Fitness for longevity

The icy wind bites right through one’s bones on this freezing June dawn and the sea is ink black as Zina Meredith begins heaving herself up off the cold, damp sand. counting her push-ups.

A burly bloke, with all the charm of a drill sergeant, is barking orders and somehow one is not surprised to hear her answer a “Hooya Sarge’’.

Surely she should be cursing him for the punishing regime and the sheer physical pain he is putting her through, but Zina reckons she is addicted to Boot Camp and has attended three times a week for the past two years.

“It is the only fitness program I could stick to,’’ says Zina, 59, who is North Haven Primary School’s librarian.

It is 6 am and this morning there are three rows of  “recruits’’ – the Rangers, the Seals and the Deltas – lined up on the sand at Henley Beach – about half a kilometre south of the jetty. And right now they all call out in chorus “Hooya Sarge”.

For one and a quarter hours Sarge is boss and Zina is put through these gruelling paces each Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning for a cost of $200 a month.

And yes, she admits the trainer’s  behaviour is “along Army lines’’, although he is not regular Army sargeant.

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