Group of Flagler County Residents Start Free Outdoor Fitness Group

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We recently had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Brent Wattie, Jessica Escalante, Jessica Roy, Amelie Girard, and Raymond Hall about their most recent ventures. Not only are all of them Health, Wellness and Nutrition Coaches, but Amelie and Raymond have recently opened up the Beachfront Nutrition.

Founders of Flagler Outdoor Fitness in front of Beachfront Nutrition
Copyright Flagler County Buzz

On top of all of this they have created a community where anyone can come and join their free workout events. Whether they are wanting to be part of the Herbalife community or just looking for a group of like minded individuals to work out, their group welcomes anyone who wants to attend.

We asked them all what got them into fitness and the answers varied wildly. While Brent has always been into working out, even referring to himself as a, “gym rat”, others had different stories. Jessica Roy told us her journey started with wanting to lose weight she hadn’t been able to previously loose, and Jessica Escalante said her health and wellness journey started with a desire to fix some health issues.

Customer walking into Beachfront Nutrition in Flagler Beach
Copyright Flagler County Buzz

Four of the five people instrumental in the formation of the Flagler Outdoor Fitness group, moved here from Canada. Jessica Roy, Brent Wattie, Amelie Girard, and Raymond Hall all talked about how amazing it is to be in such a place as Flagler County/Palm Coast/Flagler Beach. Jessica Escalante told us how she had moved from New Jersey and wanted to take advantage of the weather here as it was so much nicer than in New Jersey. It was here she told us how the group kind of merged together, “I started a walking group and then they started the beach workouts and we just kind of merged together cause we all have the same mission. We are all in the same community and we are just so grateful to have people come out and join in the workouts and build friendships.”

We really wanted to find out more about their Flagler Outdoor Fitness group they started and why they were so willing to put in all of this time for free events. “Outdoors is free. If we give it’s going to come back to us. I just want a bigger community, and the more we will have an impact,” said Jessica Roy. Brent Wattie told us that it easier to reach people who don’t work out with free classes, and it allows them to help get more people moving in the community. Jessica Escalante talked about how really this is all about building relationships while helping people get up and move.

We asked Brent if helping people has always been a passion of his. “I didn’t know it at first, but then once you start helping people it makes you feel really proud, it’s touching really,” said Brent. Jessica Roy and Jessica Escalante also echoed that same sentiment.

For Jessica Roy she said that her inspiration is Jennifer Mitcheli, who is now older and is working with the older community in her area to help seniors stay moving longer. She told us how that is something she hopes to aspire to when it comes to helping people.

The Flagler Outdoor Fitness group currently offers a moms walk twice a week in the evenings, Monday’s at 6pm on Lehigh Trail and Wednesdays at 5pm at Waterfront Park. They also do Sunrise walks on Mondays and Wednesdays and every other Sunday at 6:30am starting at Wadsworth park and walking over the bridge and back. There is also the beach workout every Saturday at 9:30 on the beach at 705 N. Ocean shore BLVD.

Raymond Hall behind the bar at Beachfront nutrition in Flagler Beach
Copyright Flagler County Buzz

There are talks of new activities being added to the group including a possible cardio boxing activity Raymond Hall and maybe even some jump rope classes with Amelie Girard. When asked how else they plan to expand they talked about how they want to give back to the community by passing out drinks during 5k races, and possibly even holding some races themselves.

We wanted to know what some of the most rewarding parts of running a free fitness group were, and all of them echoed the same thing. “The people,” they all replied. “Seeing people change, seeing the progress as people come back every week to the workouts,” Brent told us.  On that same line we wanted to know what some of the challenges are to running a group full of free activities. “Schedules, when you change  schedules or add things, we are doing a free service and sometimes we may go and no one shows up sometimes. But I do know that I have regulars now that will show up no matter what,” Jessica Escalante told us. Jessica Roy told us, “when you start you out you really have to have faith while you build it up.”

And of course we had to know what everyone’s exercise was. Brent told us his favorite is, “burpees, because they suck so much you know they are good for you.” Jessica Roy told us thrusters are her favorite, while Jessica Escalante said her favorite is squats.

 

By Krys DeWind

Krys DeWind has been a Flagler County resident since 2016. She is active in her community and is always looking for ways to better it. She has a community first attitude which is one of the central founding ideals of the Flagler County Buzz.

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