Local teen encouraging community to commit to fitness with senior project

VERNON PARISH, La. (KALB) With each new year comes New Year's resolutions and committing to a healthy lifestyle is often at the top of the list. One Vernon Parish student-athlete is using her senior project to give the community the chance to start 2017 off on the right foot---by organizing a 5K.

Nicole's Resolution Run is Saturday, Jan. 21 at 8:00 a.m. See attached link to sign up! (Source: KALB)

Nicole Fitzgerald, a Senior at Anacoco High School has been active for as long as she can remember.

"Starting in the 3rd grade, I would always work out with my mom," Fitzgerald said. "We have a shop right next to our house. We're always lifting weights, going to the gym on Fort Polk. Also, both of my parents are prior military so I think they just really helped me find a passion for working out and having a healthy lifestyle."

So when it came time to pick an activity for her senior project, organizing a 5k 'Resolution Run' only made sense to the multiple sport athlete.

"I feel like sometimes people are at a hard time in their life and they really just need to find inspiration," Fitzgerald said. "Part of this project was me just wanting to help those people that feel like they're at a dead end. i really just want to reach out to them and let them know that they can do anything they set their mind to."

Fitzgerald's life-long dedication to fitness is inspired by her mom, a 12-year Army veteran.

"She has always been my cheerleader, literally every track, cross country meet she's around the corner yelling for me," she said. "Every weekend we get up...7:00, we're running four miles on our road, we're doing sprints, we're lifting weights. She really just always encourages me no matter what."

And the High School Senior hopes to keep encouraging her hometown to live a healthy lifestyle and one day, be a personal trainer at Fort Polk's Wheelock Gym.

"I feel like God gave us a wonderful life to live and there's no point waking up every day not being thankful for what you have," Fitzgerald said. "I feel like if you live a happy lifestyle that you'll be mentally happy too and that you can just live life to the fullest."

The Resolution Run will be held Saturday, January 21, at 8:00 a.m. in downtown Leesville at Oak Pointe Aesthetics. You can also sign up for a one-mile fun run, which will start shortly after the 5k at the same location.

Proceeds will help First Baptist Church of Hornbeck go to Honduras for a mission trip this summer. Nicole said she's excited to combine "her two favorite things: exercise and God."

Interested in participating? Check the Related Links section of the page for more information.

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