CHANHASSEN, Minn. -- More than a dozen women are giving it their all for Motivation Monday's Chris Freytag at the Chanhassen Recreation Center.
It's a big deal for them, because many of them have never met in person, even though they know each other very well.
"About 20 women came from all over the country," said Chris. "Texas, New York, San Francisco, Kansas, Illinois."
They are part of a larger group of more than 400 women who all found each other on a Facebook group set up by Chris to take part in her "10 Pound Slimdown."
"I just started it as a way for these women to connect," said Chris. "They were all doing my workouts, and it became so much fun."
So much so the group continue on well past the 28 days alloted for the program. It's been more than nine months and the group is still going strong, posting about their fitness goals, their daily lives and in the process, becoming friends.
Some of them decided it would be fun to fly into the Twin Cities to meet each other, and Chris agreed to teach a class just for them.
For Chris, it's just another example of how social networking can be a motivator for people who exercise.
"So many people don't work out in a gym where they hang out with other people," Chris explained. "They work out at home, and it's kind of nice to be able to go online and know that you've got a couple of people that you can ask a question to, and they're going to get back to you and give you their advice."
Ilonka Betke of Illinois is one of them. "If you need that extra push, a lot of us could complain," said Betke. "And there's like, yes you can, Chris's famous last words!"
Minnesotan Gale Raisanen found the group was not only helpful to her, she became a cheerleader for others. "I'm out there posting what I'm doing," said Raisanen, "and it's not really because I want people to say, 'Hey, look at me, I've lost a hundred pounds,' but I want people to do that for them if that's what they want to do.
Chris puts the women through their paces in a class that lasted well over an hour. They look tired, happy and ready to keep going as they continue their path toward better health.
"I guess I never thought about what it could become," Chris said of her facebook group. "I feel happy that they stuck with it, that they've found this amazing support system."
(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All rights reserved.)