Wellness Warriors – June 2020
June 2020 Wellness Warriors – Heather Griffith and Sabrina Sanchez
Name: Heather Griffith
Department: UF/IFAS Communications
Years of Service: Since 2017
Favorite hobbies? Running, reading, playing with my kids, working out, cooking, knitting/crocheting, all kinds of crafts and drawing/painting
How do you live a healthy lifestyle? I am a very active person and I love being outside. My family and I often take bike rides or walks around our neighborhood or we just play together in our yard. I love to run and lift weights. With little kids in the house, it’s very easy for me to get my 10,000 steps a day! I also decided to become a vegetarian about 6 months ago, which has caused me to become much more conscious of what I am eating.
What inspires you to make healthier choices and live a healthy lifestyle? I have always loved moving my body because it makes me feel good. Since having kids, I am inspired to be a good role model for them and teach them about healthy habits now so it becomes easier for them as adults.
Do you have a success story you would like to share? Running has been my main form of exercise since high school, but about 3 years ago, I developed plantar fasciitis. I had to stop running completely because I was in so much pain. I tried everything to help my feet get better, but it wasn’t a quick fix. I was incredibly frustrated because I was no longer able to do something I enjoyed so much. I also didn’t know what to do for exercise. I had lifted weights before, but it never interested me like running did, and I was never consistent with it. I started doing research on different forms of exercise to try out. I did a lot of experimentation! I bought multiple kinds of workout programs and slowly learned what I liked and did not like. And after a physical therapist gave me some exercises and stretches to do, my feet started to feel better. I started running again last fall and have learned that as long as I build up extremely slowly, I can run without reinjuring my feet. I also have found a love for different types of exercises and I am able to incorporate them into my routine as well. Although being injured was frustrating, painful and depressing, I pushed myself to find alternative forms of exercise and learned a great deal about myself in the process. Now my routine is more well-rounded and enjoyable.
Name: Sabrina Sanchez
Department: McKnight Brain Institute Administrative Office
Years of Service: 14 years at the Brain Institute, 25 total years at UF
Favorite hobbies? CrossFit, listening to reggae while creating new recipes, traveling, being outside, purposefully doing and trying things I’ve never experienced
How do you live a healthy lifestyle? surround myself with people that are good for my mind, body and soul, eat veggies with every meal – even if it’s a really strange combination…… and water, I drink tons of water.
What inspires you to make healthier choices and live a healthy lifestyle? Realizing that not a single person in my family that is older than me is healthy. I cannot fathom the idea of continuing that cycle. I want to enjoy every ounce of my life full of energy and show my kids that there is a better way.
Do you have a success story you would like to share? 10 years ago, I couldn’t and wouldn’t walk a mile without stopping, without feeling tired. Today, I can RUN that mile plus 15 more. My days are filled with weightlifting, walking, obstacle courses with my kids, swimming and laughter. My depression is gone, my anxiety is gone and I just feel happy. Happiness is my success. I’m the oldest yet healthiest I’ve ever been.
The Wellness Warrior Award is a peer-nominated recognition of individuals on the UF-UF Health campuses who make strides to live better by making healthier choices. The award is an acknowledgment of the determination and dedication it takes to live a well and healthy lifestyle. Wellness Warriors are individuals who lead by example, encouraging those around them to also make healthier choices.