STATE COLLEGE – Local nurse, mother of four and exercise enthusiast Erika Smith is hoping to add another title to her resume – cover model.
Smith, 49, is in the running to be named 2022 Ms. Health & Fitness and be featured on the cover of Muscle and Fitness’ HERS magazine.
The title will be handed out after a series of public votes online, which can be placed at mshealthandfitness.com.
Smith said she would “love to represent women my age to show we can be healthy and fit at any age.”
With her busy life, exercise helps Smith find structure and reduce stress.
“It impacts how I feel about myself, helps my confidence, and makes me proud of myself for what I can accomplish. Fitness helps me with my job, gives me the energy I need to participate in various activities, and keeps me feeling young and vibrant, ”said Smith in her competition bio.
She said it is never too late to start a fitness routine, no matter your fitness level or age.
“Never compare yourself to others and where they are in their fitness journey. Your journey is yours to take and be celebrated. It’s important to set goals that aren’t too big to accomplish. Start with small goals, ”said Smith.
“Too many people go into health and fitness with an all-or-nothing mentality which sets them up for failure. It’s not about being 100 percent perfect, it’s about working each day to be better than you were yesterday. ”
At the time of this writing, Smith stood in second place during the first round of the competition, which ends on May 12. The top 15 contestants go on to the next round where the field gets narrowed even further. The seven stages of the competition run through June 23, when the 2022 Ms. Health & Fitness will be crowned.
Besides the title, the winner stands to take home $ 20,000. Smith said that if she makes it that far, she would use the money “to donate to the David O’Connell Health Education Building in memory of my friend’s son who committed suicide last year and then to pay my children’s college expenses.”