By Justin Green, Berkshire Center Health & Wellness Coordinator
Dan Sullivan approaches the wellness component of the CIP program with a noticeable intensity and enthusiasm. “I need to succeed in life,” he acknowledges, “And I can’t succeed without discipline.” This is evident to anyone who has witnessed Dan in one of his wellness sessions or classes. He always shows up, often early, and is ready for a challenge. “You’ll feel better if you sweat,” he says. “You might feel exhausted but it’s the good kind of exhaustion – it’s probably the exact opposite to the kind of exhaustion you feel if you don’t do any physical activity.”
And the motivation pays off: difficult exercises, like holding plank pose or wall squat, have gotten easier. Dan can now hold these poses for longer and his body mechanics are perfect. In fact, Dan has been called upon to lead other students in warm-ups during his weekly fitness class. “It’s easier to run,” he adds. “I don’t get winded as much.”
Dan’s wellness sessions typically include several core exercises as well as corrective exercises that strengthen the back and help to improve his posture. These exercises, combined with a series of stretches that end each session, has had an unexpected result: “I think I grew a few inches,” exclaimed Dan. “I might be 5‚9” Whether or not Dan’s height has increased, there is certainly a greater degree of confidence in the way he presents himself.
Dan’s motivation also extends beyond the weight room. He is a creative cook, often adding his own personal touch when he uses recipes from the CIP menu. “I am trying to cook with more white meat or no meat at all,” he explains. “Sometimes I’ll add tofu or go completely vegetarian.”
Where does Dan get his motivation from? “I’m trying to open up my inner athlete, he says. “I want to prove wrong all those people who underestimate me. I want to prove that I am strong and healthy and committed to working hard.”
He certainly has the Berkshire Center staff convinced.