Welcome back to #WhyIExercise. I feel privileged to introduce this week’s spotlight educator. It’s our very own, Lori Vandeborne, leader of the #FitnessEdu tribe. Lori grew up in Weirton, West Virginia and now resides in Marion, Ohio. She is the Continuous Improvement Officer at Rushmore Academy. Lori holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education and Special Education Mild to Moderate (PreK-12) and her Master’s degree in Educational Leadership Curriculum and Instruction. For her professional biography, click here. Follow Lori on Twitter @MrsVandeborne.
Hold on to your seat, as we hear from Lori.
Exercise has always been a big part of my life. I think my competitive spirit started in my neighborhood where the kids would always congregate at my house or the playground. We would play outside all summer which was always centered around some sort of competition whether it be foot races, bike races, basketball games, playground challenges, lowering the rim to have slam dunk contests, building our own bike park for BMX bikes in the tennis courts, or using the fence posts as balance beams. The kids I grew up with still brag about the races we won in organized playground competitions more so than our state championships. Broken bones and bandaged knees were pretty normal and expected in my neighborhood. Many of those kids I grew up with became college athletes including myself.
I ran track (High Jump and Hurdles) and played volleyball since 7th grade. When I was in my sophomore year of high school, I gave up track to focus on playing Volleyball for the Renaissance Volleyball Junior Olympic team in Pittsburgh, PA. Because the WV volleyball season was still in the winter, I practiced and played both at my high school and Junior Olympic games during the same season for the first two years. Then, WV shifted their season to match the surrounding states. During that time, I would leave school practice and drive an hour to Pitt University or high school gyms in the Pittsburgh area to practice with my team. On the weekend, we would either play regional tournaments or fly across the nation. During this experience I got to participate in three national tournaments and play with and against the best in the nation, some of who ended up on the actual Olympic team. I went on to play Division 1 Volleyball at Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, Florida. While there, I took my training to a new level. I would spend every morning doing cardio, lunch time in the weightroom, and evenings in the gym. Plyometrics, Leg-Circuits, Cardio and sprints took on a whole new meaning. I got down to 16% Body Fat and was in the best shape of my life physically. However, I wasn’t taking care of my whole self and being so far away from family became difficult. I learned the importance of being surrounded by people who love you and who you love so I transferred back to Fairmont State College in Fairmont, WV to play for a coach that had recruited me in high school. While there, I led the team to a Conference and Regional Championship and had the opportunity to play on a national team in Europe during the summer of my Junior year. Unfortunately, I fractured my L4/L5 vertebrae at the beginning of my Senior year and had to end my college athletic career. This was very difficult because Volleyball was my first love so it was like losing a part of me and who I was and am. Read more of Lori’s journey here.
In the past it was to perform, compete, and win. Now I exercise to stay healthy, keep a positive mindset, have some me time and to set a good example for my own kids.
I am currently coming off of an injury to my hip and then to my arm. However, what I usually do is cardio at least five days a week where I either run outside 1-4 miles, ride my bike 10-16 miles, or ride my stationary bike inside. I love to strength train and push my limits in the weight room. I tend to hurt myself if I focus on lifting heavy but I have found a routine that works very well for me to stay strong, feel challenged, and burn cardio at the same time.
My strength training routine I do every other day.
Of the following combination exercises I take no rest between working my upper and lower body. This becomes more of a cardio routine due to no rest.
For each exercise, I start with low weight and do a set of 12 then increase the weight and do a set of 10 then increase the weight and do a set of 8 then max out and do a set of 6. I then pick a weight I am comfortable with and do a set of 24. After the set of 24, I rest for two minutes and move into the next combination of upper and lower body exercises. Here are the combinations I work through:
This routine has been the one I have followed for the past 7 years since my children have gone to school and I went to work.
A big part of my routine is keeping a cadence of accountability with the #FitnessEdu chat. This chat has provided me with a support system to help with the luls that occur in fitness routines. If I am going to be leading others in setting fitness goals and sharing their achievements every week, I have to be living what I lead. This chat has also helped with my emotional and social well being. It keeps me connected to others and accountable for my health. For more on #FitnessEdu, read this newspaper article and listen to this podcast.
As a college athlete, I know how to eat in order to help increase the effectiveness of my work outs. I try to eat more protein and vegetables than carbohydrates. The most important part of my diet for me is to drink only water and stay away from carbonated drinks. I can always tell a difference in my mood, performance, and the way I feel when I am not drinking enough water.
Fitness is essential for me to stay positive and effective as a professional. Being in educational leadership is a very stressful and often emotionally exhausting. For me, my fitness routine is my way to help me process my thinking, clear my head, and provide me with the adrenaline and strength needed to make the difficult decisions that I face daily.
I like to remember that all of my actions affect others. As a leader, this is one of my favorite quotes:
“Teams do not exist in a vacuum. “We are all parts of multiple webs of significance”: different teams, units, and social groups. When the values and expected behaviors change in one group we belong to, it affects how we behave in other groups.” - Clifford Geertz
Personal: To focus on my family’s and my overall health and wellness and not just my physical health. I need to get better at making my emotional and spiritual health a priority.
Professional: To be a more of an active listener so that I can be a proactive leader with plans and processes in place that will help build relationships and maximize both student and adult learning.
Athletic: I would like to to gain more consistency in my fitness routine and build endurance, muscle, and strength.
My one word is purpose. I would like to make sure that everything I am doing has a purpose behind it. Going through the motions or actions to complete a task without knowing the purpose is often draining for me. I want to keep my focus on doing the things that are necessary to make a difference in the lives of my family, my students, my colleagues, and the staff that I serve.
It’s been a joy to have Lori share her fitness, life, and professional journey with us. From the moment I met Lori on Twitter, she’s been a source of encouragement and inspiration. Her influence on her family, students and staff that she leads, and the TwitterEdu community is far reaching. If there’s one thing we can learn from Lori, it’s combining belonging and individuality on our quest for success.
If you’re just starting or continuing to set fitness goals, please join Lori and the rest of the #FitnessEdu tribe on Sundays at 7:00 EST for sharing glows, a 30 minute chat, and setting goals.
Thank you again, Lori, for sharing your story on the #WhyIExercise summer blog series.
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.