MCLOUD, Okla. (KFOR) – It’s like CrossFit for incarcerated women and the inmates at the Mabel Bassett Correctional Center in McLoud call it an addiction.
“It’s a good addiction,” said inmate LaDonna Ward.
“It’s been really exciting to watch,” said Amy Boles, the Health Information Technician at the prison.
“Everybody wants in,” said Ronald Davis, the Health Services Administrator.
Two dozen female inmates are growing together, both mentally and physically, while they push their bodies to the limits.
“When I came to prison, I hadn’t worked out a day in my life,” said Amber Hall, a participant in the program. “I’ve lost a total of 22 pounds and I’m addicted.”
The Prison Health Initiative was launched this summer. The goal is to create a healthy lifestyle, even behind bars.
“I said, ‘Why don’t we get together and we’ll make a program. We’ll have a nutrition class and we’ll also have a workout to go with it, so they see it goes hand-in-hand for health and wellness,’” said Davis. “And we haven’t looked back since.”
“The key, for me, was learning how to eat better with the limited options we have here,” said Ward.
The ladies are seeing results. As a group, they’ve lost a combined total of 165 pounds in just 8 weeks. Ward lost the most at 23 pounds.
“I’m 51-years-old and hadn’t been active in over 10 years,” said Ward. “I really, at first, thought I couldn’t do it. But, I was able to prove to myself that I can.”
In the midst of the jumping jacks, sprints, pushups, and tire flipping, the ladies said a beautiful bond has formed.
“I’m proud of myself and I love my phi-family,” said Ward.
“I’m empowered. I have a sisterhood and there’s women here who care and have made me care about myself,” said Hall.
“Sprits have been lifted. Their mental health has improved. They’re all very encouraging and supportive,” said Boles.
The program has proven to be a big hit. There’s a waiting list to join the next group.