Wellness Warriors – March 2020
Name: Stephen G. Perz
Department: Sociology and Criminology & Law
Years of Service: Since 1997
Favorite hobbies: Cycling, hiking, photography, astronomy
How do you live a healthy lifestyle?
I am a committed commuter cyclist. I am currently car-free. I ride a bike to work, to the store, to the next town over, etc. Last year I covered roughly 12,000 km on a bike. My adult lifetime total is approaching 170,000 km. I am also a licensed cycling instructor by the League of American Bicyclists as well as the American Bicycle Education Association. I have given various local workshops on-street cycling. Other people should get to have this much fun.
What inspires you to make healthier choices and live a healthy lifestyle?
Cycling is a very healthy transit option that doesn’t have the vaunted dangers commonly alleged. Anybody can do this. I also eat whole foods, often organic, and don’t smoke or any of that business. My body rewards me daily. So does my brain, which arrives focused after a ride from home to my office. I’ve found that I don’t really need reminders or other motivations.
Do you have a success story you would like to share?
Making the change from riding in the gutter to taking the lane on a bike has been nothing less than liberating. You don’t need to be ready to ride the Tour de France, you just need to understand the rules of movement and traffic law. It’s savvy cycling because it is, in fact, safer, and it means you can go almost anywhere. Since taking the lane, I’ve never been hit, and the motorists occasionally reward me by honking, which tells me they see me, which is a good thing. I wave and give them a thumbs up. Life is good.
Stephen cycles regularly to campus and perhaps almost every time he comes to work. He pairs his fitness with his care for the environment, which he deeply loves. When his physical world is improving, and he is making his personal contribution to lessen his carbon footprint, I can tell this impacts him in more than one area of his overall wellness. He also maintains a healthy frame and has energy and stamina for so many projects and responsibilities, so the boost of exercise each morning appears to be paying off. He has a positive attitude, is caring and supportive about everyone’s goals and where they are trying to get to. I have since started adding mixed cardio to my workouts and started driving my vehicle less, thanks to Stephen’s awesome example.