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Healthy Employee Month

The Wellness Committee at CCMC recognizes the workplace’s role in helping to create healthy employees. They’ve decided to nominate a CCMC employee as the ‘Healthy Kansas Hospitals Employee of the Month’. In September, the spotlight is on Brenda Bohnenblust, M.A., CCC-SLP, Director of Speech Pathology Department.

How and when did you start training?

When I first started at CrossFit Clay Center, Ryan encouraged me to put my pride aside and just start working “out where I was”. I like the CrossFit classes because the instructors provide instruction on how to complete tasks correctly and safely. The instructors, along with the other class members, provide a lot of positive praise and encouragement. In fact, we all provide words of encouragement to each other. It reminds me of an after school sports practice where you are working out for a common goal. With CrossFit we are all working out for better health. The past six months I have realized that if I help other people swallow and speak through Speech therapy I can offer, yet don’t try to improve my own health, I may, in fact, miss out on opportunities in the future to enjoy my own family and friends. CrossFit has definitely helped me to stay motivated because of the “team” of CrossFit friends that I have made.

How do you stay motivated?

The CrossFit Clay Center community helps me stay motivated. If it has been a few days since anyone has seen me working out, I hear about it. I let my peers know when I don't see them also. It's a journey that I also share with my family. My husband and children are active and we enjoy challenging each other. The feeling that I get from completing a workout or from doing something good for myself is what motivates me when others aren't around to do it.

Any advice for beginners getting into fitness?

Just start exercising. Sometimes it helps to find a friend to keep you accountable. Just keep exercising in some way. Don’t give up. I really like this quote that is on the wall at CrossFit: “People do not decide their futures. They decide their habits, and their habits decide their futures.”

What is your diet like?

I have struggled for about 20 years with my diet (that’s obvious!) I have finally started logging what I eat on my smart phone on the free app “Lose it”. It is helping me to be aware of how much food and how many calories I am eating on a daily basis. I really appreciate having the new information about calories and the infused water etc., in the cafeteria. It really does help me in making wiser choices. I also stopped drinking diet soda about two years ago when my youngest daughter said, “Mom you have got to stop drinking diet Pepsi!” About a week to ten days after I stopped, my arms and shoulders stopped aching. My diet is in process just like my exercise. For me it’s a daily decision to work on my health.

What is your greatest achievement so far?

I can do “push ups” from my toes instead of my knees. Even though they aren’t the “best” yet, they are better than they were when I started. I am starting to enjoy exercising again. I have a grateful heart for the people who have encouraged me through the years. Many of them are co-workers from the hospital – from having a friend encourage me to walk to being encouraged to enter a ½ marathon. We’re fortunate to have the Wellness Center and CrossFit where I have been encouraged to keep going. Quitting has never been an option with the people who cared about me and my health.