ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - A group of women is doing more than getting up early to workout at a St. Petersburg gym.
Women at Anytime Fitness in South St. Pete have created bonds that have lasted decades.
"We make it our mission to welcome people and make sure that they feel included," said gym participant Lynn Hanshaw.
Once a week they workout together. They call themselves the "Six AMers.”
"Everybody comes here, not just to work out, but to also see their friends and catch up and be a part of something that's healthy and fun an gets our day going," explained fitness instructor Kristen Mory.
"We take care of each other here but we also take care of each other in the world," said Lynn. "If somebody gets sick we cook. If somebody needs a hug we give a hug."
"We share recipes. We share husband stories," said group member Mary Anna Murphy. "We share all sorts of information."
This close-knit sisterhood leaves a lasting impression.
"These women are a part of my family and it's lonesome not to come here," Mary Anna said.
"I always wanted people to feel special that's something that I feel very strongly about and this class makes you feel special," said Lynn.
Courtney Graham just wanted a healthier lifestyle but found so much more.
"If I didn't show up for class, I would get a text message, a phone call, a email asking how I was, where I was. It's like having 15 more mothers to love me," she said.
Theirs is a bond that's more than just good health.
"I don't know what I would do without these girls," said Lynn. "They have seen me through very hard times and I am forever indebted."
They also do charity work. Each Christmas, they create gift baskets for the women at the CASA domestic violence shelter in St. Petersburg.