**For my application to get into the Secondary Health Ed major I was asked to write my personal philosophy of health. I thought I’d share it with the blog world since health is sort of “what I do”. And the good news is…I got accepted.
As a seven year-old girl, health had one meaning to me: I had to eat my green beans. Of all the vegetables and fruits and whole grains my mom encouraged into my little body, green beans were the one thing I despised. Ten years later I found myself spending my free time running, biking and swimming as I trained to compete in several triathlons. As a seventeen year-old girl, health meant movement. It meant feeling the ground under my shoes and the water splashing on my face as I worked to get faster and faster. Health was seeing how much I could get my body to do. Then, a short two years later every definition I had known previously of health was thrown out the window when I came home from a humanitarian trip to Honduras with serious health problems that could not be determined.
Despite the disappointment and frustration over my lack of physical health, I soon realized there was much more involved in being well. I could still be healthy mentally, spiritually, emotionally and socially while my physical health was in the process of healing. While one small aspect of my health, which used to be my whole idea of health, was struggling, it did not mean I was no longer capable of living a healthy life.
From that experience, an experience that I continue to live with the consequences from, I came to understand my own health and the idea of health much better. My personal philosophy of health began to develop. Instead of feeling weak, I decided to work on other aspects of my health – the spiritual and mental and social sides. I sought after learning experiences and made friends with people I had never taken the time to talk to. I made an effort to deepen my relationship with God. So in the end, while I initially felt I had lost my health as I got off that plane from Honduras, I instead began gaining my health.
In this process of gaining my health, I began to dream. Those dreams involved teaching, healing, children, adults, change, and empowerment. Those dreams involved not allowing statistics of obesity and chronic illness to control our future, but instead allow us to move forward and change. Those dreams involved graduating in School Health Education and becoming a teacher.
As I look to the future, I am reminded of the past. A past that was filled with teachers that inspired me to push myself, to grow, to learn, and to love opportunities to fight for my own success and ideas. A past that was also filled with siblings and parents that taught me the value of individuals and their unique talents. A past that allowed me the security I needed to live and the flexibility I needed to grow.
When the time comes for me to enter the world as a professional, my main goal is to give students the same opportunities I was given as a student. I want to be a teacher that pushes students to discover just how much they can do. I also want to be a teacher that opens up the eyes of the students that have trouble acknowledging their dream. And most of all, I have a goal of helping students foster each aspect of their health. As I contemplated what major to choose, secondary education seemed the best fit. At that age, kids still have the capacity to change and to affect those around them in a positive way. With that ability, they will then help other’s change, and then they will help other’s change – in the end, we will have changed generations. As a result, America will no longer be rising on the charts of obesity and death rates, but instead rising on the charts of health and life. I cannot do it alone, but I can do my part. And that is my goal.