There’s always time to be a better you.

That’s why Melissa Parsons and the Mississippi University for Women’s Campus Recreation staff want you to be a part of the Spring Fitness Challenge 2023. The 80-day event is designed to help participants make healthy changes to their lives, lose weight and feel better about themselves.

“Every human is designed for wellness, movement and eating,” said Parsons, associate director, Business, Student & Member Services for Campus Recreation, and an avid fitness enthusiast. “Even if you don’t have weight to ‘lose’, but rather you have muscle to gain, or you just need a jump start, come join in. We’ve got some things up our sleeves.”

The challenge is open to The W students, staff and faculty and Stark Recreation Community Members (this includes any sponsored or Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science community members). Participants must be 18 years old or older. The W employee (faculty and staff) or student status must be maintained throughout the challenge. If you are enrolled as a student and employed as a benefits-eligible employee, you must choose which classification in which you will compete.

To pre-register, go to:, or you can register at the initial weigh-in from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023, on the second floor of the Stark Recreation Center gym. There also will be registration from noon to 1:30 p.m. and from 4-6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 25, in the atrium of the Rec Center.

“It’s OK if you don’t know a lot about exercising, cardio or lifting weights,” Parsons said. “It is important to practice being OK with not doing those things perfectly. You want to begin, begin again and then yet again.”

The second weigh-in of the challenge will be from noon to 1:30 p.m. and from 4-6 p.m. Feb. 28 and March 1 in the atrium of the Rec Center. The final weigh-ins will be at the same times April 12 and 13 in the atrium of Rec Center. All weigh-ins will be performed by The W’s Campus Rec professional staff and interns and Health & Kinesiology students.

Winners from the prior year must not have gained more than 50% of the percentage of weight loss from the year before. Six prize winners with the highest percentage of fat loss will win a $50 gift certificate. The two top prize winners with the highest percentage of fat loss will win a $250 gift certificate.

Parsons said each individual is responsible for being medically capable of participating in the challenge and that they don’t have a medical condition that could put them at harm or risk while participating in the event. She said each participant determines the methods or strategies they will use to improve their health and lose weight during the challenge. It is recommended the participant consult a knowledgeable and licensed health professional first.

“We are excited to help everyone on campus and in the community learn how to buy into their own health by utilizing all the tools Campus Rec has to offer,” Parsons said. “We had nearly 70 people participate in the challenge last year, so we are eager to welcome those participants back and to help even more people be better versions of themselves.”

For more information about the Spring Fitness Challenge 2023, email or call the Campus Recreation office at 662-241-7494.

About The W

Located in historic Columbus, Mississippi, The W was founded in 1884 as the first state-supported college for women in the United States. Today, the university is home to 2,227 students in more than 70 majors and concentrations and has educated men for 40 years. The university is nationally recognized for low student debt, diversity and social mobility which empowers students to BE BOLD.

Be Bold. Tower with Blue.