This month we are highlighting Community Captain, Troy Phillips. He joined us in the Spring of 2017 as our first Rock Climbing Community Captain for Get Active in the Park. Since becoming a Community Captain Troy has shared his passion for rock climbing throughout the New River Gorge National River, leading free, monthly, beginner rock climbing programs to locals. Take a minute to read about Troy and why he became a Community Captain.
Q. Tell us about yourself: Where are you from? How did you end up in West Virginia?
Troy: “I am from Columbus, OH. I moved here for a job with the BSA. The combination of working for an organization that changed my life in a positive way, and living in one of the country’s premier climbing destinations was very appealing to me.”
Q. Why are you Active? How did you start?
Troy: “I’m active because it makes me feel good. It makes me more confident, and lowers stress which ultimately makes me happier. I think people never know how bad they feel until they feel better. I was 285 lbs. when i graduated high school and finally decided to start trying to lead a more healthful lifestyle. I never want to feel that uncomfortable again.”
Q. What motivated you to volunteer with Active SWV in your community?
Troy: “I want to be an advocate for climbing. I like sharing my knowledge with others and promoting proper ethics to new, potential climbing enthusiasts. I also like having the opportunity to practice my trade with new types of client groups.”
Q. How do you stay motivated? Why is being active a priority for you?
Troy: “I stay motivated to stay active by changing things up periodically. I have a few active hobbies/pursuits that I will switch my focus to when one begins to become stale. Also, it is not always easy, but I try to force myself to train on days I don’t want to. This seems to keep a level of momentum going for me. Many people can gain negative momentum and spend too many days sitting and eating sugary food.
Another thing that keeps me motivated are other active people. By surrounding myself with other active and skilled individuals I am more interested in my endeavors and continually gain a better perspective on my pursuits.”
Q. Why do you think someone should join an Active SWV free program?
Troy: “To experience new things. Getting interested in new activities that are active can motivate people to be more active, more often. For me, new active interests give me direction. They motivate me to train, or just keep participating in an activity recreationally instead of just ending up in a gym trying to burn calories just for the sake of burning calories. They help to formulate specific goals and add motivation.”
Q. Do you have any words of encouragement for people thinking of becoming a Community Captain or interested in committing to becoming more physically active?
Troy: “I have been an active person most of my life but I took a much more serious approach about 13 years ago, and drastically changed my health. I have learned that it is important that momentum is not lost when trying to lead a more active, or more healthful lifestyle overall. To explain:
Imagine if your car was out of gas and you had to push it to the gas station. Assuming you were on flat ground to begin with, you would put the car in neutral and begin to push. It would be hard at first but would slowly get easier as you gained some momentum. if you ease off pushing the car the momentum would carry it for a way with you putting in minimal work but eventually the car will slow enough or stop to where you must exert more energy to get that momentum back. Along the way some things may happen. You may come across inclines and declines you must work through. You may slightly slow to alter the way you push to more efficiently push with better technique. Along the way other people may be there to help you push. this may get you to your destination faster. If you let other people do too much of the pushing they may bail…it’s not their car… and you must regain that momentum. Losing momentum means you must get it back. It is much easier to keep it. …and stopping won’t get you to your destination any quicker, or at all.”
Active SWV, the staff, and community are so thankful to have Troy on our team. He is enthusiastic about encouraging and transforming our community into a happy and healthy place to be.
Thank you Troy, we are so happy that you have joined our team!