Cheers to the OR6 Biggest Winner team!

The OR6 team poses for a photo after the final workout of the Biggest Winner Challenge. From left are Carole DeAngelo, Jessica Tennant, Larry Butkla, Liz Rogers, Paul Setto and trainer Kendra Boni. Not present for the photo was Kelly Stanton.

Almost 100 pounds – 99.5, to be exact.

It’s the equivalent of 18,400 pennies, a baby hippo, a female Great Dane or eight of my beloved cat Dexter, who is a teensy bit pudgy around the middle.

The number also represents the total weight lost by the OR6 – the Observer-Reporter’s team – at the conclusion of the six-week Biggest Winner Challenge.

Not too shabby, eh?

Even though our team didn’t win the contest – we placed third out of 10 – we emerged victors nonetheless.

We grew stronger.

We developed good eating habits.

We dropped weight.

Best of all, we built friendships.

Six weeks ago, we walked into the Cameron Wellness Center as strangers. All six of us were apprehensive and had no idea what to expect from one another or from our trainer, Kendra Boni.

It was with trepidation that we assembled for our first training session of the Biggest Winner contest – billed as the Wellness Center’s “most aggressive weight loss program” – wondering what unspeakable horrors awaited us.

A fitness test revealed our weaknesses. Mine? I could barely run a single lap around the track, turning in a miserable time for the mile.

So began our journey to fitness that would include radical changes in our schedules, our diets and our lifestyles.

And pain.

Lots of pain.

Week after week, we greeted Monday mornings with a fresh outlook and renewed optimism. By Thursday optimism turned into exhaustion, immediately followed by exhilaration: We had survived another week!

Some days we thought we could not possibly work any harder, but we did, buoyed by shouts of encouragement from one another and celebratory high-fives when we accomplished the impossible.

With every burpee, every lap, every suicide drill, we grew stronger. We powered through Power Yoga and spun through spin class. In the final week of the contest, we competed against one of our rival teams. They bested us, but we were formidable opponents.

Today, I can run a mile – yes, the entire mile – without stopping, and I have resolved to work toward a new goal of running a 5K later this year.

Thank you, Kendra and Team OR6: Larry Butka, Carole DeAngelo, Kelly Stanton, Paul Setto and Jessica Tennant.

I couldn’t have done it without you.

See what people are talking about at The Community Table!

Thank you for reading!

Please log in, or sign up for a new account and purchase a subscription to read or post comments.