This week, I had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Brown Marsden, a Biology professor who has lost 95 pounds in the last year, to talk to her about her personal wellness journey.
LH: Let’s start simply, who are you?
BM: I’m Dr. Brown Marsden, Associate Professor of Biology with a specialty in Ecology. I work here and also do a lot of fieldwork, including the trip I lead to Costa Rica each year.
LH: What inspired you to begin your journey to be well?
BM: The “Prevention Plan” came to the school last year to do a wellness check to inform faculty of their fitness and risk factors. It was a real wake up call to me. You don’t want to admit how bad it is sometimes, and we often avoid owning up to those things.
LH: What did you decide to do about it?
BM: I decided to become more active and conscious about choices. Something quick … [wouldn’t] change it like that. It takes a long transformation; so I signed up with Doré Madere, the Cross Country coach, as a personal trainer.
LH: How did the trainer help you?
BM: Sometimes people stop because they start too quickly or get bored. She helped a lot to add variety and also accountability. You can’t make an excuse [when meeting with a trainer].
LH: In the gym, how do you approach exercise?
BM: I go to the gym with a plan, always with a plan. Just like you approach studying with a plan. [It gives you] something concrete that you want to do.
LH: What keeps you going to the gym every day?
BM: You realize how much happier you are, and you don’t want to go back. And feedback from other people is great, especially my students and trainer.
LH: What would you say to a student who wants to seek personal wellness?
BM: You have your whole life ahead of you, it’s not too late. You’re creating your future right now and have the opportunity to add this to it.
LH: What are some tips you have for those students?
BM: Have a plan, know what you want to do … and add variety.
LH: What is the biggest thing you have learned in this pursuit?
BM: What my trainer told me, “You’re stronger than you think you are.” That’s not just physical, but also emotional strength, and it pushes me to do things that I wouldn’totherwise. Like this summer in Costa Rica, I went rappelling with my students, and I just thought that the whole time: “You’re stronger than you think you are. You’re stronger than you think you are,” and I did it.
LH: What’s in your fitness future?
BM: I have a goal that’s still out there that I’m getting to, and I’ll get there within this year.
LH: Thank you very much for your time and message Dr. Brown, and best of luck in your pursuit of wellness the rest of the year.
BM: Thank you, I’m glad I could help.
Wellness tip of the week: Focus on deep breathing to relieve stress and brighten your day.