September Community Captain of the Month

Active SWV would like to introduce you to Lauren Beam, September Community Captain of the Month.

Tell us about yourself, where are you from?

My name is Lauren Beam and I am from Summersville, WV. I grew up right outside of town and fell in love with the community & recreation offered here. I always knew I wanted to end up here. I graduated from WVU Honors college in 2017 and earned degrees in accounting & finance. I am now a certified public accountant at Anderson Accounting. My husband and I lived in Charleston, WV for a  bit after college but eventually had the opportunity to move back and work in our home community so we packed our bags and came home. My husband also grew up here and is a runner as well. We wanted to be closer to our families. We live in the Muddelty area with a black lab named Lucy.

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

My friends have always told me that I motivate them to be active and I find a lot of joy in that compliment. Time spent outside is so important to my physical and mental health and I want to encourage others to give it a try too. Going out into nature is free therapy.

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

I think I used to see exercise as a way to lose weight or change my body to look a certain way, but over the last couple years I started viewing exercise as a way to live longer with my family or just be a healthier person in general. I find so much more motivation to go hit a trail thinking about how what I am doing is benefiting my heart long term or changing my state of mind on a bad day rather than thinking about calories burnt. I am a very easy-going runner, I don’t go out to blaze trails and beat speed records. I find so much enjoyment in taking in the sights and sounds around me. Truly being present in the moment and thanking my body for being able to enjoy where I am. I have struggled with mental health in the past and being active is one of the most effective ways I have found to calm down and find some peace. I always joke with my husband that I am photosynthesizing sunshine into happiness.

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

Active SWV is a terrific program to join no matter if you are teetering on the idea of becoming active, a beginner, or an expert. In my Summersville group we have walkers up to some people who run a 7 minute mile & everything in between. It doesn’t matter what your pace or ability is, a step forward is a step forward. Our group is a place to see a new sight and meet a new friend while staying active and doing something good for yourself.

Do you have any words of encouragement for people thinking of becoming a Community Captain or interested in committing to becoming more physically active?

I was a little apprehensive to take the jump to become a community captain because I was worried about not having time but in reality I am only doing the same running I was before but now I have friends to run with once a week! The Active team makes being a community captain super simple.

Becoming physically active is such a cheap way to treat yourself. My best advice is to find something you enjoy. It is much easier to stick with an activity if you truly love doing it. You don’t have to run 3 miles to be active, start by walking to the end of your driveway or doing squats while you put up your dishes. All movement counts!

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