The minute I walked into the Pavilion of Redemption I was greeted by a pretty little girl named Mary. Mary kindly showed me around the building and to where FREE Fitness Saturdays took place. Around 10 A.M. the class and class instructor Joseph Gbenjo walked in lighting up the room. Seriously!..Everyone entered the room all smiles with the best energy. I felt so welcomed. I loved the fact that the class was diverse and that children were included. Those kids were keeping up! Joseph was an awesome instructor. He was full of personality and was very motivating. The best thing about it was that the whole class cheered each other on. Joseph focused on abs, legs and cardio. My favorite workouts were Mountain Climber, Scissors and The Shuffle. I also enjoyed the dance led by Victoria Gbenjo at the end of the workout. I could tell from communicating via email with Victoria that these people were going to be something special and they proved me right. They were so warm and kind. I definitely will be returning to FREE Fitness Saturdays and I encourage you to join me!
“I feel really great. I feel like I should go home now and eat healthy and maintain what I’ve done so that I can keep it up. I always look forward to coming to class every Saturday even though I go for a run every day at my house. I like FREE Fitness Saturdays. I like coming here.” -Chantel Shonowo
Tonnisha Deonn Fitness| How did FREE Fitness Saturdays start?
Joseph Gbenjo| It started during youth week at the Pavilion of Redemption. We decided to change it [youth week] and add a little exercise and breakfast. 30 to 40 people showed up to the workout and were in pain afterwards. Even though people were in pain they asked to do it every Saturday. It didn’t take more than 2 weeks after that to start the classes every Saturday here. We provide fruits and granola bars at the end of each workout. Workouts are from 10 A.M. to 11 A.M. Ever since then we’ve been keeping it up and if I’m not around Chosen [FREE Fitness Saturdays head instructor Chosen Okonrende] is around. We started in January 2016.
TDF| What is your fitness experience?
JG| I played basketball, football, track and baseball in high school and college. The same thing goes for Chosen. He played basketball in high school and college.
TDF| What is a fitness tip that you can give to my TDF friends?
JG| One thing that helps is drinking a bottle of water before your meal because it fills you up. You should eat healthy, get sleep and stay active. [For example] When you’re going to the grocery store park in the plaza next to the grocery store or far in the back so that you have to walk. If you are in any building promise yourself that you will take the stairs instead of the elevator.
TDF| Who’s invited to FREE Fitness Saturdays?
JG| Anyone. Any age. No dogs or cats. [laughs]
TDF| Can you tell me about the Welfare Outreach held at Pavilion of Redemption?
JG| The Welfare Outreach was put on by the welfare department. One of the leaders is Yemi. She organized the Welfare Outreach event. The event was open to the community and offered free clothes, food, medical assistance and checkups.
Joseph Gbenjo Victoria Gbenjo Chantel Shonowo
Instagram: @candorpictures @vgbenjo_model @naturallyelite_
FREE Fitness Saturdays 10 A.M.-11:15 A.M.
Pavilion of Redemption-Houston, TX