My 22nd Birthday!!

Woohooo, it’s finally March! Besides the fact that it means that spring is almost here, it’s also my birthday month. It’s actually today, so I thought I would dedicate this blog to the awesome friends that have made today absolutely amazing!

Let me first begin with last night! My apartment as well as a few other friends and I went out to dinner at Crazy Horse here in Holland, and that was one of the greatest meals I have ever had. It has become a tradition to go there for my birthday because I celebrated my 21st there last year and thought the atmosphere and food were to die for. After regretting eating so much, I was able to Skype with my parents for a while, which was a nice treat because that doesn’t happen a whole lot. A lot of stories and catching up took place, which was much needed! At this point it was close to midnight and so I decided to hit the hay. However, a few friends thought it was necessary to keep me up because I got texts at midnight as well as a phone call. Regardless of how tired I was, it was such a great way to start off my birthday!

This morning was filled with a ton of excitement. First of all, my roommate and I went to the Dow and ran for a bit before going to chapel and classes. I’ve never had so many people come up to me to wish me a happy birthday in such a short window of time! I guess that just reflects on Hope College because everybody is so close to one another that everybody is aware of when birthdays are and reach out to people, even if you don’t know them very well. After going to class and having people sing to me during class, I was able to have some down-time with my friend and just laugh for a good amount of time before finally working on some homework.

The celebration doesn’t end there though! Tonight I have Foundations for Fitness (check out my other blog if you don’t know what this is), which should be super fun and then I’m planning on hanging out with some close friends and grabbing dessert before my birthday comes to a close. I feel like this birthday has been superior to others in the sense that I really saw how much people reached out to me for simply living another year. It’s also fun just blasting Taylor Swift’s song “22” an annoying amount of times, just because it’s my only opportunity to do so.

Well, that pretty much sums up my birthday! Thank you to all of those who wished me a great day and those of you who are prospective students, know that Hope is such a welcoming place where nearly everyone makes you feel special, especially on your birthday! Have a great rest of your week!

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @hopeleslie15.

Foundations for Fitness!

Greetings, Hope College! With the New Year in full swing, I’ve noticed a lot of people trying to carry out their New Year’s resolution of exercising more at the gym. Not only are Hope students trying to be more active, other people in the Holland community are attempting to improve their overall health as well. I’m apart of a new program here at Hope called Foundations for Fitness, where a student becomes a mentor to a child for ten weeks. The goal of this program is to establish some healthy habits in the child while encouraging them to be more physically active and hopefully making it fun at the same time! So far I have only met with my mentee for two weeks and in that amount of time, we were able to create some goals and focus on areas he wants to improve on, such as balance and endurance.

In order to participate in the program, each student (usually between the ages of 6 and 12) had to go through assessments before beginning. Such assessments include heart rate, blood pressure, waist circumference, height and a quality of life survey. Following this assessment, the child and their parent are involved in about ten weeks of introduction to equipment in the special facility in the Dow while starting some exercising before the subsequent ten weeks of working with a student. After the whole program is finished, another assessment will be taken to see the amount of improvement in the child.

As briefly mentioned, the ten weeks of physical activity with a mentor takes place in the Dow in a room above the pool. I did not even though this room existed until I was told to go to a certain part of the gym. What’s really cool about this room is that it is filled with a bunch of fun equipment such as free weights, Dance Dance Revolution, ellipticals, basketballs, steps and bicycles that provide energy for an Xbox. I thought that was extremely clever to have the game powered by human energy!

Once a child is paired up with a mentor, it is up to the mentor and parent to figure out what time to meet up at the Dow each week. Typically, each meeting with the child and his/her parent is 90 minutes, once per week. Depending on each person’s availability, more meetings can be made if possible. This program is awesome in so many ways! It’s promoting a healthier lifestyle but it also is fun because a child has someone to look up to that isn’t a parent and is closer to their own age. I know I would have had a blast with this if the program was created when I was child. I strongly recommend getting involved in any way possible if this is something of interest to you. If you have further questions about the program, feel free to reach out to me and I can lead you in the right direction!

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @hopeleslie15.