Christopher Royal wasn’t much into physical fitness before the fatal shooting Nov. 5, 2009, at Fort Hood. But for Royal, who was injured in the attack, the tragedy was a rude awakening that turned his life around.

Now the director of Royal’s Fitness & Enterprising, he launched a gospel fitness camp Saturday to help spread the benefits of healthy living.

“When I was shot on Fort Hood, I realized that I had the opportunity to possibly take the gunman down,” he said. “However, I wasn’t as fit or fast enough to get to him.”

That motivation has helped Royal boost his endurance to double the number of pushups and sit-ups he knocks out during an Army physical training test. He said his two-mile run time also improved, from 16 to 12 minutes.

“So I believe that has a lot to do with what motivated me to become fit, and now with the motivation to extend good health,” he said.

The boot camp caters specifically to churches, but Royal said everyone is welcome to join.

He and a dozen others performed station workouts to gospel music at the Killeen Community Center gymnasium Saturday in the first set of boot camp classes.

Sasha Dock, who joined the boot camp to get her figure ready for swimsuit weather in May, said there are benefits to the boot camp besides the workout.

“They also provided information about nutrition on top of the exercise,” she said.

Stefany Politte, a personal assistant with the fitness camp, said the workout routines, designed for church congregations of any size, help build fitness levels while talking about spirituality.

“It also lets people see that there are a lot of activities churches get involved with,” she said.

Royal said participants can expect a lot of dedication and heart from instructors.

“They can expect to come in here and be their own person so that we can help them get to their goal,” he said. “I have learned that you can never take any day for granted, and you can’t take people or your health for granted.”

Royal is making plans to have a boot camp for children this summer to help curb childhood obesity.

Gospel Fitness Camp is from 7 to 9 p.m. Fridays and noon to 3 p.m. Saturdays at the Killeen Community Center gym, 2201 E. Veterans Memorial Blvd. Cost is $10 per weekend. Royal also will take the boot camp workouts to churches.

For more information, call (254) 245-3934 or (706) 495-5469.

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