Summer Memories

Finally, school is over and summer is right around the corner Warhawks! Now that we have less prioritizes on our plate, we are able to have a nice, relaxing, fun and safe summer. Summer always goes by so fast that it is hard to remember everything you did. Memories are trying to be made before we go back to school in the fall, so why not try and remember all the good memories before we have to get back to business? When trying to think of how to remember everything that has happened to you this summer, there are many options for you to choose from. Continue reading

Mental and Physical Health, through the eyes of Africa

This past summer I was given the opportunity of a lifetime when I was able to travel to West Africa for two weeks. I traveled the country of Burkina Faso meeting people, helping people, visiting orphanages, and making memories. Through those events, Africa became one of the most impactful trips of my life.

pic for blog

In Burkina Faso, they like to take life slow. Sending a single email can take up to six hours. Being an American, I wasn’t used to this style of life and constantly found myself tapping my foot and checking my phone impatiently…but after a few days, I finally started to open my mind and realized they may be onto something. Life isn’t supposed to be rushed. Over in Africa they aren’t worried about sending 50 emails, or checking their phone every minute, or hurrying through the workday. The people of Burkina take their day as it comes along. If something doesn’t work out, they go with the flow and accept it instead of letting it ruin their whole day. I learned to truly admire this way of life. When I think of the term “wellness” I think of living a low stress life. I personally can’t think of a better lifestyle to lead to your personal wellness than the lifestyle in Burkina Faso. Take life slow, live stress free, and be happy because the sun is shinning. Although those goals are not always easy, anytime I become overwhelmed I think back to Burkina.

Fitness is something else that has a different definition in Burkina. The people don’t obsess about going to the gym or lifting weights like we often do hear in the states. As a matter of fact, the whole time I was there I never saw a single gym. They get their exercise from carrying goods on their heads all day, or walking the streets selling fabrics. I would see women walk up and downs streets all day carrying bananas on their heads and babies on their backs.  Without even intentionally realizing it, these women “workout” more in one day than a lot of Americans do in one week!

Overall, the people that I met abroad were very hardworking. Sometimes it’s easy to get lazy living in the states. Everything is pre-made and ready to go for you, but over in Africa they make everything from scratch. I bought a pair of shoes from a man after I watched him cut the leather, sew the leather to the sole, and fabricate the whole shoe. Same goes for the hand carven drum I purchased; wood was craved, hide was stretched, robes were tided together. It truly is amazing to see a scarf being made string by string. The point is, the people taught me to not be lazy. Do not live an easy pre-made way of life, but strive for high quality. High quality fitness, high quality wellness, and overall a high quality life.


Stay Healthy, Stay Strong.

Mary Marren

Be Adventurous—exploring your environment

Be adventurous PhotoBy: Mary Marren

Fall is the perfect time for exploring and letting your inner-child out to play. The weather is perfect! Whether that is vacationing or exploring your local community, I know often times when I visit new places I put exercising on hold for the duration of the trip.  Maybe you have too? Making justifications like, “This is vacation, so I can take some time away from my daily exercise routine and just relax.” Well what if I told you that although I’ve thought the exact same thoughts, I recently discovered the opposite to be true! There is no better time to exercise than when you’re on vacation. Now before you assume I am crazy for saying such things, hear me out.

I relocated to Florida for the summer, leaving my friends, my regular gym, and my usual and comforting surroundings. ‘What a perfect time to switch up my exercise routine’, I thought to myself—new surroundings, new activities, and new experiences. When you place yourself into a new environment it gets you out of the everyday routine and leaves you with new and exciting options.  Even just going for a run can be exciting, because although the exercise is the same, the setting and environment are completely different. Being in Florida I can go swim in the ocean, or take a hike through a state park. But this doesn’t only apply to me; it applies to anyone in a different surrounding!

Let’s say you are planning a trip where you may stay in a hotel—go check out the city on the fly by going for a jog. A double bonus to running through the city is that you can check out what the town has to offer. Not big on running? Go for a swim in the hotel pool or a walk with a friend. What about a camping trip with some buddies? This is the perfect time to take advantage of the outdoors by renting a kayak or canoe. It doesn’t matter which exercise you chose to do, just get up and do something!

When you exercise in a new and exciting place it is easier to look at working out as a reward verses a chore. You get to be adventurous and explore the place you’re vacationing to while maintaining your daily exercise routine! I’m not saying that it isn’t nice to take some time for yourself from time to time. Once in a while taking a day off and rewarding yourself to some down time for all of your hard work that week can be relaxing and rejuvenating. I am suggesting, however, that if you do have a vacation planned or are temporarily relocating like me, don’t be afraid to explore!

No vacations planned anytime soon? No worries! Explore the place you already call home. Run a different path, join a fitness class you’ve never done before, or find some local activity that your town has to offer. If you are saying to yourself that your town is boring and doesn’t have much to offer, well let me tell you. Even Whitewater, WI offers hang gliding lessons, several nature reserves and state parks to explore while hiking, cross country skiing trails, swimming pools, and more. If you search hard enough, I’m positive there is some sort of new and exciting way to exercise, so be adventurous and get out there!

Stay healthy, Stay Strong.
-Mary Marren