The following is a recent entry for the Mighty Diets scholarship by Rowan Harris:
I am someone who has followed the path of pursuing wellness to create change in my own life. Like many, I was once jaded by experiences and hard truths of the world, I let these burdens bring me down.
I dropped out of school for a little over a year and like many college dropouts I wasted time making terrible life decisions, and honestly did not take good care of myself. I started clinging to substance abuse and chasing dragons.
I was blinded by my own ignorance, and did not see that I needed to make changes in my life to defeat my self- inflicted depression. It was not until I experienced life flash before my eyes during a car accident at the hands of a drunk driver, who I thought was my friend. No lives were taken, but one was changed.
I woke up the next day and looked for every way I could make changes in my life. I stopped hanging out with the wrong people, I quit smoking cigarettes, I stopped drinking, I tried out a yoga class and fell in love with it, I enrolled in junior college, I got a job at a juice bar and changed my diet, and two years later by the grace of God I have ended up enrolled at Texas Woman’s University this semester with the opportunity to study Nutrition and share what I have learned.
Despite my parents giving up on me and refusal of financial support due to my poor lifestyle choices, I found a way to create my own reality and work hard for myself. I never thought that I could get back into school and become successful, but I have personally witnessed the power of fitness and wellness programs change, and even save my life.
I don’t want people to need a near death experience to appreciate their life and maintain good health. That is what motivates me to create and own a business that provides people the opportunities to affordably access every kind of wellness practice in one place!
I want to pursue the idea of an “ultimate wellness center.”
This center would contain all of the following: family and substance abuse therapy by licensed psychologists and counselors, nutritional counseling and meal planning by licensed dietitians (like me), sports trainer meetings to create individual workout plans, childcare available to parents, regular yoga, palates and tai chi classes, a weight room, 2 pools, 2 sets of locker rooms, one basketball court, one soccer field, and a track around the building.
It sounds financially impossible, but with the right group of people who have the same idea anything is possible. I think this idea will be successful because if placed in the right locations, the accessibility of anything you could ask for in one place will be too much to pass up. It also could possibly put single focus gyms and health practices out of business because people are always busy and they want to get as much done out of one trip as they can.
Placing one in any college town would be perfect for college students and local moms when they come to town to shop. The center could partner with the university and provide discounts and jobs for students, making the program even more appealing for students.
I think it is most important to appeal to college students because college is extremely stressful and some students can really struggle when it comes to managing their time, and they do not have time to take care of their mental and physical health.
I want to embody a family friendly, low paced, welcoming and caring atmosphere that makes people feel accepted and at home, and most of all ready to become their best selves, and seek refuge in a time of need.
Rowan Harris, Texas Woman’s University