Excuses. Excuses. Excuses. We all make them. When it comes to exercising and living a healthy lifestyle, we tend to make a lot of them. The most common excuse we hear is “I just don’t have time.” Even though there are 10,080 minutes in one week, people just can’t seem to find 90 minutes per week to invest in their health. Since I don’t have children, I don’t pass judgment on those individuals. Kids are a handful, and extremely time-consuming. At least that’s what I thought until I met the Byots family.
Originally, we selected Reggie Byots as May’s member of the month. However, it didn’t take long into our conversation to realize that her success was definitely a team effort. Thus, the entire Byots family is our member of the month: Reggie, her husband Mike, her daughter Nique, and her 3 sons Michael, J.D., and Noah. They are the epitome of a healthy, happy family.
Now, Reggie’s dedication to exercising wouldn’t be out of the ordinary if she was a stay at-home mother, especially with her kids being in school most of the day. However, she’s not. She works 40+ hours per week as the Chief Operating Officer at the Macoupin County Housing Authority and Village at Morse Farm. She also serves as the President of the Macoupin County Interagency Council, Member of the Carlinville Soccer Board, and President of the Carlinville Women’s Softball League. On top of all of those commitments, she somehow finds to play in a winter volleyball league as well as a summer softball league. It’s no wonder she was nominated as one of the “Top 25 Under 45” young leader award winners in Macoupin County.
And after her 9-5 shift, the fun begins. Her oldest child, Dominique, is a freshman on Blackburn’s soccer team. Her sons play in a flag football league, a basketball league, a baseball league, an indoor and outdoor soccer league, and a wrestling league. She’s just not a fan though. She coaches 3 of their baseball teams as well as 2 of their soccer teams. Needless to say, she’s busy, really busy.
Most would assume she doesn’t need any additional exercise after a daily schedule like that. They would be wrong. She’s a regular at our bootcamp classes, personal trains with Pete a few times per week, and her and Mike still find time to work out together a few nights each week. She was the first women to reach the top of Mt. Everest. She climbed 29,209 feet in an astonishing 4 days while still keeping her daily schedule as a mom and working woman. Her team, Thin It to Win It, is currently in first place in the BenGil Biggest Winner contest, almost doubling the 2nd place team’s score. She’s basically dominated any challenge we’ve thrown at her. And the amazing part is she’s done it without taking time away from her family or work.
How does she do it? She makes exercising a priority in her life. She fully understands and appreciates its impact on her not only physically, but also emotionally. There was a time when it wasn’t, and she lost her sense of self. After her youngest child’s birth, she fell into a rut. Her life was out of balance. Everything revolved around her family and her work. She lost her “me” time, and quickly realized something was missing. Thanks to her husband and children, she recommitted herself to exercise, and found that balance again. She hasn’t stopped exercising since!
Most importantly though, she couldn’t have accomplished any of this without her family. She freely admits that Mike has been her biggest supporter. Without his unselfishness, she would struggle to find time to make it to the gym. (Side note: I would list everything he does for her, but I don’t want to give Amber any ideas. Needless to say, he makes me look bad, real bad.) And the support just doesn’t stop with Mike. Nique and her 3 boys have been just as important to her success. It’s obvious her life revolves around her family, and her family’s life revolves around her.
Reggie provides us with a perfect life lesson. If your family is important to you, it’s critical you take your health serious. Having a little “me time” isn’t selfish. It’s necessary. Make a healthy lifestyle a priority. Not only will you reap the benefits, but so will your family!