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Shannon Center Member January Spotlight


Saint Xavier University's (SXU) Shannon Center has been open to the community for over 17 years! As a way to show appreciation of the community's support, the Shannon Center will highlight one loyal member each month.

The Member Spotlight for the month of January is Mario Mendoza. As a lifelong "Sox-sider," he admires the Shannon Center for its welcoming environment, which is accompanied by its friendly and supportive staff. It has been a great space for Mendoza to reinvent himself in his retirement from Commonwealth Edison and going to live a healthy lifestyle.

"I was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes prior to retirement and knew that I needed to improve my health," said Mendoza. "A great way to begin this journey is becoming a member of the Shannon Center. This fitness center has offered well-rounded group fitness classes along with a great facility. The first thing I did was to participate in the Cougar 5K Run/Walk. Gradually, after four months and over 40 lbs. weight loss, I am now training to run my first marathon."

Mendoza finds that there is no greater motivation than his family and enjoying his two grandchildren to the fullest. He has always encouraged his children to uphold a healthy and active lifestyle and now finds himself having to do the same to manage his diabetes.

A typical workout for him includes a combination of the indoor track, weight room (treadmill, stationary bike and light weight lifting) and exercise classes. He enjoys setting goals for himself each week; specifically, walking or running 40 to 50 miles. Additionally, Mendoza and his wife Lourdes participate in Zumba lessons twice a week to help with heart rate and cardio endurance.

Setting small goals and meeting them is how he recommends to keep yourself motivated, while continuing to challenge yourself to the next level.

"You should also find a workout partner to make the experience more enjoyable and for support," said Mendoza. "Your routine should focus on activities to help with endurance, strength, flexibility and balance. There is no better motivator than life itself. It is never too late to start a fitness routine for a healthier lifestyle and to help cope with everyday stress. As Ferris Bueller said, 'Life moves pretty fast; if you don't stop and look around once in a while you could miss it.'"

Congratulations, Mario! Check back and see the Shannon Center Spotlight for the month of February!