Sometimes it can be challenging to get on that path to a healthier lifestyle. We know what we need to do, we’ve read the articles and the “Top 10 Ways” lists, but often we need a jump start to get us moving in the right direction. When we started 1 in 21, one of our hopes was to see the community come together to motivate and support each other as we work to become the healthiest county in Michigan.

At SkeeTown CrossFit in Norton Shores, they know they have what it takes to help people regain their health and fitness. When SkeeTown’s Jennifer Agard learned about Muskegon Rotary’s 1 in 21 initiative, she knew they had to help! Here’s an excerpt from their blog: “…what we needed to do was to show people that the “Average Joe” CAN in fact, do CrossFit, and how it would positively impact their life… We didn’t know an “Average Joe”, but we did know an “Average Gary.” So we reached out to Gary Nelund to see if he was up for a challenge.” In addition to being Mayor of Norton Shores, Gary is also a Rotarian, and he was definitely up for the challenge to help inspire others! He started working out with Coach Erica Poulin, also following a nutrition plan she worked out for him. Gary is seeing results from his lifestyle changes and commitment by getting stronger every day!

In the spirit of friendly competition, Gary challenged his friend and “Mayor of Facebook”, Andy O’Riley, to a “battle of the Mayors”. Andy accepted the challenge and has teamed up with Becky Biesiada and The Gym in North Muskegon to get his own exercise and nutrition plan going. Becky describes The Gym as the place with good people, smiling faces, and a healthy environment for personal fitness and wellness, with all of the space and equipment she needs to exercise and help others find fitness.

Next, inspired by these two guys and deciding that a bit of girl power was needed, Christine Robere, President of United Way of the Lakeshore, signed on with MCC’s Lakeshore Fitness Center and their Next Steps program. The eight week program is designed to help participants improve their life through exercise, and to feel more comfortable and confident about exercise while seeing real results.

Three very different personalities have teamed up with three very different local fitness centers to challenge each other and support each other in getting healthier. This is the sense of community we hoped for when we launched 1 in 21.
Yes, we still need to do broader things to benefit the overall health of our community, things that tackle the toughest barriers to good health, such as poverty, safe neighborhoods, affordable mental and physical care. But as we are working on the big picture, let’s remember that we all make up the pixels of that picture and challenge each other to be the healthiest we can be. We’re in this together, and together we can make real changes in the health of our community… #teamgary, #teamandy, #teamchristine, maybe #teamburnaw? #team1in21healthymuskegoncounty… no matter who wins, we all win!

To learn more about the organizations mentioned above, visit their websites:,,