Monday, May 30, 2016

(A Non Traditional) Graduate!

I'm sitting in my living room as I write this on Memorial Day (it's raining outside), while my husband puts away the last of our folding chairs. We celebrated my graduation yesterday with my siblings, niece, nephew and parents. The last time I sat and wrote something (outside of a college paper) was May of 2015. Since then I've had little snippets of time to share tweets or post recipes on Pinterest.

A lot has happened since May of 2015. We just about gave up hope of finding a puppy and after our first rescue experience swore off of getting another rescue. Since then we went to looking for a purebred puppy (insert a couple thousand dollars here!) and then discovered we could actually rescue a puppy! We found a dog named James Bone who was being fostered in Road Island and originally came from South Carolina. The second we met him we knew he was a match! He is an amazing dog and I wouldn't trade him for the world! He's so loving and loves people and other dogs. The only negative is he doesn't understand how big he is sometimes and can knock little ones over. His DNA: labrador retriever, red bone coon hound, welsh corgi and ? Horse perhaps? We are happy we took a risk and found him through Save A Lab Rescue! If you have an inkling to rescue a dog or purchase one from a breeder don't underestimate the amount of time and money they require. Just as with children and illness, anything can happen and the cost of medical care isn't inexpensive. The process for rescuing a dog takes longer than purchasing from a breeder or a dreaded pet store. References are required and even a home visit may be required. The application that needs to be filled out can be tedious as well. However some of these dogs have been traumatized and it's the mission of the rescue organization to do their best to find the best match or home for the dog/puppy. When we rescued James he was 6 months old and was found in S. Carolina at 5 months old covered in ticks. He is an amazing dog and we are beyond fortunate to have him as part of our family.


James Bone 



In May of last year at the end of the spring semester, I was accepted to an undergraduate research program and the topic was healthy communities. The program was for approximately 6 weeks and was 5 days a week and 8 hours a day.  I spent time listening to lectures and sitting a lot! Unfortunately, this lead to my back hurting again and I had to stop running once again. I then started physical therapy and since then I've been working with a personal trainer to keep myself on track. Unfortunately, when I'm feeling well I will push myself a little too hard at the gym. My trainer helps keep me in check and safe. Unfortunately since my back surgeries I've battled with my weight loss. Some of the extra weight was due to not being able to work out like I used to and a million other reasons including the demands of being a mom, student, and coach. Weight loss is very difficult. Once something happens in my life and a new stressor pops up it can through me off balance. I then will stop tracking my food intake and the pounds come back on. Even though this happens I have not and will not give up on being healthy and active.

My journey of weight loss has lead me to many opportunities and to my academics in Health and Exercise Science. I've been going to community college part-time for the last four years to learn the science behind how the human body fuels itself during exercise through fats, carbohydrates, proteins, and micronutrients. My course work has also included risk factors for diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Exercise prescription and risk factors were the foundation in my course work along with coaching, working with special populations and sports nutrition. What I've learned is anything and everything can be adapted to a person's situation. This spring semester I had an internship at an elementary school for PE. I loved my experience and especially helping the kids who had learning disabilities, emotional issues or autism. I loved seeing the spark in their eye and the smile on their face when they accomplished a task that they originally thought impossible. In some ways, it felt like I was coaching or helping a younger version of myself. When I was in elementary school I wasn't very confident so I could relate to the kids that felt out of place. Now I am a graduate with an Associates in Health and Exercise Science with a Fitness Specialist Certificate and I'm working on starting my own business. I want to help people reach their optimal health, lifestyle, and fitness goals through exercise and a healthy diet. When people feel better about themselves it impacts their life in many ways for the better. Exercise = power for positive change.


Note: If you want to change your life you can. It may not happen in a matter of months but years. Just keeping moving forward one small step at a time. Make a plan and NEVER give up! No matter what!

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