Amber Roberts is the definition of fit. While many may know that she is the leader of Phillips Edison’s daily lunch workouts at the Cincinnati office, many do not know that she also stays fit by managing her own farm. She calls it equally wonderful and demanding, and a big reason for her to stay as physically capable as possible. Throughout the four years that Amber has been with Phillips Edison, she has continued to motivate the team with her workouts, willingness to help, and her great attitude. Read her #PeopleofPECO story below.
If the feeling of fit could be placed into a pill or infused into a liquid and provide the healthy high that is a result of a fit lifestyle, it would be incredibly addictive. The feeling of well-being is an amazing one. It’s no secret that the combination of a good diet coupled with exercise helps us get more out of life. It’s a commitment that’s well worth it, and I hope you will take some time to imagine what getting more out of life looks like to you.
Throughout high school, college and beyond, I’ve been driven in terms of fitness. During workouts as an adult, I’ve often been asked, “What are you training for?” This question has come from fellow gym-mates or those who recognize me as “that girl who runs a lot”. It always makes me smile because the answer is both “nothing” and “everything”! Sure, there have been the rare Saturday competitive runs, mini triathlons and the PECO Flying Pig relay teams here and there, but I’m just training for life.
There is much that requires preparation. You see, I once imagined living on my own farm. When I was a girl, growing up on my parents’ farm, there were parts of the life I enjoyed and parts I did not. For many years, I never imagined myself with my own land or animals to care for since I knew how much work it all takes. Somewhere along the way, I came back to the romance and satisfaction of working on a farm and now my husband and I have our own. It’s equally wonderful and demanding. This is yet another reason why I want to be as physically capable as possible.
To give you an idea of what goes into managing a farm, in the last ten days, I have:
- wrestled with, vaccinated and ear tagged four newborn calves
- picked up 250 bales of hay, weighing 65 lbs. each, twice – from field to wagon and then from wagon up into the barn
- helped install a heavy winch while balancing in the rafters
- hoisted 4x8 sheets of plywood for barn siding repair
- jacked up lower level of same barn, at risk of life and limb, to replace a load bearing beam
- planted a large garden
- had delivered 20 tons (yes, 20) of landscaping gravel, most of which will be wheelbarrowed and shoveled into place by my small but mighty (I like to think!) self
- completed the usual jobs of grass cutting, weed-eating, house cleaning and anything else that living on a farm might require at a moment’s notice
If simply reading that list brings a sense of exhaustion, you are not alone. I feel the same way sometimes! Those tasks do show that I’ve got to be ready and able to work to the best of my ability. But I am continually amazed that rather than wearing my body out, I’m actually building it up for more. It seems like the harder your heart works, the more quickly it would wear out but, delightfully, the opposite is true.
While I consider it a privilege to have work like this to do, it’s not everyone’s dream. You might not want to imagine any such reality! Some might relate more easily with a focus on sports. There is a competitive side of me that always wants to be prepared to play tennis or basketball or golf- and play well. You might more easily imagine yourself dominating in the games you enjoy playing. The truth is, we all have different goals. What each individual might do with his or her fit life will vary.
Here are some things you might find worth planking and sweating for:
- Imagine challenging your own kids or others you love to get up and move.
- Imagine inspiring a parent or older friend to combat and conquer an age-related ailment.
- Imagine starting a new hobby like walking with a friend, biking, golf or dancing.
- Imagine playing with grandbabies, current or future-they take a lot of energy!
- Imagine turning off a “reality” show in order to experience true reality, on a hike or kayak trip.
- Imagine not needing to take blood pressure or cholesterol medication.
- Imagine waving hello or goodbye without that flappy arm sensation…you know the one.
- Imagine laying your perfectly weary head on your pillow at night and sleeping deeply after a typical day that included a great workout.
It’s all possible and it’s no different than anything else worth having. It takes effort. It takes making sustainable changes in your life. It takes consistency and a lot of willpower. But it first takes imagination that turns into drive, which pushes you toward your goals. Few endeavors will pay better dividends to you along the way. You will gain energy, health, a better self-image and independence, to name a few.
Imagine a more fit you, then make a plan and get started today!
- If you work for Phillips Edison & Company in our Cincinnati office, lucky you! Join our workout class each day at 12:15pm, make new friends, and meet your fitness goals! We represent all abilities, ages, shapes, sizes and departments. Come and get started today! I can promise you will be glad you did!)