January Community Captains of the Month

Active SWV would like to highlight Aletha Stolar and Patsieann Misiti as January Community Captains of the Month.

Aletha and Patsieann will be hosting Qi gong classes every Saturday in January at Canyon Rim Visitor Center in Lansing. We asked Aletha and Patsieann to tell us a little about themselves; why they are physically active and what motivates them to give back to their communities. Learn more about being a Community Captain here.

Tell us about yourself, where are you from?

Aletha: I was born in Lorain, OH. I discovered West Virginia in the mid 1970’s and have made this my home since then. I first came here to be a whitewater river guide. To me, the wonder of discovery I saw in river guests is similar to what I see in Tai Chi participants.

Patsieann: My husband and I moved here from the DC area two years ago. I grew up in Beckley and wanted to come back to help give back to the community that raised me.

Why are you active? How did you start being physically active?

Aletha: I’m active because it feels good. Physical activity has always been a part of my life. I was a cheerleader in high school, active volunteer at the local YMCA, participated in intramural sports while in undergraduate school (gymnastics, volleyball, basketball), and that all lead to more physical activity opportunities in WV.

Patsieann: I like to be active and having the opportunity and training to lead a class motivates me because I get to inspire and motivate others.

What motivated you to volunteer with Active SWV in your community?

Aletha: I participated in several free Tai Chi classes through Active SWV with Joe Jett. First, I fell in love with Tai Chi and the calm focus. Second, the opportunity was presented to become a Community Captain for Get Active in the Park. Third, I recognized how much personal time Joe Jett had invested as a volunteer and I wanted to give back and share my love for Tai Chi.

Patsieann: I give credit to a friend and fellow Community Captain Betsy Kanaknui. I went and checked out a Tai Chi program she was leading, and she inspired me to volunteer.

How do you stay motivated? Why is being active a priority for you?

Aletha: Friends that want to keep active help me stay motivated. By being a Community Captain and leading Tai Chi classes/programs, I have to keep practicing and learning. It’s important to have a reason to practice, learn, and do.

Patsieann: The Active SWV Qi Gong program connects with the work that I already do with the senior population. I wanted to provide a physical activity opportunity for that demographic and people with mobility issues. Qi Going can be adapted to the needs of the participants; it can be done standing or from a seated position.

Why do you think someone should join an Active SWV free program?

Aletha: Why not? Learn something new for free. Sample all the different activities and find your passion, invest in it, and do it. And, if you can, share with others.

Patsieann: It’s a great way to meet people and try something new. It is the prefect opportunity to invest in your health and do something you love.

For more information about Qi Gong and other Active SWV programs check out www.activeswv.org/events

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