Two of a kind, working on a fit house by Torry Brouillard- Bruce and Melany Crews

 

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Torry Brouillard-Bruce is the Executive Director for Housing and Greek Life at the University of the Pacific. Prior to arriving in Stockton in the Fall of 2011, Torry served as an Assistant Director for Residential Education at the University of Arizona. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Eastern Washington University and a Master’s of Education in Adult and Higher Education Administration from Montana State University. Professional involvement includes serving as the Vice Chair for the ACUHO-I Foundation Regional Cabinet along with numerous leadership positions held during his time in AIMHO. In his downtime, he enjoys golfing and exploring the wine country of Northern California with his amazing partner and wife, Melany. You can follow Torry on Twitter @torrybruce.

Melany Crews is the Leadership Coordinator for Residence Life at the University of California, Merced.  Prior to arriving in Merced, Melany served as a Community Director, Senior at the University of Arizona.  She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Colorado Mesa University (formerly Mesa State College) and a Master’s of Education in Adult and Higher Education Administration from Montana State University.  Melany currently serves on the Annual Conference and Exposition committee for the ACUHO-I Foundation.  In her free time she enjoys traveling, spoiling her niece and nephew and exploring the wine country of Northern California with her amazing partner and husband, Torry.  You can follow Melany on Twitter @mdcrews.

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How many of you out there are “lucky” enough to have a partner that is in the same field as you?  If you are like us, you will find that, more often than not, this opportunity has way more benefits than challenges.  During our time together as live in/on professionals, our shared work experience truly helped support our need to be fit and healthy.  With living on campus we had a 5 minute commute walking to our office, on campus or in building gyms and a meal plan.  All which helped us with trying to be healthy.  This year rocked our world.  We moved off campus, got married, Melany got a new job and we started commuting 45 minutes each way in different directions.  To say the least this past year and a half has been a challenge to in trying to stay healthy.  It has taken us nearly seven months to find our way back to a healthy balance with our new way of life.

In September 2011, Torry found his dream job but it was located in a different state.  At the time we were engaged, living and working together in the same department at the same university.  The spring prior to this, we ran a 10K together and had our eyes on the prize – our wedding in June of 2012.  There were no jobs available at that time for Melany, so we made the decision to maintain a long distance relationship until Melany could find a housing job in Northern California.  Living apart made us realize just how much we needed each other’s support to be healthy and fit.  Melany was good at finding healthy meal options, but took a lot of coaxing from Torry to get out and be active.  Torry was a stickler for working out, but needed Melany’s eye to keep the diet on track.  When it came to being healthy we were the ying to each other’s yang.  The year we spent apart was not easy but we made it work.

Fast forward to June 2012, and our long-awaited wedding.  Prior to leaving for Mexico, Melany moved to Northern California as she would be starting a job at a school about 90 miles from Torry.  The joy to finally be back together and support each other in getting fit was quickly unrealistic due to the fact that we were now commuting.   Within one month Melany had moved from one state to another, we enjoyed the most perfect wedding in the Mayan Riviera, and Melany started a job at a new school.  The new job required us to find a home in a town that was midway between the schools; thus creating a 45 minute to hour drive each way for both of us.  Last we checked, the three things above – moving, wedding, new job – all rank pretty high on the top of the stressors list.  What got us through the stress was knowing we would be living together and getting healthy again.  One of those things came to fruition, the other part did not.

Once we were settled in our new homes (did we mention we moved twice in the first two months together due to horrible landlord conditions) we found it very difficult to get out and get active. We also ate out a lot!  And we didn’t eat salads when we went out we enjoyed fries and hamburgers!   With us both still fairly new to our jobs there were many later nights spent trying to get caught up, pushing arrival back home well beyond a “reasonable” workout time.  Sit down dinners developed into drive-thru meals which were often shared in front of the television.  As our days got shorter and much of our time was spent in the office or in the car our health was deteriorating.   Something had to give.

In December, our clothes didn’t fit and we were tired all the time.  We knew then that we had to do something.  We were paying for a gym that we were not using and we were eating everything but vegetables.  So we decided in January we would join Weight Watchers.  We showed up to our first meeting and got on the scale.  It was a very depressing moment.  At that point we didn’t care that it would take a while to work it off.  We were motivated to start the new year dedicated to eating better and working out more, and we were going to do it in a healthy way—no crazy diets, no massive workouts.  We wanted to commit to something that is achievable, something that can work with our schedules, something that will be a sustainable healthy life style.  In January we went to each meeting, losing on average a pound a week.  We also started out just walking either in the mornings or at night.  Now we are back to jogging (at a very slow pace but we are working up are stamina). That first run was hard but it felt so good knowing that we were back!  It felt great to finally be increasing our fitness, but it felt even better because we were doing it together.  We have even signed up to do a 5K at the end of this month.  It is nothing big but we have committed to doing it.

Long story short is there is a lot going on for all of us.  It is important that we find balance and make being healthy a priority. Things happen and it is not too late to make it a priority.  We fell off but we are back on.   We know that we will probably stumble along the way, but we won’t give up.  We know it will not happen overnight but as long as we make it a priority we can achieve our goals.  We don’t work 8-5, we don’t have set routines, and we all have things that can get in the way — so if you can’t do it this week make sure it is planned for next.  Just know that we all experience it and we can all use each other as support.  Nothing is more powerful than when you have someone, or a group of people, who are there to support you.  We count ourselves very lucky to be able to be there to support each other, but find value in the #SAFit community as our other accountability partner.  Now it’s time for you to find the ying to your yang.

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