It’s hard to imagine Mallory Mansour Dubuclet as a boot camp instructor. Sure, she’s slender and obviously in great shape, but her soft brown eyes, perfectly-coiffed hair, and gentle voice don’t exactly make you think of an over-the-top, intense drill sergeant.
And she’s not trying to be. But she is trying to get you, and the rest of the Lake Highlands community, in shape.
In August, Dubuclet opened Positively Fit Lake Highlands, which offers personal and small group fitness training. One of her first group classes, Backyard Boot Camp, will begin September 2nd. Participants can expect a full body workout with cardio and resistance training. Tires, hurdles, and other types of equipment will also be used during this non-traditional exercise class. And while you’ll definitely break a sweat, Dubuclet promises it won’t be from fear of her. She won’t be a screaming tyrant.
“When it comes to exercise, I’m tough. I’ll be a combination of a cheerleader and enforcer. We’ll do all the activities of a traditional boot camp, but without all those harsh words. People respond to different things, but I’m not going to yell. I’m going to encourage,” Dubuclet said.
A former English professor at Southern Methodist University, Dubuclet first found her passion for exercise after the birth of her first son. She got a membership at a local gym and shed the baby weight not once, but three times after each child was born. Dubuclet says she got the idea for starting her own business after friends and strangers approached her and asked to workout alongside her.
“I loved teaching at SMU but once I had my third son, I decided to be a stay at home mom. I loved doing those boot camps, but after my son was born, I really wanted to get more into exercise. I really believe exercise is a miracle cure for almost everything,” she said.
While Positively Fit Lake Highlands works with all ages and fitness levels, the upcoming boot camp classes are geared specifically towards mothers like herself.
“I had a lot of friends who said they’d love to do a boot camp, but couldn’t make the early 5 a.m. class time. They wanted something with more regular hours and were frustrated,” she said. “That was my driving idea.”
Instead of classes at the crack of dawn, Dubuclet offers two different boot camp times from 8:15 to 9:10 a.m. and another from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. The times work well for mothers who have just dropped their kids off at school or other programs. The classes will meet three times a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at her Lake Highlands home.
But what about those moms with little ones who are just too young for school and daycare, but who still want to get in shape? For them, Dubuclet created the Parent Co-op.
“Childcare is often a barrier to exercise and I didn’t want it to be. With the Parent Co-op, parents can sign up to provide childcare in the indoor playroom facilities at Positively Fit and for each hour they volunteer, that person will get 1 free boot camp class,” Dubuclet said. “Also, not everyone can afford to do the classes, so this way if they work the shift, they can take the class.”
Another one of the key reasons that Dubuclet is targeting mothers is because she hopes they will share the benefits of exercise with their children. Dubuclet, a native of Alexandria, Louisiana, said fitness and physical activity were not emphasized during her own upbringing.
“I want to reach their children and my own and let them know that exercise should be a daily habit, just like brushing your teeth,” she said. “Information about the benefits of exercise really needs to be out there.”
It’s that daily habit that has turned an every day activity into a career for Dubuclet.
Despite opening her own business, her list of goals isn’t getting any shorter. Although she already has personal training certification, she will also become certified in boot camp leadership and group fitness during the SWU Fitness Education Expo this week in Dallas.
And she already has hopes to expand her business to include a day camp for kids in the next few years.
“I still have lots of dreams. Exercised changed my life,” she said with a grin.
Not sure you can handle Boot Camp just yet? Positively Fit Lake Highlands offers a variety of other fitness classes and services, including an Adult P.E. class, resistance runs, and personal or group training at Dubuclet's home or yours. The Adult P.E. class sounds like a blast, with activities like relay races, sack races, kickball, and more.