Outstanding Graduate applies education to better the life of his father

Jesse Lyall smiles as he stands in front of greenery wearing a suit.For outstanding graduate Jesse Lyall, life was one of the greatest teachers he’s found when he was faced with a family medical crisis.

Lyall grew up in the rural town of Frederick, Colorado. His fascination with the science of movement led him to the Health and Exercise Science program at CSU, and since then, he has capitalized on learning everything he could about how the human body moves.

“The staff showed me the nuances of not just movement, but how to maintain the health and vitality of the body,” explained Lyall.

Father’s injury

In 2014, Lyall was suddenly forced to make a series of tough decisions.

“My father was in a terrible accident which resulted in him being ejected from a semi-truck. He was badly injured. I was a full-time student at the time, but took a semester off to become his full-time caretaker,” said Lyall.

After his father’s condition improved, he was able to return to school, but has continued as his father’s primary caretaker. Lyall says that his education at CSU enabled him to help his father through one of the toughest injuries of his life, and allowed him to be a first-hand witness of how activity and movement can help people regain close-to-full functionality after injury.

Lyall added that his education at CSU taught him how movement and a healthy diet can make a drastic difference in our ability to recover, and that this enabled him to implement that knowledge in caring for his father each day.

“We would do simple stretches to help alleviate pain, as well as slow and controlled exercises to increase blood flow to his injuries,” explained Lyall.

Support from Health and Exercise Science

Lyall was employed as a work-study student in the Health and Exercise Science department, and the staff members provided him endless amounts of support and understanding on his journey. Lyall says that they have become a fantastic resource and wonderful friends.

“As a work-study student in HES for two years, Jesse has done anything and everything; from advising students who stop by the front desk, to furniture assembly and moving,” said Barry Braun, head of the Department of Health and Exercise Science. “Despite a demanding schedule, Jesse is inevitably the first person to volunteer for ANYTHING – regardless of how difficult, mundane or inconvenient. Somehow he also manages to be unfailingly professional, upbeat and brimming with good will.”

Future plans

Moving into a bright future, Lyall will be pursuing a career in exercise physiology with a focus in either cardiovascular care or rehabilitative services. Eventually, he’d like to earn a master’s degree in health and wellness or exercise physiology to better enable him to provide patient care in the cardiac rehabilitation setting or exercise testing labs.

“The heart is the source of vitality and strength,” said Lyall. “To understand the heart leads to understanding the body as whole, and that understanding enables us as professionals to maintain and heal individuals with multiple afflictions in a more effective way.”

“The fact that Jesse has thrived in HES despite his hardships is a testament to his persistence, fortitude, and drive to succeed,” said Braun.

The Department of Health and Exercise Science is part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.