Friday, July 10, 2009


Recruits on National TV
Doris D. Meneses

Recently NBC Nightly News came to the Homestead YMCA Boot Camp. They were doing a story on gyms and how the economy has affected the membership. It will eventually air on NBC Nightly News but it has not been scheduled as of yet.

As we were warming up for our workout, I recognized one of the YMCA Miami staff members who was walking over my way. She brought a tiny young lady over with her and she introduced NBC News Correspondent Michelle Kosinski to me. Ms. Kosinski then introduced her camera man as well. She told me that she had heard about me and asked a few questions. We also talked about the fact that my husband is self-employed and that Boot Camp is my priority no matter what. She asked if she could interview me and that quickly a microphone was clipped onto my shirt and I was given a box to hold in my hand. The camera man lifted his camera and I immediately asked that he get my best side if he could find it!

Prior to Ms. Kosinski beginning the interview, I began to sweat as I realized that here I would be on national TV wearing my mandatory Boot Camp shirt which is sleeveless with big arm holes. Now this shirt is o.k. for a muscle bound jock who has muscles protruding from his shoulders but on an old fat lady like me, the rolls of fat seep out the edges of the sleeve and fall like a volcanic flow! Talk about showing everything!!! The only thing holding me in was my sports bra!

All of a sudden I realized that this was it. No holds barred. I already admitted my weight and inner most feelings on the front page of the newspaper so there is nothing left except for me to show it all on national TV! I worry that I am entering into the realms of senility or else I am just plain nuts! Can I seriously do this?

Ms. Kosinski asks questions regarding the Boot Camp and financial issues. I explain that I will scrimp and save so that I can attend Boot Camp because I cannot control the money coming in at this point but my health and weight loss is the only thing I seem to have control of right now. She thanks me and they move on to video the recruits in action.

At one point during the filming, the camera man came so close to my face that I just could not concentrate! Oshun, our trainer, had us working with bands and I could not see her for the camera man in my way. I wondered if he was trying to get my wrinkles, my sweat drops of just see what was up my nose! Then Ms. Kosinski did lunges along side of our group. I felt like a giant next to her as she did not have one ounce of fat on her body. I kept thinking that I would like to give her a few of my pounds to carry around. All joking aside, Ms. Kosinski and her camera man were very nice.

You never know how things can be turned around in the press. I will say that the South Dade Newsleader has printed every one of my stories verbatim and I thank them for never changing or sugar coating the story. I pray every night that when this does air, the nation will see that just because this 54 year old woman is entombed in an obese cocoon, she is not to be ignored. She is not to be ridiculed. She is not to be laughed at. She is not to be forgotten. Yes. It does scare me.

I fight every single day to break out and right now, the YMCA Boot Camp is the tool I am using to dig my way out. I pray that others will see that if I can attempt to do this, so can they. I don’t know if I’ll be successful but I know I will keep trying and the recruits and trainers in the YMCA Boot Camp have been the most encouraging sources I have yet to encounter.

I am a recruit in the YMCA Boot Camp and I am beginning to believe that I deserve to be there!

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