I love that Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation is a concept! It may be long overdue, but glad it is here and that so many nurses participate to encourage and share how they stay healthy or pursue health. I'm privileged to work on a step down unit where I am surrounded by like-minded nurses! In fact, our unit won one of the video competitions last year.
I was a bookish kid and not into sports. As I became an adult I discovered I enjoyed exercising, biking, swimming and incorporated those activities into raising young children. I became a nurse at 36 years old, and two years of night shift found me 25 pounds heavier and less active. A divorce became the impetus to hike, after trying alcohol and crying. My therapy of hiking a mountain became a love and now a necessity of life. Age 44 gave me a new love in my life and along with him, I discovered my passion for skiing! The message is it's never too late to bloom!
Age also brought me the challenge of chronic pain. That has taught me empathy for my co-workers and patients. It also slowed me down and made me a nicer person - one who is willing to invite others along because I'm no longer worried they will slow me down...haha! I now organize hikes, snowshoes and ski days through a Facebook page and a meet up group. I also made it my professional work goal to get more of my teammates on the mountain this year with some success. Those crazy work schedules make that a challenge. Age 60 finds me encouraging others to embrace the day and not let errands or less than perfect weather derail the plan for a day outside!!
Dionne Allen, BSN, RN
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