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Inspiration from Every Corner

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Last weekend, I enjoyed a reunion with several of my high
school girlfriends. Twenty-four years post-graduation – from an idyllic
boarding school in Western Massachusetts where
we learned, first and foremost to engage “the head, the heart and the hand” in our
life’s pursuits – we’ve scattered across every corner of the country and around the globe with
all variety of career and family responsibilities. I thought it would be
interesting to ask some of these gal pals what role fitness plays in their
lives today.

Gretchen (full-time operating room nurse and mother of young
boys): As a 41-yr-old woman with a pretty full plate, I don’t have a ton of
time to fit long exercise sessions into my schedule. But I have a huge desire
to be strong and powerful in my body, so I’ve recently taken up weight training
– and I love it! I also encourage my kids to be fit – I recently founded a K-6th
soccer league, since my small town didn’t offer my boys the opportunity to
play. I coach along with a few other parents, and the turnout has been incredible.

Laura (documentary filmmaker, mother of one and producer/director of the independent film “Luckey“): I’m a
recreational runner, cyclist and surfer – but I’d say I’m mostly in a state of
once and future fitness! The head-clearing aspect of exercise, when I can get
out there and have time to process things in my life – that’s when it works to
my advantage.

Kendel (middle school counselor at Jakarta International School): I like social
sports – tennis, soccer, golf – when I can have fun with friends and stay fit
through movement and laughter, without the tedium of going on a long run alone.
I’ve climbed five volcanoes with friends and co-workers – we take as much
advantage as possible of our location in Indonesia and it’s proximity to
crazy outdoor adventures.

Chrissie (proprietor of The Inn at Binghamn School
and mother of two teenage boys): I do bits and pieces of exercise – I play
tennis socially and I love my yoga class. But more than anything, I try and fit
activity into my day wherever I can. That means taking the stairs instead of
the elevator, parking at the far side of the parking lot – little steps that
add up to moving as much as possible. I really feel the difference!

Bebe (registered dietician at Scottsdale Healthcare and
mother of one): I work as a dietician and nutrition counselor in a hospital, so
fitness in my life is mostly about helping other people. Whether I’m adapting
their diet in the context of an illness, or creating healthy eating programs
for weight loss, I try to encourage my patients in ways that will truly have an
impact. I’ve learned that people need reasonable and attainable goals – which
sometimes means taking baby steps toward better health – in order to change
long-ingrained habits.

Ina (community planner and mother of two): In high school
and throughout my 20’s, I was passionate about dance – I danced every moment I
could. Now, however, I’m more limited in what I can do, as I have both Chron’s
disease and Rheumatoid arthritis. What I enjoy most is taking Thai Yoga Massage
at the Motion Center
where I live in Providence,
Rhode Island – it’s sort of a
combination of yoga, massage and assisted stretching. It allows me the feeling
of getting good exercise and really staying in touch with my body, but within
the realm of my current abilities.

Julie (full-time mother, part-time accountant): I was a
total jockette in high school. I played varsity hockey, soccer and lacrosse.
Obviously time has moved on, but I don’t think that competitive drive ever goes
away. Nowadays I play on an adult hockey league, and absolutely love crushing
the competition!

– Holly Bennett

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