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Look for me at Austin Fit Magazine’s FITtest this weekend

Pam LeBlanc

Editor’s note: This article was originally published June 13, 2013

Another round of public humiliation awaits this weekend, when I participate in Austin Fit Magazine’s second annual AFM FITtest.

I competed last year in the competition, which consists of a series of tests designed to measure overall fitness. It doesn’t exactly cater to my strengths (water skiing, backpacking and bicycle commuting!), but I love the fact that it puts some science behind the magazine’s selection of the fittest folks in Austin.

Until last year, athletes featured in the magazine’s annual Fittest in Austin edition were picked by popular vote. Now, they’ve got to prove their athleticism. Winners in Saturday’s games get the magazine spread.

The competition is set for 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Camp Mabry. Participants compete as individuals or in teams.

As a contestant in the celebrity invitational heat (egad!) I’ll be pooled with folks like Trey Hardee, silver medalist in decathlon at the 2012 London Olympics; Desiree Ficker, past winner of the Austin Marathon (but she’s pregnant now, which might actually slow her down slightly); triathlete David Garza (have you seen his arm muscles?); and Sam Arieas, a former UT football player who now plays professional rugby (seriously.)

Individual heats are scheduled for 7 a.m. to noon; invitational heats are 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Team competition starts at 12:15 p.m.

Each competitor faces 12 tests, including a 40-yard dash, precision throwing, pull-ups, a 1-mile run and more. Two mystery tests are also on the agenda.

As much as I joke about how I’ll stack up to everyone else, I see big value here. The basic tests were designed by an exercise expert to measure overall fitness, and since most of them remain the same year to year, it’s a good way to measure progress. And that’s something we all need to do now and then. It keeps us honest when it comes to our own health and fitness.

Just don’t snicker too hard when you see me try to sling a ball through a target or do push-ups.