Posts Tagged 'Marquette University'

So long Marquette

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It is so hard to believe that I am writing my last blog to all of you right now. I remember writing my first blog almost two years ago when I started at Marquette as a transfer student. And now, it’s already all coming to an end. It is time for me to graduate!

Looking back over the time I have spent blogging for MU Employee Wellness, I realize how much I have grown myself. I knew right from the start that being well is more of a journey than anything else. It is not something you can just do overnight, but it is something we all have to work at. And although that can be hard sometimes, it is absolutely, 100% worth it. Being well means everything from physical, emotional, mental, social, intellectual, occupational, financial, spiritual, and more. Basically, wellness is anything that you want it to be. To me, wellness is anything that gives you life, not just simply surviving. My wellness is eating healthy, exercising regularly, creating a balance in life, making time for friends and family, spending time with animals, making art, enjoying the outdoors, and yes, relaxing too. Sometimes my relaxation includes binge watching Netflix, don’t tell anyone. But the point is, wellness is not quite what it first seems to be. It is not just about eating healthy and exercising, wellness is anything that makes you a better you.

My wellness journey has been anything but smooth, but I always manage to somehow motivate myself to get back on track. Wellness has played such an important role in my life, especially when trying to deal with health issues. And I am so thankful for everything in life that lead me towards always trying to better myself and to be well. I am especially thankful for having had the experience of sharing my journey and everything I have learned along the way with all of you. I am looking forward to continuing my wellness journey after I leave Marquette.

It is so bittersweet to be leaving campus and this blog, but I am beyond excited at the opportunity to grow myself and my wellness even further. I will be staying in Milwaukee (at least for a little while yet), so I hope to see you all out being well and enjoying Milwaukee’s summer.

I am off to accomplish some great things in life, I leave you all in the very capable hands of Diana. So long Marquette, it has been a great, although very short, two years with you.

Alicia Diedrich

Marquette Wellness Ambassadors

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As promised at the beginning of the semester, Marquette University Employee Wellness has some exciting new changes and improvements going on. We already celebrated the grand opening of the new employee wellness space! And now we are excited to bring you the news of the formation of Marquette University Wellness Ambassadors.

The Wellness Ambassadors program was formed with the vision of being able to better promote, support and encourage healthy choices. I have always been a firm believer that it is so much easier to make better choices for yourself when you have great support from others backing you. For me it is so much easier to stick to my fitness goals and really push myself when everyone around me is doing so too, this is why I find having workout buddies or going to the gym where everyone around you is working out to be so beneficial. The same thing holds true when we are talking about making healthy food choices or discussing our mental, emotional and spiritual wellness. And this is why it is so difficult to maintain our healthy eating habits around the holidays: everyone is eating cookies, cakes and unhealthy snacks. It is extremely difficult to maintain healthy choices when we give way to social eating or “I’ll just have one.” This is why support systems with healthy intentions and encouragement are so vital to our own healthy choices.

The Marquette Wellness Ambassadors (MWA) will work to create these networks of support and encouragement. The goal for the ambassadors is to help others work towards healthy lifestyle choices at work, identify environmental supports to influence and enhance co-workers healthy lifestyle, create peer support networks and other wellness and health related topics. If you are passionate about wellness, or just want to take on a new challenge for yourself and your peers, the Ambassador team is looking for individuals who can be enthusiastic and inspiring in a wellness role and lead by example. Our motto here is BE THE HEALTHY DIFFERENCE. If this sounds like you, you can fill out the application or contact Kristin Kipp at kristin.kipp@mu.edu for more information on the Marquette Wellness Ambassadors program.

Even if you decide not to become a MWA I still urge you to make a healthy difference in your own life and those around you. We all have to power and ability to make healthy choices and changes in our lives. Choose to do that now and you will thank yourself later.

Alicia Diedrich

New employee wellness space

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Hello again Marquette! I am bringing you some exciting news this week. You may have already heard, but yesterday we celebrated the grand opening of our new employee-dedicated wellness space located in the lower level of Coughlin Hall. I hope you all had the opportunity to join us at the grand opening yesterday afternoon.

This new wellness space is such a wonderful addition to campus, the MU Employee Wellness team is certainly very excited about it! This new space allows Marquette’s employees to utilize the space to improve themselves and their wellness. It has a similar concept to Marquette’s Interfaith Meditation Space, allowing individuals to reflect on their own or possessing the ability to hold group sessions dedicated to wellness. The Interfaith Meditation Space is open Monday through Saturday from 7:00 am to 11:45 pm, and Sunday from 9:00 am to 11:45 pm. That already gives our campus a extensive lot of time to access the space and to work on our wellness.

The best part about the new wellness space though? It’s open 24 hours a day! This means that if you’re on campus until late at night, you can go to the wellness center. Or if you decide you absolutely need to get away from home for some time to yourself, you can come in at 3:00, 4:00, or 5:00 am and it will be there for you! This space is here to help all of our staff achieve their wellness goals and find some calmness and peace of mind in the midst of our hectic, busy lives. There are plans for the new wellness space to soon hold free, on-demand, Immersive Fitness & Meditation Classes. This is such a huge step for our community because now there will be wellness classes that work with your schedule! If you are too busy to attend the regularly scheduled classes, you will now have the ability to make your own time for these classes, so no more excuses! Get out to Coughlin Hall and work on your wellness.

We will soon have more information and links on how to access the space, so when this information becomes available, this post will be updated to include these links to make it easy for you to find the information you need to achieve your new wellness goals. Remember, we are going to make this our best year yet!

Alicia Diedrich

A quest for wellness

Hi all! This is the last blog of summer vacation, I can’t believe it went by so fast! I will be coming to you next week with a day and a half of my senior year under my belt. Because this is my senior year, I feel inspired to make this my best year yet, and I want to do that with you.

In my first blog post with the Marquette University Employee Wellness team, I shared my quest for wellness with all of you. One of the biggest aspects I focused on was that I always have highs and lows with my wellness journey. I would say that most of this summer was a wellness low for me, so I am ambitious about making this year a wellness high. Every week I blog about something we can all do to improve our wellness, but unless we are following through with these on a consistent basis, it probably won’t do much to help us meet our goals. I hope that you are all looking forward to making this year your best year alongside of me. Together, we can do this!

We have so many great resources on campus that will help you achieve your best year yet. Sign up for a group fitness class, the mindfulness meditation class, and/or take part in the National Bike Challenge. Pack a healthy lunch and snack in your bag every day, with the grand opening of Sendik’s on campus this week, it will be even easier to grab some healthy food to fuel our bodies between classes. (I don’t think I have ever been this excited about a grocery store in my life, we finally have one on campus!). Most importantly, I challenge all of us to be mindful of our everyday life, our surroundings, our decisions. If we stay mindful about our decisions, it really is just that easy. Make the mindful decision to eat the apple instead of the cake, or to take the stairs instead of the elevator. Anything you can do to give your mind and body a little healthy energy.

I am ready to take on my senior year at Marquette with a new perspective on myself and my life. I would like to encourage all of you to make this your best year yet alongside of me. Writing this blog every week will help keep me accountable for my wellness decisions, so I vow to bring all of you some great, new wellness advice every week in order to keep you accountable as well. Enjoy the last week of summer break, get in some rest and get ready for our best year yet!

Alicia Diedrich

Mud Runs

This summer, I gave in to an increasingly popular trend: mud runs. Prior to these runs, I ran only occasionally and had never participated in a competitive run. In fact, the longest distance I had ever run without stopping was two miles! While I was skeptical at first, I eventually gave in to the pleading of coworkers and friends and signed up for the Dirty Girl run and the Chicago Hell Run.

Mud runs are typically adult obstacle courses that involve, well, mud and running. For those of us who grew up watching Nickelodeon, mud runs are an opportunity to relive the excitement of Double Dare and Nickelodeon Guts (sadly, without Marc Summers or Mike O’Malley). Some mud runs are timed, such as the Hell Run, while others are simply for enjoyment and team participation, like the Dirty Girl. 

The Dirty Girl is a 5K mud run (not a race!) exclusively for women. A portion of all registration fees are donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. The charity aspect of this run is what really convinced me to participate.

Before the run, I started training by running two to three miles at least two to three times a week. Knowing it was not a race, I didn’t worry about timing my runs because I was more concerned about actually making it through the 5K without walking than I was about how fast I’d go.

The Dirty Girl came just a short week after I had returned from a two-week honeymoon filled with lots of heavy food and lazing on the beach. Oops. However, the run wasn’t as bad as I had pictured. I ran with two Marquette coworkers and it was a lot of fun to get together as a team outside of work.

We got extremely filthy as we traversed pools of mud and scaled mountains of dirt and hay. We really tested ourselves climbing the cargo net and giant blow-up mountain that was slippery from all the water and mud. In the end, we really enjoyed the teamwork aspect of the run. While challenging, we got through it together and made some lasting memories.

As if the Dirty Girl wasn’t enough, I decided to run with a friend in the Chicago Hell Run. The Hell Run is also a 5K mud run, but is open to both men and women. Slightly more competitive than the Dirty Girl, the Chicago Hell Run was timed and had more obstacles to overcome. Proceeds from the Hell Run support LIVESTRONG, which is the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

We ran the first heat of the day and luckily avoided the rain, but only the natural rain. Almost as soon as we began, we were met with smiling volunteers that sprayed us with water hoses. As we progressed, I discovered the Hell Run was much more challenging than the Dirty Girl. We had to climb over a car junkyard, scale a rope wall and jump over a flaming fire. Yes, a fire. In the end, we finished in 44 minutes and were pleasantly surprised to see that the performer for the day was none other than Coolio.

So, that was my experience with mud runs. Is it for you? I would recommend starting small and doing research to find a mud run that is suitable for you. Train beforehand! Be prepared to run a lot and get really dirty. Be aware that your shoes will be soaking wet the entire run, so if that sort of thing grosses you out, perhaps a mud run is not for you. However, the nice thing about these runs is you almost always have the option to walk some, if not all, of the course, as well as avoid any obstacles that are particularly daunting. Either way, it is an opportunity to practice teamwork and have fun while doing it. You can do it!

We even got medals!


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