIT instructor, wife, mom to 3 boys (2 of which are home schooled with the help of my mom), office manager/nurse for a major home health company. I like to be busy, and I pretty sure I have that covered.

Growing up as a child, I always loved the outdoors, hiking, swimming, fishing. As I started having kids, and learning to juggle busy schedules, I let those things go. I let doing things for myself go. I didn’t feel like I had time for those things in my schedule. Some of these things, my kids did not enjoy, so it became easier not to. Spring of 2017 I began having some health issues, and a stern warning from my physician that if I did not get myself straightened out, I was going to be on long-term medication. My kids were older, so I started looking for things in my schedule, I could say NO to, to allow myself some time to work on my health. I started attending REFIT classes in April of 2017, and although I was very out of shape, I had a successful workout that I enjoyed. I immediately noticed the atmosphere, was unlike any I had experienced in any other format. I had never felt so welcome. I committed to one day a week, and eventually worked my way up to two. I have lost 60 pounds, and my health concerns are no longer an issue.

REFIT partnered with Active SWV in July of 2017. At that time, I was not an instructor. When I received the Active SWV schedule, I immediately noticed the wide array of programs offered. Every one of these programs are family friendly. I always heard people say, “there is nothing to do here.” If you take one look at the Active SWV line-up, I do not see how you can say that. Meeting other community captains, and getting to know them, every one of them has a heart to see you be successful in your workout or activity. After becoming an instructor for REFIT in January, we began looking at ways to expand our class schedule. I became led to offer a Saturday am class, and with the support of my family, and REFIT teammates, that became possible.”

“I chose Active SWV, because I know all the Community Captains and this program are trying to provide family friendly, welcoming activities, for anyone regardless of your fitness level.”

Advice from Allonna

Everyone has to have a starting place, so why not have your starting place where you will feel welcomed and supported. We’d love to have you come try out a REFIT class and cheer you on from start to finish.

Community Captain Amber

“My name is Amber Fuller. I’ve been married for almost fourteen years to my husband Chuck and we have an eight-year-old daughter, Isabella. I’ve been a Developmental Specialist for the WV Birth to Three program for 15 years. I enjoy exploring history, reading and being creative. I’m not a musician, but have a soundtrack to my life and may break out in song at any moment. I have way too many hobbies, so I am a Jill of all trades, master of none! I’m originally from McDowell county, but have lived in Raleigh County most of my life. Since I was young I’ve always enjoyed being outdoors in nature. I feel the most alive when I see the beauty around me.”

Throughout my school years I was always very active, but unfortunately I let life and responsibilities become an excuse to become stationary. In April 2015, I heard about an exercise class called REFIT® that my friend Jennifer was going to be instructing. I had seen the transformation in her and wanted that for myself. I decided that I would commit to a month worth of classes, because commitment to exercise had always been an issue for me. When I attended my first class I immediately fell in love with the atmosphere. I felt excited and energetic after every class. Fast forward to March 2016 when I decided I wanted others to experience what I had and I became a certified instructor. I now teach two classes a week and love every minute of it!”

“I am active because I want to set an example for my daughter who is eight and to encourage others that it’s okay to take time for you! You can’t pour into other people’s lives if you are empty. Being active with my friends, family and REFIT® community gives me so much joy and is a natural stress reliever!”

I wanted to volunteer with Active SWV because they share our heart and vision for our community. We want to provide easy to access exercise programs that are open to everyone! By partnering with Active SWV we hope that many more people will see the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Honestly, staying motivated can be the hardest part of any journey. For me I take it day by day and it involves a lot of positive self-talk. Having the support of those around me, always pushes me forward. Our REFIT® participants also keep me motivated because I see the changes in them and their dedication to grow.

Being active is a priority for me because I want to be around for my family and I want to be the best me. Living an active lifestyle has helped me emotionally, spiritually, and physically. It’s so much more then what you see on the outside, it changes the whole person. I am happier and more productive when I’m active, which benefits all areas of my life!

Why do you think someone should join a free Active SWV/REFIT program?

There isn’t enough space to list all the reasons why! I believe that by joining a program you will not only find activities to increase your health, but also build relationships. You will find that what started as a first step in your journey will turn into a life changing experience. Everyone deserves to live their best life and to live it to the fullest.

At REFIT® our focus isn’t all about weight loss, it’s about being weightless. As you take off the stresses of the day and things that way you down, your physical body begins to reap the benefit. Our easy-to-follow formula is perfect for both beginners and fitness enthusiasts, with workouts designed for everybody and every body—regardless of age, shape, size, or ability. The best part is the connections you’ll make with others.

Do you have any words of encouragement for people thinking of becoming a Community Captain or interested in committing to becoming more physically active?

Just take the step and do it! It has been one of the best decisions we made for REFIT® Beckley. Just in the past two weeks we have seen a substantial increase in the number of participants and interest in adding REFIT® to other areas. We have been getting amazing reports from those who are attending class and seeing changes from the inside out. If you are looking to be more physically active, the activities provided by Active SWV are free, fun, and open to everyone! What more could you want?


Contact the Active Southern West Virginia staff to learn more. Email [email protected], call (304)254-8488, or come by our office in Beckley.

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