get fit, give back


I have a secret. When I work with people, I have an ulterior motive. I help people get healthier because I need their help. 

I believe the true reason we need to be healthy is this. The stronger we are, the better we feel, and the more gas we have in the tank...the more equipped we become to serve our family, our place of work, and our neighbor in need. 


For the past few months, I've been initiating a project called Fit To Serve. Fit To Serve is what happens when a whole bunch of people who are in the process of getting healthy get to use their newfound physical ability to serve their neighbor in need. For the past several months, I've been on the lookout for people in my community who are experiencing a hardship because of a physical limitation. When I learn about a person we can help, I reach out to them and offer myself and my clients to be at their service.  Keep reading to see what happens when we use our muscles for good...



Maria (not her real name) was diagnosed with early-onset Parkinsons. She’s 38 years old, and a single mother of two. On a Saturday in late September, sixteen Healthy Obsession clients gathered for our first ever Fit to Serve.  We did her yard work (hauling two trailers full of brush and yard waste), prepped the exterior of her house for winter, secured her railings on her stairways (which is critical for a person who needs walking support up and down stairs). We painted her downstairs great room, her upstairs living room, and her kitchen. In all, 51 hours of volunteer help was invested in trying to make Maria’s life a little bit easier.

We contacted Andy Lee, the owner of Art and Frame World in Maple Grove, MN. He generously donated frames and framing service to Maria so she could enjoy the water color paintings her young sons had made for her.

I’ll never forget what she told me after our work had been completed. She said, “The day you called and asked if you and your team could come over to help me, I had been crying all morning. My body wasn’t working, the medical help I had been petitioning for had not been accepted, and I felt helpless. Hearing that help was on the way was the reminder I needed that God hadn’t forgotten about me, and that He had my back.”

The joy I felt watching my clients pour out their energy and use their newfound strength to help Maria is something I will never forget.  My clients shared later that they smiled the rest of the day, so proud to be able to help someone who was so grateful to receive help.



I went on Facebook to solicit the community in Champlin, MN for someone who could use a hand. I learned about Janie and Kayla (not their real names). Janie gave birth to Kayla, who was several weeks premature. Kayla spent her first year of life in the hospital, where it was revealed that she would need a double lung transplant.  

The challenge with a double lung transplant is that the body will never fully accept the lungs as part of Kayla’s body. While medications can trick the body for awhile, Kayla is not likely to live very long, though she has made it to be ten years old. Her case is terminal.

I called Janie to learn a bit about their life, and if there was some way we could help. She told me about Kayla’s medications (23 meds ingested daily), and how her body struggles due to the many side effects associated with the numerous meds. Janie shared about their weekly trip to the hospital for an 8-9 hour day of rehab and blood work. And I learned that simple things like getting into and out of the house are complicated because of a narrow entry way from the garage into their home.

I made some calls, rounded up the team and we went to work. We arrived at Janie and Kayla’s house on a pleasant Saturday in October.  With fifteen team members in tow, we rounded up the leaves in the yard, cleaned the house, washed the windows inside and out, painted the great room, and played with Kayla while Janie enjoyed a smidge of time to herself. 

We hauled out the yard waste and cleaned up the paint supplies. Then we presented Janie with two more gifts. Thanks to Amy Adams, the owner/operator of the luxurious Woodhouse Day Spa in Maple Grove, MN, Janie received two complimentary services of her choice!  She gets to relax for a change and be pampered.  We also presented Janie with the news that Harry Londor of Service Associate Construction Services would be expanding her entry way from the garage so that Kayla could enter and exit more easily with her wheelchair.

I got to tag along for the day when Harry stopped by to expand the entryway. He was so meticulous, and things had to be perfect. Based upon how particular he was about the work he did for Janie and Kayla, you would’ve sworn he was getting paid $1 million instead of volunteering his time for this project. 

Janie said having that entryway expanded made all the difference for Kayla. What a blessing it was for us to come alongside these two great ladies for a short time! 



I learned about Melanie (not her real name) from the same Champlin, MN community group that helped me find Janie and Kayla. Melanie has uterine cancer, and has an aneurysm on her heart that prevents her body from being able to handle the chemotherapy usually prescribed as treatment for a case like hers. Instead, Melanie has to endure 18 months of radiation treatments. I can only imagine…

Melanie was in need of some yard work help, and had a particular problem because she was allergic to some of the bushes in her back yard. We threw together a team of volunteers at the last minute, and eight of us went to Melanie’s house on a cold Saturday in late October to help her with yard work.

We cut out the bushes that caused an allergic reaction, trimmed several branches, and tackled the leaves and lawn. After a few hours, the job was done and we cleaned up and headed out.

The only problem was, based upon the last-minute development of this project, we didn’t have a trailer to haul away the yard waste. A member of the Champlin community, hauls leaves and yard waste each Fall in exchange for a donation to the Lymphoma Society. He eagerly accepted my invitation to haul the yard waste for Melanie, and refused to accept my donation because this was his gift to her. 

I love when kind people love on their neighbor!