Welcome to #WhyIExercise. It’s an honor to celebrate this week’s spotlight educator, Kevin Loadman. From the state of Ohio, Kevin is an English teacher and assistant varsity football coach. He has earned two bachelor’s degrees from Ohio State, Communications and English. Furthering his education, he has a master’s degree in 21st century teaching and learning. When he’s not on the field or in his classroom, Kevin can be found active on Twitter in the #FitnessEdu chat on Sunday as well as the #Ohedchat on Wednesday. Kevin’s Twitter handle is @LoadmanHHS.
Join me, as we hear Kevin’s story!
Originally, it was not so much about participating in what I would now consider training or even exercise as much as it was being involved in a variety of different sports & activities. I started out playing soccer both fall & spring, eventually transitioning to baseball in the spring. A few years of youth league basketball was mixed in there as well. In 5th grade, I traded out soccer for football. I added wrestling in middle school, but didn’t pursue that much in high school aside from the 2nd half of my junior year. Football was clearly my #1 love, and I continued that into college, earning a spot as a walk-on at The Ohio State University, and was a member of the team for 4 years, earning 1 Varsity letter.
I exercise for a number of reasons. #1 - I want to work towards being healthy and living what would be considered a healthy lifestyle. I feel that I need to set an example and standard that my daughter, students, and athletes can follow or at least gain information from. #2 - it helps fuel what has always been an ultra-competitive drive for me. It does not matter what it is, I am and likely always will be fiercely competitive. This led me to entering my first Power Lifting competition in the summer of 2013, and I continue that to this day. It helps drive my training and focus, as well as the constant learning that must be done in order to be successful. It also allows me to pass on what I know to friends, colleagues, students, and athletes. #3 - being stronger and getting in better shape is a confidence builder.
I am currently using Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 training program, which is very good in terms of achieving maximum strength. It is a program that is easy to follow, with auto-regulation built in to account for things as simple as how you are feeling on a given day. Wendler has published several books on the subject, and it lays out a very simple but effective training program that anyone can use. My personal favorite is “Beyond 5/3/1”. I also walk several days a week, usually my non-training days, in order to maintain a basic level of cardio that allows me to push harder in my training. This is certainly a phase of my ‘game’ that I need to work on.
My diet is something I am in a constant state of war with. I tend to do well during the week, especially during the school year, but need to do a better job in the summer in order to continue to make positive progress in terms of weight, strength gains, and especially body composition. I use a number of supplements in order to meet my goals, as part of the rest of my diet and training routine. The purposes vary, from recovery to energy to just building additional muscle mass.
Training is part of who I am, and it has a direct effect on my work as a football coach. I also do not believe I can advise any student, colleague, or friend on training & health if I am not actively involved in training. It also provides materials & information I can use in the classroom, as my training requires things like learning, dedication, discipline, and mastery (in this case the technical side of the lifts).
Personal: Continue to work to find balance between all of the things in my life (family, health, and professional). At the end of the year be able to say, and mean sincerely, that I grew as a father, coach, athlete, husband, and person. I also want to (having tracked closely) be able to see clear changes in my body composition, blood work (which is pretty decent now), and overall feelings of health.
Professional: Make learning more meaningful and personal for my students. Do my absolute best to find ways to connect with and help my students with their individual learning goals and needs. I want to help them see the value of what we are doing regardless of current ideas or future goals. Instill in my students a desire to master skills and achieve on a high level.
Fitness: Continue my growth as a lifter, both in terms of a constantly expanding knowledge base as well as continuing to get stronger as I progress towards both short and long term goals.
Balance . . . I need to do more than pay lip service to putting balance out in front of everything. It needs to be a deliberate and well thought out mission rather than just something that sounds good but I never take time to reflect on and it put methods into practice to help me achieve it. A standard of balance that helps keep me on track, while also prioritizing and giving the appropriate focus to each item on the agenda without any feelings that I neglected something.
I’d like to extend a sincere thank you to Kevin for sharing with us. If you can’t tell, he’s a real beast with a big heart. Kevin’s passion for power lifting is paired with his desire to be a role-model for his students, family, and #FitnessEdu community. To me, that’s a winning combination. Good luck with the football season and continued success in your training.
I leave you with Kevin’s favorite place . . .
Marilyn . . .
Kevin has written several pieces for the Elite Fitness & Training Systems website, better known as EliteFTS. His most recent article deals with the idea that in both education & athletics expectations are seen by some as mere suggestions. Take a read.
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.