Sweatin’ With a Smile

By Emily Lyons

Health and Fitness is a huge part of my life.  I love being active, but when I don’t have a goal it’s hard to get motivated to exercise.  I rotate through several different goals, like signing up for a 10K and having to pay for it.  (Nothing is motivating for a poor college student like knowing you’ve spent money on something!)  It’s been awhile since I’ve done a group fitness class, so I thought I’d give it a try.

I’m a grad student at Texas State, so I bought a group fitness pass at Girl doing sit-upsthe campus rec center (Are you seeing the trend?  Financial investment = motivation for this girl!)  I looked at my class schedule and picked a class based on convenience.  It happened to be total body toning, probably the toughest class they offer – insert groan here.

Man exercising with dumbells
Half way through every 45 minute class my legs start shaking and I’m sweating a lot.  And I’m definitely not glowing like this guy –>

Chocolate cupcake with strawberries on topMy arms turn to jello, and that’s when my mental focus starts to waver.  I think about quitting, about how maybe I’ll just do a couple fewer reps or slack off on this next set up push-ups, and how I’m definitely eating a cupcake – or two – when I get home.

As the communications intern at the Ronald McDonald House, I see a lot kids who are dealing with really serious illnesses.  Everyday activities can be challenging for them, let alone serious physical activity.  It’s inspiring to see the children and families who persevere despite these challenges, and the Ronald McDonald House provides them with the support they need during difficult times.

I saw this photo (below) on Team Ortho Foundation’s Facebook page yesterday and it was like a punch in the gut.  I’ve been complaining because I GET to work out?  What if I had an amputation, or cancer, or a million other things that people deal with?  I am so glad for the reminder from this photo and the families at RMHC that my health is a gift from God, and I’ll be smiling next time I’m sweating buckets at the gym!

Little boy running

Emily Lyons is a graduate student at Texas State University working toward an MA in Mass Communication. She served as the communications intern at RMHC Austin during the Spring 2012 semester and worked with us on email marketing, graphics projects and website management. Emily is a co-author of the blog Comm Toolbox, a beginner’s guide to communications.

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10 Responses to Sweatin’ With a Smile

  1. Tasha Miller says:

    Emily, Thanks for reminding me of all my manny blessings!

  2. Sandy Raney says:

    A really nice article! And the little guy in the picture has inspired me – I am going to get out of my winter hibernation mode and start moving! Hopefully I can lose a pound or two before we come to visit.

    • Emily Lyons says:

      I would love to watch this boy run a race! Now that spring is on its way, it’ll be easier to want to get out and about.

  3. I’m reminded of the quote (can’t quote it exactly) that says to be kind to everyone because you don’t know what they’re going through/dealing with. Some battles are visible ones – like the boy running with prosthetic legs – and most are less visible. Every day we wake up and face our battles, and your post reminds me to keep sweatin’!

    It’s a privilege having you as an intern!

    • Emily Lyons says:

      Thanks Jan, I love being here! I know exactly what quote you mean – so true! Thanks for letting me contribute to the blog.

  4. Ron Raney says:

    Em-Great article. I need that right now. Cheated on the diet really badly in Palm Springs and still hasn’t stopped! I need to get back on it and get exercising! My excuses are invalid! (I love the smile on that boy’s face!) Dad

    • Emily Lyons says:

      So glad you liked it! That little boy is just so motivating 🙂 Good luck, let me know how it goes. We’ll cook some delicious healthy meals when you visit!

  5. Jane Rose says:

    Great post, Emily! Despite my recent foot surgery, this even inspires ME to want to get out and do great things. Thank you for sharing your perspective and for all of your hard work around here at the RMH!

    • Emily Lyons says:

      Thanks so much Jane! Glad to see you recovering so quickly – you’re already doing great things! 🙂

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