By Anthony Guntert

Don’t have enough time for the gym? Can’t afford it? The solution is coming, says Marathon parks director Anthony Paul Davis, in the form of the new Fitness Court from the National Fitness Campaign (NFC). This court has a similar function as the fitness trail at Oceanfront Park, but with a new design and style. While the final layout has yet to be determined, the court will most likely contain multi-step stations such as a core area, pull-up bars, an agility course and a multitude of other options to be used with a free smartphone app loaded with detailed workouts and exercise ideas.  

Davis said he has been worried about the health and well-being of his community for a while, especially during this disruptive pandemic era. The new Fitness Court is designed for people of all ages, abilities and skill levels with a full body workout in mind. “If you can’t afford a gym or can’t go for whatever reason, this new court just gives you an opportunity to do something in your own time frame and your own budget. We’ll be providing the community with an all-access pass to come get fit at your own pace, for free,” said Davis. 

Davis credits the idea to one of his employees in the city’s parks and recreation department. Thanks to a $30,000 grant from NFC, he said the total cost of the court will be about $110,000.

This is an example layout for the future Fitness Court, set up with seven different sections for different types of exercises. CONTRIBUTED

As a former high school football coach, Davis knows both the importance of personal fitness and how tough it can be to commit to exercise. The new fitness pad, set to be constructed where the skate park currently is, will provide a place to soak up some vitamin D while building a healthier lifestyle. Visible from the road, the court’s curved backdrop will be able to display anything from local ads to public art, as well as serving as a reminder to get out and active. 

“One of our main goals here at the parks is to provide as much physical activity as we can for everyone,” said Davis. “This place … local gyms can use it, schools can use it, anyone can use it. It’s a wake-up call for everyone; if you get out to exercise I promise it’ll improve your life.” 

The City of Marathon, including Davis, has also been working with the Marathon Rotary Club and the Tony Hawk Foundation to secure a grant for a brand new, state-of-the-art skate park that’ll provide a place for kids and young adults of all skill levels to hang out while getting active. On top of these already ambitious projects, Davis aims to install new playground equipment, refurbished play areas and, potentially, a second fitness pad at the Rotary Park. 

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