Though she prefers spartan runs with obstacles to break up the half marathons, she and a few of her members headed to Florida over the weekend to run in the Disney Princess Half Marathon at Disney World in Orlando.

Local personal trainer Shelly Graham, who owns Action Fitness in Gonzales, took a team of athletes to run a half marathon in Florida over the weekend. She is inspiring Ascension residents to get healthy and live fit by holding various workout classes at her gym on Highway 44.

Graham said she started teaching classes at her gym after realizing that her members saw better results with group workouts than one-on-one training sessions. She also trains her members for warrior runs and marathons. She said giving them something to work towards motivates them to meet their fitness goals, more so than simply trying to lose weight.

"Training for something specific gives them more motivation, and they stick with it a lot longer," said Graham.

Graham competes in races all over the country. Though she prefers spartan runs with obstacles to break up the half marathons, she and a few of her members headed to Florida over the weekend to run in the Disney Princess Half Marathon at Disney World in Orlando. She said about ten girls signed up for the run without telling her, knowing that Graham would run with them once they all joined the race.

"This one is just straight running, and I'd much rather have obstacles in between," said Graham. "I always said I would never do a straight marathon, so that's why they signed up before they asked me to do it."

The girls had shirts made for the event. They chose to feature Princess Tiana from Disney's "The Princess and the Frog" because she is the Louisiana princess who hails from New Orleans.

Action Fitness offers strength training, yoga, circuit, and other workout classes Monday through Saturday. There is no contract required, and the first week is free. Members can pay by the class or purchase monthly passes. Everyone is welcome, from children to adults and beginners to advanced competitors.