NEW ORLEANS -- "No white flags" -- that was the chant heard Monday morning from City Park.
A group of people got up early on Labor Day to raise money for Steve Gleason and those battling ALS.
They came more than 100 strong, in all shapes and sizes, men and women, and a baby a week away from her due date. There were those that have been walking on earth for a long time, those who haven't, and even those walking on four legs. It was a way to sweat, burn calories and compete at boot camp in City Park.
But the person who everyone really wants to win is a New Orleans favorite, former Saints player Steve Gleason.
"He's a football player who has a disease," said Julia Caracci, 9, who wanted to help Steve Gleason. She worked out with her little sister Emily, 6, and her family.
"ALS is a tough disease to deal with and it can be tougher to families," said Josh Pahl.
Jorge Burke said he was there "to have a great, awesome workout on this lovely Labor Day and most importantly to support a good cause."
The organizer feels a connection. He and Steve Gleason both have children and played the same football position.
"I got kids and a family, so I just, it's one of those things where you sit and think, OK, this is something that he's going to have and he's going to have to go through. So there's no cure, so we're going to do the best we can, you know. And that could be me one day," said RJ Rice, an owner of French Riviera and The Parks Fitness.
Simple drills that turned into brain twisters seemed to challenge the group. Relays brought us back to the playground at recess. And yes, even this medical reporter could not stand on the sidelines and hold a mic. The enthusiasm, energy, and spirit drew you in.
"I love the competition. I like to compete with all my other co-workers. I thrive on competition for sure," said trainer Gina Dubret.
And so did Steve as a Saints player. And so does Steve now as he is changing the world for those with ALS.
"It's easy to come out here for us to do this. And it's not so easy for them anymore, so take advantage of what we have," added Pahl, who has a friend named Jay from Brother Martin who has ALS.
The boot camp lasted an hour and 15 minutes. The group raised more than $1,100 in donations for Team Gleason. You can still donate by sending a check to French Riviera on Veterans Memorial Boulevard in care of Team Gleason.