Meltdown II ready for launch

By RICHARD LUKEN
Register Reporter

Nearly 400 Allen Countians shed more than 1,800 pounds last spring as part of the first Allen County Meltdown.
Its sequel, Allen County Meltdown II, begins Jan. 9 with a kickoff weigh-in at Humboldt Community Fieldhouse.
Meltdown II will include a number of educational activities, geared more toward behavior modification and healthy living than simply losing weight, said Sunny Shreve, program assistant with Thrive Allen County, which is sponsoring the activity.
“We want to focus on teaching people to eat right, how to stretch before exercising, things they can continue after the Meltdown is complete,” she said.
The second meltdown will bring with it more stringent rules.
For example, attendance is required at the weigh-in in order to take part this time around, Shreve said. And weekly weight reports are mandatory.
Because of the stricter rules, Shreve is encouraging anyone wishing to take part to consider at first the investment of time and focus that will be necessary.
“I’d rather have 100 people take part who are fully committed than 400 people who won’t take it seriously,” added Thrive director David Toland.
Those who make the commitment will receive benefits in multiple ways, not the least of which is leading a healthier life, Shreve said.
Registration fees vary between $10 and $25. The higher registration fee brings with it an added enticement. Those who lose at least 5 percent of their body weight will get the $25 refunded, “plus they’ll get a cool sweatshirt,” Shreve said.
Those who pay the $10 registration fee will not be eligible for a refund, but they, too, will get a sweatshirt. Those who pre-register by Wednesday will get their sweatshirt at next weekend’s weigh-in.
In addition to the shirts, the registration fees also allow free admission to a number of classes taught by local fitness guru Roger Campbell. Campbell’s classes will run each Tuesday — times and sites to be determined — to focus on everything from body mechanics to exercising on a budget.
In addition, Shreve is seeking local volunteers to lead daily activities in each community in Allen County.
Shreve will be at the Iola square each weekday morning at 6:30 to lead daily walks.
“We need people who would like to be a ‘captain’ or whatever to lead activities in other communities — Humboldt, Moran, LaHarpe, Elsmore,” Shreve said. “We don’t want people to think that in order to do these activities, you have to go to Iola.”
Shreve also is planning a number of “family night” activities geared for folks of all ages, with Nintendo Wii, Dance Dance Revolution, hula hoop and jump rope parties.
“Parents can have fun with their kids in a way that’s healthy,” Shreve said.
Entire families are welcome to join, although the weights of youths under 18 will not be recorded.
“It’s not necessarily about losing weight for the children,” Shreve said. “But we do want to get them to learn about healthy living.”
The other major difference from the first Meltdown is that while participants can still join teams, all goals will be individual. There will be no team awards, Shreve said.
“People experienced a lot of success with the first meltdown,” Shreve said. “Many have been able to stick with it.”
Also new to Meltdown II — and other Thrive activities — is a Thrive Involvement Points (TIP) system.
Participants will receive points for a number of activities, including the Meltdown, Charley Melvin Fun Run in July and Jingle Bell Jog in December. Participants earning the highest number of TIPs will be recognized at Thrive’s annual meeting in September.
Participants can earn up to 10 TIPs alone through Meltdown II, one point each for the kickoff and finale, and single points for each of the weekly activities.
Meltdown II offers a perfect opportunity for those looking to change their lifestyles as 2010 commences, Toland said.
“What we’d like to see,” Toland said, “is people save their new year’s resolution for the meltdown.”
Meltdown II runs through March 11.