When Zoe Guirlinger met Eddie George at a local fundraiser, she didn't know he was a former Ohio State football star and NFL player.

When Zoe Guirlinger met Eddie George at a local fundraiser, she didn't know he was a former Ohio State football star and NFL player.

She began to catch on, though, when she traded information with him about fitness programs. George was telling her about a fitness program he led for NFL mothers last year, and she mentioned her UltimateU Challenge.

An impressed George then recruited Guirlinger to lead his program this year. Guirlinger expanded the idea by suggesting that local football moms should be involved, too.

"I didn't know who he was, and I told him about what we do here," Guirlinger said. "He started talking about the NFL moms' program."

Guirlinger then spent a few days in Nashville for the NFL moms program kickoff, getting to know the NFL moms and introducing them to her program.

The UltimateU Challenge is a program that encourages a lifestyle change by overcoming physical, mental, emotional and motivational barriers. Guirlinger will meet with the NFL moms in person at a few key points in the program, but the rest will be done over the phone and online.

"The NFL football moms are all over the country, so they won't be exercising in our facility," she said. "I'll lead phone conferences. Then mentors will be there as well, and we'll use the Web for our classes. They can watch videos and read on the Web from mypipeline.com, and they do have a whole exercise routine."

Others may join the challenge online through mypipeline.com at any time, Guirlinger said, to watch 18 videos and use other online tools.

Some local football moms may get involved for free.

To mirror the NFL program, Guirlinger is offering three New Albany football moms and three Upper Arlington football moms four months of the UltimateU Challenge.

In George's program, moms from the AFC and NFC football conferences are pitted against each other for the challenge. Locally, New Albany moms will face Upper Arlington moms. George gave last year's winning team a cruise package, and Guirlinger said she likely would do something similar for local winners but had no details yet.

"We'd like to create the environment where there's a team and everyone works together," she said. "It encourages everyone to work together to get the same reward."

The NFL program will end near Super Bowl time, but the local program will kick off Nov. 8 and run through Feb. 23, 2009.

"Our moms will kick off in November, and that is the halfway point for the NFL moms," Guirlinger said.

UltimateU is taking applications through its Web site at ultimateu.org to participate in the challenge for free until 4 p.m. Sunday and will announce winners Nov. 3. Winners will participate in the first two phases of the challenge, a day of pampering at Tartan East Golf Club on Nov. 8, gifts and a makeover at the conclusion of the challenge.

jnoblit@thisweeknews.com