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Mom builds community of women during pandemic with online workouts

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Nearly 300 women are members of Bootcamp by Rebecca. (Image: Rebecca Williams)

A Ringgold mother is creating community for local women during the pandemic through her free online workouts.

On this week's Pay It Forward, Jessica Harthorn surprises her during a Zoom session.

Keeping people connected during the pandemic is just one of the goals of "Bootcamp by Rebecca."

Not only is its creator, Rebecca Williams teaching women how to pump iron, she's also boosting their confidence on how to balance life during these uncertain times.

It all started about a year ago when Ringgold mom Rebecca Williams was looking for an exercise partner.

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Over time, her dumbbells have increased in weight, and her Facebook followers have too.

Bootcamp by Rebecca has nearly 300 members and Ringgold mom Jessica Rasnic is one of them.

"It's been life changing, I've been able to exercise and feel so much stronger. It wasn't about losing weight, but getting stronger and being more present with my kids and feeling I could participate in life with them," said Jessica.

Since the start of the pandemic, Rebecca's personalized exercise routines have gone online, dozens of women logging on five days a week from their basements, decks and driveways.

Jessica gave it a try last Halloween and never looked back, saying the group has given her stability, accountability and friendship.

"We are all from different walks of life. We've got grandmas, new moms, we've got working moms, and we all just come when we can and enjoy celebrating our strength," said Jessica.

But this particular Zoom session is about celebrating Rebecca. Jessica stopped the routine to get her attention.

"Rebecca, on behalf of Newschannel 9 and the McMahan Law Firm, I want to Pay It Forward to you for your awesome leadership of your bootcamp with $500. 1, 2, 3, 4, $500. We love you Rebecca, and I have a guest here with me who wants to say something too," surprised Jessica.

"Hi, this is Jessica Harthorn with Newschannel 9. Congratulations to you! When you see these women accomplish great feats, and just become stronger, physically, mentally, emotionally, how does that make you feel?"

"Amazing, absolutely amazing. I love it when they share their stories with me, and when they say 'hey, I lost two pounds this week, or I can pick stuff up.' It makes me happy," said Rebecca.

"And what message do you want to send right now to all the women listening, and what they mean to you?" asked Jessica Harthorn.

"You guys are amazing, you have no idea. You all are awesome," said Rebecca.

Jessica says "Bootcamp by Rebecca" is building a community of women committed to growing stronger and healthier together, and its Rebecca who unites them all.

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Do you know someone who deserves $500 cash for helping others? Nominate them by clicking here!