Profiles November 2nd, 2009
Fire Breathing Beaver Squad
Ken Westfall (Captain)
Position: Student in New Media Communications, web designer for OSU Human Resources
Goals: Increase speed to 6/7-minute mile average over distance runs, develop healthier eating schedule, and begin to see significant improvement in muscle definition,
Ken Westfall is getting married, and he wants to start married life as the best person he can be. He’s been working out at Dixon and has started running with a friend, but he knows that being part of a team will help him gain the discipline he needs to really get fit.
Ken has used to support of his family, loved ones, and CAPS to help overcome some of the obstacles thrown at him in life, including his tendency to self-sabotage his class work. He’s now learned that having confidence in his best efforts can reap big rewards, as long as he’s not afraid to fail at times on his way toward his goal.
“I learned that I was avoiding certain work because I didn’t want to look bad or perform badly.”
Ken’s role models are those people who can successfully devote their time to work, family the environment and other passions without struggling too much with life balance. He hopes those models will help him as he gets ready for his wedding day and life after college.
Position: Clubs and organizations Coordinator, Student Leadership and Involvement
Goals: Develop a more balanced diet, continue to lose weight and learn to play ukulele.
Danté Holloway was used to packing on the pounds as a student athlete, but these days, he’s trying to relearn his relationship with food. Instead of building his body up for the next game, he’s learned that eating has become a coping mechanism.
Danté’s also learned that injuries do more than just cause pain in the moment. An ankle injury he received several years ago, and the subsequent surgery, has taken more than a year to recover from, and his body is still not back to the shape it was in before the injury.
But Danté has goals that could get him to an even better spot than he was before. He’s learning to reduce his bad cholesterol, decrease his meat consumption, and is relying on mentors that will get him to the places he wants to be, personally and professionally.
“My number one role model is my mom,” Danté says. “I see the strength and the courage she’s had to raise my sister and myself on her own, and how she always finds a way. It’s a quality I look for in my friendships.”
Position: SMILE Program staff member
Goals: Lower LDL, increase stamina
When Abbe Lougee realized that she was headed toward diabetes and other serious health conditions, she made some changes in her life. She dramatically changed her diet and subsequently lost 40 pounds, but she doesn’t think she’s where she needs to be to maintain a healthy life.
Abbe’s doctor wanted to put her on prescriptions to improve her cholesterol levels and stabilize pre-diabetic tendencies, but Abbe would rather find ways to improve her health on her own.
And she’s no stranger to big challenges. Forty years ago, Abbe was a dancer with the San Francisco Ballet. But a devastating skiing accident ruined her knee, landed her in a wheelchair, and crushed her dreams of life as a dancer.
“I figured out I could either live the rest of my life in what was basically a temper tantrum – why me, why now – or I could step up to the challenge of rehabilitating myself.”
Now she’s ready to do a different kind of overhaul, but one that is equally as challenging.
Position: Mechanical engineering student
Goals: Regain his former fitness level, gain new spark
When Mathew Richardson was a Sniper team leader in the U.S. Army, he was physically fit, mentally sharp and always up for a challenge.
But now back stateside, he’s put on some weight, and has found that school and his family has taken precedence over his health. He is also realizing that he’s internalized his emotions, sometimes to the detriment of his mental health.
After losing his mother to breast cancer, Mathew became acutely aware of the fragility of life. And as a father and an older than average student, he’s realizing that he’s no longer the skinny, athletic kid he used to be.
“For the last two years I’ve been setting weight goals and then can’t get myself to do them,” he says. “I’m trying to figure out why.”
In addition to losing the weight he’s gained since getting out of the Army, Mathew says he’d like to feel better about his academic progress and gain a new spark in his life.
Position: Student in psychology
Goals: Gain muscle tone, engage in community service
Life as a child was rough for Nate Bodie. He was morbidly obese, struggled with severe depression, and had a tough time getting out from under the despair that was holding him back.
As a teen he started to shrug off some of those issues. He lost a lot of weight, and started actively playing sports. He learned to battle depression through counseling and becoming involved in more group activities.
“Although it was a lesson hard learned, I feel that anxiety/depression has been one of the most fundamental and formative experiences of my life,” he says. “I am grateful for the lessons I learned.”
Through it all, he’s learned to love himself, and knows that the best way to demonstrate that love is to make sure he is mentally and physically fit. Nate would like to lose a little more weight, but he’s also hoping to spend more time outdoors, and start engaging regularly in community service.
Position: Student in International Honors Marketing Management and Communications
Goals: Focus on time management, work toward weight goal
Alexa Carey admits to feeling like a chicken with her head cut off as she tries to juggle all of her responsibilities. Overcommitted is not too strong a word to use, as she works hard on her college courses, participates in Honors College events, Students in Free Enterprise, the Austin Entrepreneurship Program Leadership Team, the Student Powered by Orange Council and a variety of other campus-related activities.
Alexa is also busy using social media, from her two Twitter accounts to her frequently updated Facebook page. She hopes to find new ways to use social media to inspire others to take action.
But all this activity has caused an unwelcome side effect, stress, and to deal with that stress, Alexa turns to food and occasional sedentary activities.
“I need to focus on my time management skills because I do little to stay balanced,” she says.
Alexa has overcome physical challenges before, including being in a wheelchair for part of her junior year of high school after breaking her knee during a Habitat for Humanity trip to Mexico. Now she’s determined to use her determined spirit to have a healthier relationship with her body and a better approach to her busy schedule.
Position: Student in geography/education
Goals: To reach the top of the Valley Library, using the stairs,
without feeling winded, and to learn to cook new and exciting foods
that are healthier for her family.
As a mom and a full-time student, Cammila White has found that stress-eating and a busy schedule have led to her becoming heavier than is healthy.
“I realized that eating the occasional healthy meal and always taking the stairs wasn’t cutting it,” she said. “I’m ready to get serious about getting healthy.”
The struggle of balancing school and home life has occasionally gotten the better of Cammila, but she is learning to how accept support from others, and to stop expecting perfection in her life.
Realistic goals and a determination to live a healthier life will go a long way toward making Cammila a successful Power Up challenger.
Position: Biotechnology Program Manager
Goals: Recover from lost pregnancy, feel more comfortable with her body
Liz Etherington and her husband suffered a severe tragedy this summer when a rare complication resulted in the death of their unborn son. The emotional devastation has been accompanied by physical factors as well, including the surgery Liz had to go through when the complication was discovered, and the need to shed her baby weight without the benefit of nursing.
Their healthy four-year-old daughter has kept them strong and inspired, and Liz is determined to improve both her physical and emotional strength so that she is ready if they decide to try and have another child.
Liz has been limited by her post-surgery issues, and the challenges of eating healthy when always on the go. It’s also been hard for her to get enough sleep with an active four-year-old in the house. But she now feels at the point that she can successfully begin her journey toward a new sense of wellness.
“I want a healthy life for my husband and daughter, and what better way to get them on board than to show them how great it makes me feel,” she says.
Team Orange Power
Teresa Hall, Captain
Position: Graphic Designer, University Marketing
Goals: To regain strength after recovering from cancer, to regain balance in her life
Teresa Hall wants to feel in control of her life after a summer spent dealing with ovarian cancer, which threatened to take her control away. Now cancer free, she is searching for ways to regain her former strength and health.
Two surgeries zapped her stamina and recovery caused her to lose muscle tone. As a passionate agility dog trainer, she has found herself becoming winded when running a course with her dog, something she used to do with ease.
For a while, Teresa didn’t want to talk about her cancer, but now she’s beginning to feel it is cathartic, and possibly inspirational, to share her story with others.
“Because of my recent journey with cancer, I believe that I am at a place in my life where I can bring awareness to others, both in what I say and what I’m doing to overcome it,” she says.
Position: student, bioengineering
Goals: To fit back into her motorcycle leathers, to take more care of herself
Michelle Zink had gotten used to working full time and fitting in classes when she could, but a layoff at her workplace suddenly gave her an unexpected but ultimately welcome chance to return to school fulltime.
“I’ve been taking care of everyone else, now it’s time to take care of me,” she said.
As a young mother, her youngest daughter was diagnosed with a disorder that was supposed to be terminal. But Michelle has seen her daughter through many surgeries and doctors appointments, and she is now 16. Michelle is proud of the time she’s devoted to her daughter’s wellbeing, but now recognizes that those years took a toll on her own health and fitness.
“If I don’t take care of myself, I can’t take care of others,” Michelle says she came to realize.
An avid biker, Michelle keeps a favorite photo near her of a time when she was a bit more svelte, standing in front of her bike with her leather gear on. Her new goal is to fit into those leathers again.
Rachael Noelle Bergstad
Position: Financial Aid Processor
Goals: Run a marathon, manage stress
Rachael Bergstad splits her time between three indoor soccer teams, runs to increase her stamina, and enjoys rock climbing. But she wasn’t always as active as she is today, and she’d like to increase her skills until she’s able to run a marathon.
As a senior in college, Rachael felt like her life was starting to fall apart. Her parents were separating, other family members were having problems, and everything seemed out of her control. But then, she saw a flyer for a Eugene running event, and that started her on the path to better physical and mental health.
“In the beginning I was running a mile and huffing, at the end I was running six miles.”
Rachael still struggles to find the balance between challenging herself physically while also maintaining mental and emotional wellness. She believes running a marathon will inspire others in her life who wish to set strong physical wellness goals for themselves.
Position: KidSpirit Office Supervisor, Non-Degree graduate student
Goals: Successfully meet Navy physical requirements, lead a more active lifestyle
Geoff Tomlinson wasn’t sure what to do after graduating in 2008. He found his inspiration at the OSU Winter Career Fair, where he met a Navy recruiter. Suddenly, he had found his path. Now re-enrolled at OSU, he’s taking Naval Science courses, and is working with fitness trainers in order to be physically fit enough to pass the rigorous Navy entrance exam.
Being back on campus has given Geoff a chance to participate in races sponsored by OSU organizations. It’s another step forward in reaching his goal of strong physical fitness, and has also helped him deal with the stress of his impending Navy application.
“Sometimes large goals can seem daunting and its hard to get started because of how much it seems you need to get done,” Geoff says. “By breaking it up into little goals I am able to track my progress and feel like I am accomplishing something.”
Geoff’s role model is his father who always knows what he wants and works to get it. He hopes that he can some day be as confident and inspirational.
Position: Student, accountancy
Goals: Compete in a 10K road race, lower his cholesterol
Steve Geissler didn’t expect to be going back to school at his age, but after being downsized at Hewlett-Packard, he found himself unemployed and determined to find a new path.
“I am succeeding by treating school, and the tasks assigned to me, as a job, and giving it 100 percent effort,” he says.
Steve has been trying to get on track with his health as well, but every time he tries a new physical activity, it seems like he ends up with an injury that sets him back, or he underestimates the physical skills necessary to complete the task. He’s hoping to learn a better approach to physical fitness that doesn’t put him and his body at risk.
Steve would like to lower his cholesterol through better eating, and train to compete in a 10K road race. He’s hoping the Power Up Challenge helps him learn to be better disciplined and help him build the skills to not only achieve his goals but maintain them in the long term.
Position: student, general science with a pre-PA option
Goals: To lose the freshman 10, and to deal with anxiety
Kaitlin Lawrence’s family is her number one priority. Her father was diagnosed with leukemia in February 2009, and since then she has strived to be a supportive, loving daughter while still maintaining good grades and balancing her work schedule.
“My dad is my biggest fan. He’s always supportive and inspirational and I’m so proud of him for the strength he’s shown during these tough times,” she says.
Kaitlin makes physical activity a part of her daily life. She goes to the gym, and participates in IMPACT, helping children and adults with special needs to improve their swimming skills. But she knows she could do better, both physically and mentally, to improve her life.
Kaitlin would like to lose the freshman 10 she gained last year, but she also wants to improve her stamina in running, and how to handle her anxiety as her father fights cancer.
Position: MBA graduate student
Goals: Participate in a 112-mile bike ride, swim 2.4 miles, include his wife in creating a healthy lifestyle
Joey Jenkins knows the power of exercise. He’s worked at Dixon for five years, and spends time almost every morning working out. He splits his time between work, school, spending time with his wife and working on a non-profit he founded three years ago.
But Joey’s life wasn’t always going in such a positive direction. Some years ago, Joey’s girlfriend at the time, and a woman he considered his soul mate, was killed in a car crash. Devastated, he threw himself into other activities to help him heal. He took a solo 40-day trip along the Pacific Crest Trail, and ended up hitchhiking to San Diego, where he helped the homeless. He also turned to his two brothers for support.
Years later, finally feeling more whole again, Joey found himself in love with his best friend of six years, and they are now married. Having overcome the emotional trauma of losing a loved one, he has learned something about his own strength and perseverance.
Through Power Up, Joey will be applying a similar determination to conquering his own goals, including training for a 112-mile bike ride and increasing his comfort in the public spotlight. He’d also like to include his wife, Stephanie in his quest for better fitness. Her incredible support of Joey, despite a three-hour daily commute, has helped him become who he is today.
“I would like to be able to create time for both of us to create a healthy lifestyle together,” he says.