Working out for the Lord
New Covenant Ministries International (NCMI) Fitness Centre began purely out of the love that Bishop Richardo Gordon had for working out and seeing people in good health.
Though just a little over two years old, the gym has received tremendous support from the community members of Highgate, St Mary. The gym operates under the NCMI just a few footsteps below the house of the Lord.
The workout sessions are done by longstanding gym instructor Cavin Johnson, who is also a member of the church.
As a trainer, Johnson takes the health of people seriously. He encourages members of the community to take better care of themselves.
Stepping into the fitness centre, you can't help but feel the music moving through you and you want to join in on the workout as you are consumed by the pure energy coming from each session as the trainer gets deep in the spirit of the workout. Cardio, yoga, aerobics, stretching, and one-on-one session are some of the workouts that Johnson offers to gym members.
Apart from great workouts, good nutrition is key to having good health. The trainer advises members to stop eating late at nights, to stay away from fatty foods such as rice, irish potatoes, and fried foods. Instead, you should replace them with yams, bananas, and sweet potatoes and steam your food instead of frying them. He also offers a variety of healthy juices and shakes including whey protein shakes, cleansing green juices, beetroot juice, water, and fruit plates, that are sold right there in the gym. Made from an assortment of green leafy vegetables and a secret ingredient, Johnson believes that they provide the best green juice in St Mary, as it helps to burn belly fat and most important, helps women who are not able to conceive to have children.
Twenty-six-year-old Akeno Hamilton is a living testament that the gym works. Being a member of the gym since its creation, Hamilton said that the training has helped him tremendously as the trainer is there to help along the way while you work out and work towards your health goals.
"Coming here has really improved my cardiovascular system, mi heart kinda gwan likkle betta and mi body fit up an suh," Hamilton said having a gym present in the community has been a massive gift, as it counters the popular belief that St Mary is nothing but bush and "it nuh really have nutten".
"The services offered by the gym are really good to have, as it opens the mind of the community to have better healthcare and living a healthier lifestyle," said Hamilton.
As the administrator of the gym, Hamilton ensures that members receive not only a good day's workout to keep their 'body' in great shape but also their mind and soul. As they take an hour from each day of their workout to have a prayer session. And for those who require counselling and outreach, they get the help they need. This is keeping in line with their motto 'Taking care of body mind and soul'.
He said it is a myth that the gym is just for persons who want to lose weight. He believes that exercise is for everybody as it is a good pillar of health.
Long distance runner Dwayne Graham said he has been going to the gym for the past two years. And the group sessions as well as the green juice has been helping him to increase his stamina. While Bridgett Forbes said that her aerobics and weight training has been helping her to lose weight, moving from 150 pounds to 126 pounds and becoming more lean.
NCMI Fitness Centre is a miracle in this small town of Highgate St, Mary.