Champions Moment- July 2012
Pauline “Polly” Chandler lives in Keene and became a Champion on July 4th, 2011 at the 4 on the 4th Race in Keene where she made the pledge to live, share, model, and inspire the Vision 2020 initiative. Polly is a teacher at Antioch University New England in the MBA for Sustainability program.
Polly became a Champion because she believes that “living a balanced approach to life includes regular exercise, plenty of time outdoors in natural areas, eating a vegetable rich diet, connecting with friends and community members, serving my community, and finding ways to nourish my spirit. I was drawn to the Vision 2020 Champion pledge because it is not just an exercise pledge, but a pledge to be an active community member and to live a healthy lifestyle in our community”.
Polly, as an active member in her community, sees her main role as advocating for sustainability. In her role as a teacher in the MBA sustainability program at Antioch University, she has been able to bring her students to the community to work on service projects that help solve sustainability challenges. Polly and her students “have worked with the Hannah Grimes Center, Stonewall Farm, BreatheNH, Clean Air Cool Planet, Cheshire County, Monadnock Coop, and other organizations to help them address a sustainability challenge”.
Most recently, she has become increasingly aware of how wellness is defined in our community through a recent injury. For the last six months, Polly has been struggling with two stress fractures. “This has greatly limited my ability to do many of the physical activities that I love: run, hike, bike, travel and generally just be out in nature. As I’ve had to reassess how I see myself as a healthy person, it’s taken great reflection to assess my identity as a well person”, Polly says. “I have tried to find ways to stay active by swimming regularly, but I’ve also found that part of wellness is learning to live with limitations.”
Polly, in her effort to advocate for people who have physical limitations, she is “encouraging others to build their identity on aspects of life that are deeper.” As she thinks about Vision 2020, she would like “to advocate for wholeness of wellness and that to be a healthy community we must tap into all people of all abilities and help them to develop an identity that is integrated.” Polly believes a “truly healthy community will embrace the whole person and encourage a lifestyle that feeds mind, body and spirit”.
In her journey over the past 6 months, Polly would like “to invite any other members of the community that have physical limitations, from injury or long term, to consider joining Vision 2020 because wellness is a broad and encompassing topic!”