I’d like to take the opportunity to introduce myself in this first Wellness Blog post.
My name is Donna Birdsell, and I am a certified health and wellness coach and mindfulness meditation teacher, as well as a certified personal trainer here at Meadowood Senior Living. I have worked here since 2017, but have a much longer history with the community. Several of my relatives were longtime residents, and frequent visits to this lovely campus cultivated my abiding love for the Meadowood community. I felt drawn to work here almost from the beginning, although it would take me more than 20 years to make it a reality!
My Own Wellness Journey
During those 20 years, I raised two girls, published seven novels, worked as a freelance writer and editor, volunteered for lots of things, and eventually began my own wellness journey.
A big weight gain due to deadline stress and the sedentary (and solitary) life of a writer spurred me to action. I realized I had to clean up my lifestyle if I wanted to be around for my daughters for the long-term. So, I began to meditate to curb my anxiety. I learned about the health benefits of whole foods. For exercise, I started walking–first around the block, then the neighborhood, and then on local trails. Eventually, I renewed my interest in hiking, snow skiing and swimming. I reached out to friends I had sidelined for my writing career. I was still far from perfect, but I felt so much better.
When I was ready to look for a steady job, I immediately looked to Meadowood. With my writing and marketing background, I thought for sure the marketing department was where I’d land. But life is a curious thing, isn’t it?
An Unexpected Blessing
The only job available here at the time was for a part-time lifeguard on the weekends. Although I hadn’t been a lifeguard for almost 30 years, I decided to apply. It meant I would have to take (and pass) an Advanced Lifesaving course—quite a challenge for a 50-year-old! The rest of my class–all teenagers–looked at me like I was crazy. But I passed the certification test, and I got the job. That part-time position grew into full-time lifeguard and pool manager. Then to personal trainer. And–no offense to the marketing department–I’m so very glad things turned out the way they did.
I recently became the first wellness coach Meadowood Senior Living has ever had. It is a role I am humbled and proud to have stepped into. I believe Meadowood’s commitment to wellness for both residents and staff is truly a progressive approach.
Our Commitment to Wellness
My role as a wellness coach is to help others find balance and fulfillment in each one of these areas, in whatever way works for them. I meet them exactly where they are in their journey, and we go from there, together. No judgment. But I am just one small part of Meadowood’s commitment to holistic wellness.
In future blog posts, we will talk about our platform of the Six Dimensions of Wellness. I invite you to come back often to check out this blog, and read about all the wonderful things the Fitness and Wellness Department has planned for the Meadowood community.
We also have special events and classes open to those of you who may be interested in moving here, so keep an eye out for those opportunities, too.
I hope our paths will cross sometime soon!