Dickerman's Blog


APRIL 22, 2019

Week three is all over and the contestants are now 1/5 of the way through the program.  The word for this week definitely has to be energy.  There is an energy that is flowing through all of the contestants.  Everyone can feel it.  The contestants are like that famous rabbit that just keeps going and going.

What a week it has been.  I started out on Sunday as all the contestants met with trainers and alumni at Saint Frances to run in the Formula for Life 5K.  The afternoon was cold and rain threatened, but you couldn't sense that from the contestants.  Their energy was generating heat and excitement.  Normally they have been three weeks in the program before this 5K but this year they have only been working out for two weeks but that was no excuse.  They came on strong.  Every single contestant crossed the finish line in under 1 hour.  As they came around the final turn there was an excitement as they finished the race strong and were excited with what they accomplished.

Monday night the contestants returned to Saint Frances.  They weren't there for a race but rather for a special session when students gave them cooking lessons on healthy ways to prepare meals.  Olive Twist was also there to help them see how adding special flavors can keep their food healthy but full of flavor.  This is so important.  Most of the flavor that we are use to that makes our food enjoyable to eat comes from fats and sugars which has gotten us into the problem we are facing.  Just removing them from our diet isn't enough.  Most people think of healthy eating as blan and unenjoyable.  That is why it is hard to stay on a healthy eating habit.  This class helps to show that food can be both healthy and flavorful.  As each person develops this flavorful way of cooking their desires for the old unhealthy foods can go away as they look forward to eating this new healthier food.

Tuesday brought in a new week of training.  By the end of the week the alumni were checking their calendars.  They felt for sure the workouts were what they usually got in week four and five, are you sure this was week three. Mari and Josh brought in the intensity.  They started with the activities from last week but then upped the levels of it.  At the end all that was missing was some special music.  They had the contestants moving back and forth as fast as the can and then doing the speed skater exercise.  Watching the contestants do those exercises just may people imagine taking a video of it and setting it to music it would be very interesting to watch.

Wednesday CeCe came bringing on what she promised.  Finally the contestants got to put on their boxing gloves and started beating up the wall.  That poor wall was just standing there bothering no one, but here was a long line of contestants and alumni getting into their boxing stance and giving the wall the one-two punch over and over again. At the end CeCe invited all to take a seat.  The only thing is that there was no chairs they had to do the famous wall sit.  Wall sits are hard enough but doing them at the end of an intense workout is even worse.  How did the contestants respond? CeCe keeps telling people to smile to help them out, but the contestants went one step further.  As they were fighting staying down for the wall sit they broke out into singing to help keep them going.  This group is something else.  They use everything they can to keep on going.

Thursday was another weekly episode of "As the Pool Churns." The water never had time to stay calm.  The contestants were kept in active motion using their muscles to keep moving against the resistance of the water.  When anyone walked into the pool area they could just feel the energy coming from the pool.

Friday brought the first of many station days.  The teams were rotated different stations facing new activities from the trainers at the station.  In the gym area CeCe would have one team doing boxing against the wall, while another team was alternating between squats at the benches to stepping up and high kneeing on those benches.  Off from the court Tina was in happy spirits as she introduced everyone to her favorite parties - party trains.  That is having the contestants going up and down the stairs.  In the backroom Virgil had rotations for the teams to do Army crawls, ladder runs, and ball slams.  In the other section of the back room Rick was in his heavenly places as he had the contestants work with pushing the sleds.  All the trainers were definitely enjoying the stations of the day.  The contestants, well the contestants were encouraging one another to help each other conquer the challenges at each station.

Week three high intensity and high energy, both were contagious.  Three weeks down and the question is what is coming next week as the intensity increases even more.


APRIL 14, 2019

Week two has now come and gone.  Another successful week in the books for Season 11 as they are going back to the basic.  The basic word for this week is 'TEAM'. Yes there is an attitude of competition in the naming of the program but no one sees any other as the competition.  Through out the week the idea has been presented by the participants that they are in this together and are there for each other.

Monday night was their first official result weigh-in for the season.  The members of season 11 came in for the weigh-in with a since of excitement.  There was a desire to see what the first week had accomplished in their bodies.  There was no holding back as each one quickly went up to get on the scales and hear the results.  To celebrate this special weigh-in each contestant received a paper showing the number of pounds they had lost.  The cheers were loud as each contestant saw a loss and all their fellow participants celebrate their success. Everyone wanted to see how much each person lost and cheer their success. This weigh in saw a great number of ladies losing more than 10 pounds and one lady set the record for the most weight loss in one week of FWSW by a lady. Everyone had a successful first week and the celebration was very special at the weigh-in.

Tuesday morning came and thus began the second week of workouts.  It was nosier on the courts this week.  The contestants were right at it cheering each other on.  They were one team doing all they could to help motivate each other.  They were told to be there by 5:45 to stretch before workout at 6:00.  Apparently some of them need new watches.  At 5:15 there was already a contestant there stretching and by 5:30 there was over half there.  They were doing all they could to get as much as possible out of the program as possible.  As the workout continued they were back to the things they were doing last week but with the intensity increased.  They also added in some moving and standing squats.  Legs were definitely being pushed.

Wednesday had CeCe back in the gym with them. It was felt that CeCe's sweet quiet voice needed help so someone brought her a megaphone to use. CeCe's intensity and desire for the best for all could be seen as she kept pushing the contestants to go through varies marches.  She was making sure they had the form correct.  The increased intensity was also seen as more moments of "Wetting your beaks" were given to all who were exercising.  Team Red showed the meaning of team work as for one of their marches they marched together in tempo encouraging each other to faithfully traverse the court in perfect form.

Thursday back to the pool.  Some of the contestants actually believed that being in the pool meant you didn't need to bring water.  By the end of the session everyone was grabbing for bottles of water to drink.  Josh came adding new routines for the pool never done by any other FWSW season.  One of the alumni in the pool admitted that they don't remember the second week of the pool being as intense as this workout was.  It was intense but everyone in the pool showed their determination and never gave up.  They went in as a team and came out as a team.

Friday saw something different.  As everyone was doing their warm-up walks around the courts mats were being put down on the court. Were they going back in Kindergarten and going to be receiving a nap time this morning? CeCe's plans were as far as removed from rest as possible.  The workout today was low impact. No marching. Everything was done stretched out on the floor.  They had to do leg raises and leg bends.  Sounds easy, but try laying on your side and keep your leg straight up in the air. It is very tiring but everyone fought through to keep those legs up.  Then CeCe gave their legs a break.  Everyone got to roll on their back.  First they had to do crunches making sure to use just their abs.  After doing enough crunches for CeCe everyone moved on to full sit-ups.  The day ended with CeCe having everyone go into a plank and holding it.  No buts in the air, no buts dangling down.  Keep the back straight and stay up.  Many wondered if they could do it but they proved that they can.

Friday's workout came to an end finishing their second week. No time to rejoice over success as they were told what was to come next week.  CeCe is planning on teaching them proper squats.  Their walking will start turning into jogging and stairs will be added.  "Stairs, stairs, did someone stay stairs?" said Tina as visions of party trains flashed through her mind.  CeCe also promised the start of one of her favorite things to have people do - wall sits.  Yes things will definitely be increased next week, but that is next week and they will all be ready.  Right now it is just time to do the extra workouts and prepare for what is to come.  Speaking of what is to come all will be heading to St. Frances tomorrow to take part in their first 5K.  No high speed running but they will get the experience of feeling what it is like to take part in a race.  They will be there as a team supporting one another.  They will be there helping a good cause benefited by the race.

Week two is over and the individuals have definitely bonded into a team.  They are a team there for one another. They are a team to help all cross the finish line with success.


APRIL 7, 2019

The courts are alive with sweet CeCe's voice. New contestants are learning the lyrics to her favorite phrases "If it was easy, everyone would do it" and "If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you." The FWSW family singers are alive and in good voice early in the mornings at Spiece Fieldhouse. 

Season 11 has started and 25 new contestants are beginning their journey of changing the future of their lives.  The theme this year is 'Back to the Basic." Our world is look for the new miracle ways of losing weight without having to give up any of the favorite things.  They are looking for the magic pill or easy exercise routine that offers fantastic results with no sweat.  The problem is there is no such thing and what is needed is to return to the basics.  In returning to the basics there are also basic words that need to become true to the heart of those who want to succeed. 

The word for the first week of the program would have to be 'Commitment.'  Nothing will happen if you are not committed to make it happen. These 25 contestants have made the commitment to change their lives.  The commitment started when they decided to stop sitting back and letting life control them and instead to get up and take control of their lives.  Their commitment started with going through the painful process of applying for the program where they had to be honest with where they were and how they were the ones who got them there.  Then they received that special call from Tina telling them they had been accepted into the season 11 family.  They then had no time to rest, they had to become commitment and start taking control of their lives to do the program.  They had to come in one Saturday morning to get their flexibility excessed and then return the next day for a day full of pictures, pictures, orientation, and oh yes more pictures.  Still a week before the program actually started and they still had more to do.  They had to make appointments to go get their blood drawn for blood work to help show the effect the program will have on them.  Then they also had to go to Three Rivers Running Company and be evaluated for the best type of running shoes for them to wear.  No they just couldn't go to any store and pick up some cheap pair.  If they are to safely do the training they needed to be set up with the shoes best suited for their feet and running style. Then one last thing before the program could start.  They had to gather for their first Monday session to have their initial weight recorded in front of each other and many of the FWSW alumni.

Finally Tuesday, April 3 arrived and the process began.  6 AM sessions on the courts of Spiece.  This week the focus is on the basics they need to get back to the basic.  EJ was there showing the contestants stretching exercises they are to do before all training sessions so that they can have their muscles ready for the workout to come.  Such pleasant names these stretches have, IronCross, Scorpion, BirdDogs, and One Legged Toe Touches.  Then the workouts started. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday basically dealt with marching routines.  High knee marching with the arms and legs working together - opposite arm opposite leg - arms bent at 90 degree angels and hands going cheek to cheek. Then came the butt kicks - kicking your legs backwards as you move trying to get your heels as close to your butt as possible.  Then the Zombie or Frankenstein march with the legs kicking up straight - as high as possible.  Friday the intensity already started growing as they started learning how to do knee kicks and marching sideways in a squat position.  It may sound simple but it is hard work, especially to get the form right.  The contestants worked hard showing their commitment.  They concentrated on getting the form correct over trying to get to the other side as soon as possible.  One contestant always was the last one to cross one day, not because he was slow but because he was working hard on the form and took his time to get it right.  Some looking in might wonder why many of the times the contestants were moving forward with their hands held straight up.  The reason was to take control of their bodies and posture. Holding the arms straight up help to keep their chest out and back straight to give them the form they needed.

Thursday morning was their first day in the pool.  It wasn't any day at the beach.  Every second in that pool was movement going on which caused them to exert power over the resistance of the water.  By the time they ended their time in the pool much water had been splashed over the side. The warmth in the air felt like you were entering a sauna instead of a pool.

This week also included the contestants doing their first timed mile on the track.  The will do other miles to show their progress through the program.

How committed are the contestants? Many of the contestants get to Spiece extra early making sure they are warmed up and ready for the workout awaiting them in the morning.

This year a new part of the program has been added.  The contestants are also required to take some of the group classes at Spiece.  This is allowing Spiece to show in an even greater way their commitment to the program.  They are making sure to have the classes properly staffed to help the contestants as well as the members in the group classes.  The members themselves are also using this new opportunity to show their support for the program by welcoming the contestants into the classes and seeing it as another way to encourage them on their journey.

The contestants have definitely gone back to the basic of commitment.  They are showing their commitment to the opportunity FWSW offers them to take back control of their lives. You can also go to the basic of commitment by making a commitment to truly follow their journey and do all you can to encourage them.  Read their blogs, talk with them, encourage them for the days will get tough but all who commitment to encourage them can help them through those days.