Welcome back! This is our fourth summer of #WhyIExercise. Be ready to be inspired and motivated by our guest bloggers this summer. It’s so exciting to share the health and fitness journeys of amazing educators. I anticipate an exceptional summer of sharing.
Join us in celebrating this week’s guest bloggers Lori Green and Tim McDermott.
#WhyIExercise . . . Lori
Please welcome Lori Green from Canal Winchester, Ohio. Lori is the School Improvement Coordinator for Groveport Madison Schools. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Indiana University, her master’s degree from Olivet Nazarene University, and her Urban Principal Licensure from IUPUI. Lori is one of the founding members of the #FitnessEdu tribe. Follow Lori on Twitter @loriannegreen.
Let’s hear from Lori.
In 2006, I turned 40. I was just coming out of an abusive relationship and I was very unhealthy. I watched an episode of Oprah where this lady was talking about The Law of Attraction. I made a decision that I wanted to be healthy: physically, spiritually, emotionally, and financially. I began the work with no end goal in mind. Seeing a counselor helped me with the difficult inner emotional work, but it was so worth it!
I knew that it was also time for me to get started on the outer work. I started walking, but then I decided I wanted to give running a try. I talked with a neighbor who suggested heart rate training. Wearing a heart rate monitor transformed my running! As I continued to apply positive words to my inner and outer work, my desire of being fit in those areas came to fruition. I started running half marathons, I completed many triathlons and duathlons, and I even ran two full marathons!
THEN I turned 50 . . . and while I won’t go into too much detail, I will say menopause hit me hard. The physical activities no longer were benefiting my weight maintenance. My heart is very healthy, but over the past 2 years, I have come to realize that my overall wellness is not determined by what my body weight is. I have a very healthy heart and very low blood pressure. I have reduced my running due to some issues with my feet, but I have found walking and strength training to be what works best for me right now.
So #WhyIExercise is to be at my best health! My husband and my children and their partners deserve to have a healthy wife and mom . . . and most importantly, I deserve to be at my best health! When our intention is to be healthy, and when we can remove any expectation about how that may or may not look physically, we will be healthy! That’s where I am on my journey, and it’s exciting to think about what will happen in the future!
#WhyIExercise . . . Tim
Please welcome Tim McDermott from Oswego, Illinois. Tim is the principal at Alice Gustafson Elementary School in the Batavia Public School system. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Early Education from Arizona State University, his master’s in School Leadership from Concordia University, and his Doctor of Education from Aurora University. Follow Tim on Twitter @Tim_McDermott1.
I first started my journey into exercise ten years ago. There was a new gym that was built a few miles from our home and my wife and I decided to join. Like many newcomers to the gym it was a bit overwhelming. I would go on occasion, but I found little success in creating a new habit. I tried going after school, but I found that I had a lot less energy and desire to work out.
A few years went by with some on and off success. It wasn’t until I became a principal and started my doctoral program that exercise became a regular part of my life. I realized that I was 20 pounds overweight, stressed out, and literally eating anything that was in front of me. I knew that something had to change so I rededicated myself to go to the gym every morning before work. I found that starting my day at the gym and lifting weights provided me a great deal of stress relief.
Twenty eight months ago my world came crashing down around me as my wife, Jenna, was diagnosed with stage IV ovarian cancer. Watching Jenna go through a nine hour surgery to remove multiple tumors, chemotherapy, another round of chemotherapy due to a recurrence, and now being on a maintenance drug has been heart wrenching. Jenna battles everyday and puts on a brave face for our teenage daughters. She tries incredibly hard to not let anyone know that she is always exhausted and is in some kind of pain.
Jenna’s incredible strength and courage has inspired me to tackle something that I used to hate doing - running. I started to run to deal with my own pain. Running provided relief and I started to look forward to it. I challenged myself to run farther and then to do a few races. I surprised myself with being able to complete a 5k and then a 10k. As Jenna was battling her recurrence this past fall I poured myself into running and completed two half marathons. I wanted to do some small act to show her how much I loved her.
Running and lifting weights has given me an outlet and helps me deal with my anxiety about the future. Exercise has helped me to better support Jenna, to be a better dad, and a better principal.
Thank you so much, Lori and Tim, for sharing your stories. Lori, you are conquering 50 with dignity, grace, and strength. What a motivation for us as we transition through the many stages of life. The reminder to be “intentional” about our health surely resonates. Tim, your wife and family are so fortunate to have you as their rock. I’m so glad you found that place of relief and even started enjoying running. It’s an honor to have both of you share with the #WhyIExercise readers.
Be sure to check back in for the next 6 Saturdays as more amazing educators share their #WhyIExercise stories. And follow the #FitnessEdu, #FitLeaders, and #TeacherFit tribes for weekly motivation.
#MuchLove . . . 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.