Congratulations to Rachel Olson, the Physical Education teacher at Riverview Elementary, on being named the Farmington Area Public Schools Healthy Hero for the month of October! Ms. Olson hosts after school running clubs, a basketball club, workouts for parents and workouts for teachers in the gym. “I will make a workout for anyone.… I'm not a healthy hero, I'm just the one who started the ball rolling,” said Ms. Olson.
She has always been active but she found that after spending all day in the gym with kids she wanted to veg-out more than workout. Her wellness journey began when her sister-in-law invited her to do a duathlon (running and bicycling). “I was not a runner (anything farther than home to first base was long distance) and [at the time] did not have a bike that was not covered in cobwebs and dust. But, I love a challenge and I knew that if I signed up I was in it for the long haul!” Ms. Olson shared.
The experience of completing the duathlon brought her to realize that even when she doesn’t want to run five miles she can do it. “These are things I want my students to know and feel! They might be scared to do anything for the first time but the important lesson is that they can do it,” she said. As one might imagine, completing a physical challenge like this required both determination and inspiration. Ms. Olson watched people pass her during the duathlon, including young teens and middle aged men and women. Seeing these people putting their full effort into the event inspired her. “I was so proud of them, not embarrassed to be passed by them, and I had to remind myself that I was proud of me too,” she said.
The one event quickly turned into more. Ms. Olson encouraged her three boys to run with her and the family activity soon spread to friends and colleagues. What advice does Ms. Olson have for anyone who wants to increase their wellness, and especially for teachers? “Make time for you.… Be with other people or alone, do what relaxes you or gives you a release whether it's crocheting, running, biking, painting, dancing, reading or exercising!”
Farmington Area Public Schools Healthy Heroes are members of our school community who have made positive changes to enhance wellness in their lives. They are selected from nominations submitted to our Farmington Area Public Schools Wellness Committee. For more information about the wellness committee please click here.