Welcome to our third installment of #WhyIExercise. I’m thrilled to introduce you to this week’s spotlight educator, Mari Venturino, a 7th grade science and 8th grade AVID teacher as well as Blended Learning Specialist from San Diego, California. Originally from Sacramento, Mari attended UCSD where she earned both a BS in Biology and a M.Ed in Secondary Education. Mari is a board member of the San Diego CUE, a GAFE Trainer and Innovator, and co-creator of Breakout EDU Digital. She is also a host on the EduRoadTrip podcast, and co-creator of #FlyHighFri. She can be found on Twitter @MsVenturino.
Without further ado, let’s hear from Mari.
I grew up playing sports, including soccer, baseball & softball, swimming, gymnastics, and dance. I was also very active as a kid, preferring to run around outside rather than watch tv. When I got to college, I stopped playing sports because I was too busy with school and wasn’t sure how to get involved. I did walk to class at UCSD--living in the Eleanor Roosevelt College dorms and The Village and walking to science classes in Revelle, it was almost a mile one way! After college, I joined a gym and started going to workout classes. Now, it’s something I do for fun, either at the gym or with friends at home or outside.
I exercise to stay healthy and fit, and to reduce my stress. I love how I feel after I’m done exercising. However, I will admit I often have a hard time getting going.
Right now, it’s not so impressive. I’ve been overloaded with work and outside of work commitments, and I haven’t been good about taking time for myself. I can see how much it’s affecting me, not only physically, but also mentally--I find myself getting stressed more easily. So, current fitness needs to get stepped up. Mainly it’s walking my dog and doing workout videos at home. I love taking Zumba and spin classes, and hiking when I have time. I also have started #EduHike, a meetup for teachers who enjoy hiking. I’m hoping to plan another one in August in San Diego.
I love food! My favorite foods are cheese and ice cream. In general, though, I eat very healthy and I enjoy cooking homemade meals. I’m thankful that we have great access to fresh produce in California, and avocado goes with everything. This is not to say that I don’t enjoy some junk food on occasion, but I enjoy it in moderation.
I don’t take any supplements, unless you count dessert (my happiness supplement) every night!
When I exercise, I feel less stressed and I can handle frustrations better. Plus, I love going out to PE on my prep period to run or play sports with my students. This is a great way to make connections in a different setting.
Personal: I want to establish a better work-life balance, and turn off the electronics for set periods of time in the evenings and on weekends.
Professional: My goal is to use my prep period effectively and take home as little work as possible. This way, I’ll have more time to work on Breakout EDU Digital! I also run our tech club, Viking Tech Crew--we’re relaunching this year, with new student leadership, and a new format (blog post coming soon…).
Athletic: I want to find another half marathon to run. I ran my first in July 2014 (Costume Run) and second in September 2015 (Disneyland Half). I’m considering signing up for the San Diego Triple Crown: Carlsbad Half, La Jolla Half, and America’s Finest City Half.
I’m also hoping to organize one or two more #EduHike adventures before the end of 2016.
I’m going to stick with my 2016 #OneWord, intentional. I’m working on being intentional with how, where, and why I spend my time.
Exercising with friends is a great way to stay motivated. Plan a walk together--even if it’s not strenuous, it get’s you up and moving.
I’d like to extend a big thank you to Mari for sharing with us. I met Mari at a #GafeSummit and was immediately drawn to her positive attitude and passion for teaching. When she organized her first #EduHike, I thought it was brilliant. What a great way to connect, share, experience nature, and get fit at the same time. As educators, we don’t always feel like we have time to exercise. But Mari nailed it, go outside and take a walk. Even better, go outside and hike with some friends. The next time you go for a hike, be sure to use the hashtag #EduHike. We’ll be looking for it!
Good luck on all your endeavors, Mari. You’re touching precious lives every day!!!
Marilyn . . .
As educators, we know the importance fitness has on both our bodies and minds. This blog is a celebration of educators and the role exercise plays in our lives.