The Wellness Warrior Award is given to individuals across campus who are nominated by their peers for leading by example and inspiring through action as they work to create a healthier lifestyle.
The Wellness Warrior for February is awarded to Stephanie Langley, the Assitant Director of First Year Studies. Stephanie exemplifies what it means to be a wellness warrior with the bravery and vulnerability she demonstrated by sharing her story with us.
When we asked Stephanie what inspires her to make healthier choices and live a healthy lifestyle, she shared these couragous words with us:
"I’m in the best shape of my life. I work out daily, have completed a 10K and several 5Ks, and am an avid hiker. I like to hike long distances- to really be with the mountains and get an excellent workout as well. I have been a vegetarian all of my adult life, I have a lovely organic garden, and there’s nothing I like to talk about more than food. I am content and striving.
But, if you would have looked at my life 10 years ago, you would have seen a different version of me. I was not a wellness warrior. I was a cigarette smoker who abused prescription medication and I was really just kind of a mess. I’ve always gardened and I’ve always preferred whole foods but, other than that I did NOT put my wellness first. I know people who still live that way- who did not get out from under the heavy weight of an addiction (or two). I also know other warriors who, like myself, left all that garbage in the rear view.
There is no glorious moment when the clouds opened up and I changed my lifestyle. I did it step by step: eradicating bad habits and introducing better ones. Following my bliss: first walking then running, hiking, breathing and most importantly telling myself the truth. Putting myself first. Being patient. Being frustrated. Just being. And now, being honest."
Congratulations Stephanie, and thank you for being a model of health and wellness on UT's Campus.
Do you know someone who you feel is deserving of the Wellness Warrior award? Please fill out a nomination form to have their story told.