With Sandra Sorgini (@get_fitss) and Kim Thoma (@kimthoma31)

Two female secondary teacher colleagues and moms using fitness as a thriving tool during a pandemic for their own physical and mental wellness are role modeling the importance of fitness and body confidence for their female students amidst the upheaval in education delivery, systems and climate for both educators and learners.

Kim (pictured in the coral), English teacher and fitness competitor and Sandra (pictured in white and silver), Phys ed teacher, personal trainer and former semi professional soccer player and university soccer coach recognize the growing need for optimal health and wellness habits and hope to inspire and motivate colleagues and students alike to embark on a fitness journey of their own to thrive in this uncertain world.  They both attest to fitness being instrumental in their mental and physical health giving them the tools to thrive, not to simply survive during this pandemic.  They each have their own unique story to tell, their own fitness path, but the common thread is that fitness has been a critical component in their wellness lifestyle.  From shaping their bodies, building physical and mental strength, incorporating healthy eating to pushing beyond their comfort zones, developing mindset strategies and mindfulness these two fitness enthusiasts are examples of using movement to thrive.

Changes in the landscape of the education system due to the pandemic should prompt the need for a habitual fitness routine for physical and mental wellness for both educators and students.  It is common knowledge that exercise is the best antidepressant out there.  The fact that physical activity is at a standstill (organized and other) without much push for increased opportunities is worrisome.  In addition to the growing mental health issues and suicide rates prevalent in our youth, and the numerous teachers off work as a result of immense changes and growing demands in unchartered territory, teachers need to model best practices in health and wellness while encouraging students to do the same. Kim and Sandra are but two examples of many educators who are moving iron in efforts to influence others to pick up a weight and flex their physical and mental muscles for optimal health.  Kim and Sandra hope to ramp up efforts in the future to continue to lift up others and inspire others to join in the fit teacher movement.