The annual free 9/11 first responder workout is being held on Wednesday morning (Sept. 27) at the artificial turf in the SLS Centre.

It begins with an introduction by firefighter Jeremie Hoult at 9 a.m. and the workout gets underway at 9:15.

"It's a tribute workout, so it's a workout that's not just sweaty but full of intention," says Stephanie Marrello, SLS Centre fitness programs coordinator. "We do one exercise for every single fallen first responder from 9/11. It's pretty impactful."

Marrello says it takes the average person 40 to 45 minutes to complete and several modifications are available so people of any ability can participate.

It was Hoult who started it 10 years ago as a way to bring people together to work out in memory of the 412 first responders who laid down their lives in New York during 9/11.

"We asked the Spray Lakes if we could use a corner of the gym to do a workout and they liked the idea and asked if their boot camp could join us," Hoult said in an interview last year. "The boot camp came with us, and it's been going ever since."

It had already been happening annually in Cochrane when Marrello joined the SLS Centre staff.

'When I moved here in 2018, I was told just to keep an eye on these folks that were doing this workout and give them a good stretch at the end. I was so moved by it and I was so touched by how many people came and supported Jeremie as he went through it wearing full gear."

She encouraged him to make it a larger event in 2019 and open it to more people.

9/11Participants in the morning session last year.

"We've always had local first responders joining us, we've had local fire trucks showing up, we've even had an arson dog at one of the events. It's been pretty awesome."

One of Marrello's dear friends from Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON was one of the first Canadian first responders crossing the border to assist in NYC.

"Lisa was one of the first paramedics on site after the tower went down. She's my inspiration and she's why I have a passion for it."

You can preregister on the SLS Centre website or when you arrive at the rec centre tomorrow morning.

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