COPPERAS COVE — The New Year means a new you. At least that’s the hope of three Killeen women who brought a fitness social event to Copperas Cove on Saturday.

Yira Barron, Pennie Bush and Gracie Pedroza took their time, talent and expertise as fitness instructors to Maks Family Fun and Event Center, offering free instruction in various fitness areas.

Weight loss educational materials and nutrition products were available for sale at the event to complement the effort of changing one’s lifestyle in the new year.

“The main purpose is to spread wellness through fitness in all of our communities, not just Killeen,” said Barron, a fitness instructor at The Field House in Harker Heights. “We want to keep enthusiasm going for fitness because it is here to stay.”

Barron and Bush both work at a local bank in Killeen and cited themselves as being “the most fit people in the bank,” but said they were working to get their fellow employees more fit in 2014.

Together, the women held two fitness social events in Killeen in 2013 and the first one in Cove on Saturday.

While the event itself was free, donations were accepted to benefit the Killeen Independent School District’s School Health Advisory Council’s spring health fair.

Both women agreed that obesity in children is a concern.

“It is best to target children before they get too set in their ways,” Bush said. “Candy and food are often used as incentives in the classroom. We want to introduce them now to a better lifestyle and create fitness as a part of their everyday routine, instead of it seeming like a chore when they are older and then growing to love it later in life. We want it to be a part of what they do every day.”

About 25 participants, both men and women and some youth, attended the event and came from as far away as Austin and Brownwood.

“I came to check out Bokwa,” Lisa Miller of Brownwood said, referring to the new fitness dance craze sweeping the country. “I drove two hours to see what it is like because it is supposed to be for all fitness levels. I do not do Zumba because I am not into the Latin dance part.”

Sheri Polite, of Killeen, had friends participating and said she came to support them but to also burn some calories for the day.

“I was a couch potato for a very long time. My life changed and I wanted to change with it. I used to be pretty heavy,” Polite said, not really knowing how much she weighed at her heaviest point in her life.

“I don’t really weigh myself, but I do have ‘indicator clothes’ that tell me when I am gaining or losing weight,” she said.

Polite lost five pant sizes since she started her exercise regimen in April, which includes two daily workouts and eating healthy. | 254-501-7476

Contact Wendy Sledd at or (254) 501-7476

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