Reaching Goals Together: Charlie K. and Greater Midland's Jackson F. train to

Charlie Keyes says she’ll never forget the feeling of crossing the finish line after walking all five and a half miles of the Mackinaw bridge.

“I don’t like my picture taken, but that was one time I wanted my picture taken!” she says.

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Charlie works with Community Center personal trainer Jackson Frederick, who helps her through difficult workouts and to reach goals she wouldn’t do on her own.

One of those goals was walking the entire length of the Mackinaw bridge.

“I couldn’t walk a hundred feet, let alone five and a half miles,” she says. “I was giving him a hard time one day saying, ‘Jackson, you need to walk the bridge with me.’ And he comes in one day and he goes, ‘Charlie? I’m walking the bridge with you. Step by step, I’m walking the bridge with you.’”

She said Jackon’s willingness to go above and beyond his job description was motivating to her, and so Charlie and Jackson began training together for the walk. Eventually, Charlie was able to walk five-and-half miles around the neighborhood. They grabbed some friends and drove to Mackinaw City.

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They completed the distance walking a pace of 18 minutes per mile.

“It was fantastic, just fantastic,” Charlie says. “It was great and so much fun.”

Charlie says that the training she receives goes beyond just exercise instruction.

“I’m not motivated by myself, and Jackson, bless his heart, just keeps me going,” she says. “He holds me accountable and keeps me here.”

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Charlie’s goals didn’t stop at the finish line of the Mackinaw Bridge. She’s training for a Tough Mudder obstacle race, and from there, it’s onto training for a longer, more difficult obstacle race called the Spartan Race.

“I had goals coming in and the training has made it possible,” she says. “Jackson’s been able to make them happen, encourage me, and keep me going.”