Local exercise challenge benefits those in need

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A lot of us exercise at home, but sometimes it's hard to find the motivation to workout by yourself. But now, a local group has found just the incentive to get you moving. (KTRK)

A lot of us exercise at home, but sometimes it's hard to find the motivation to workout by yourself. But now, a local group has found just the incentive to get you moving.

"I'm fighting for that little girl in me - that had dreams, that had goals, that wanted to have goals," says Harmony Gallegos.

Gallegos is among a group of women fighting for their futures at the substance abuse treatment center, Santa Maria Hostel.

"It's Texas's largest residential program. They are here for 90 days -- the women who come here to go through a full recovery program from substance abuse and other things," explains Courtney Wyckoff, the CEO and Founder of MommaStrong.com.

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Once a week, Wyckoff and COO Barbie Atkinson volunteer their fitness expertise to these women.

"We do a lot of emotional stuff, talking and getting deep into the root of our issues, so it was nice to have a physical release for that," says Gallegos.

It was a creative business journey that got Wyckoff and Atkinson here.

"With MommaStrong, we really hand over fitness on a silver platter to our members. It's 15 minutes a day, it's $2 a month, and even then people weren't getting through our 30-day program. In fact, only 11% of people were completing it," says Wyckoff.

So, they decided to tie a charity to their workout challenges.

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"Share the Show Up is MommaStrong's outreach," says Atkinson. "Basically, our members give themselves goals during the week, when they meet those goals, they contact us through a tally button, and then we are given the fuel to donate to women in need or agencies in need."

Jessica Modad realized exercising to give back was just the motivation she needed.

"Working out was great, but now it was about making it matter more than just physical. I was doing it for myself. I was doing it for other women," says Modad.

Each week, Wyckoff and Atkinson receive their tallied hours, head over to Santa Maria Hostel, and challenge these women to show up for themselves for five minutes of daily exercise.

This day, Modad got to see how her hard workouts help others.

"It's fulfillment. It's what I work for. It's part of my mission. The mission in my head is a reality now," says Modad.

Giving to others is now the fuel behind MommaStrong.com.

"That 30-day program - the completion rate was only 11%. After introducing this program, our completion rate of that 30-day challenge went up to 88%," says Wyckoff.

It's Wyckoff's and Atkinson's reason for doing what they do every day, in hopes that they can inspire women like Gallegos to have a brighter future.

"I think I have a story to tell and hope to help someone else who is struggling and doesn't know where to turn," adds Gallegos.
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