In 2015, through the Healthy Schools Healthy Communities initiative, the Douglas County Health Department provided funding to Skyline R-2 School for the building of an asphalt walking trail.
Rosie Gunter, a teacher at Skyline School, shared her story about her journey to health and the part that the walking trail played. Here is her story.
“Last year, I was wondering if I would even be able to make it through another year of teaching. I was walking with the aid of a cane and could not walk very far at all without stopping and resting. I felt lethargic and fatigued all of the time. Every time my husband sug- gested we do something, I would worry about how much walking would be involved. At school, I watched my colleagues walk with their students on the walking trail. My students wanted to walk too, but I knew I wasn’t able to do it. Finally, I gave in to them, but I only sat and watched them walk.
Last summer, my husband found an exercise peddling machine. I decided to try to exercise with it. I knew it was only a small step, but it was a start. Then, with the help of my family doctor, I started a diet and exercise program. When I finally decided to try the walking trail, I could not even walk around once without resting halfway around. My friends, Carolyn and Jocelyn, helped encourage me and walked every day with me. I began to feel better within just a few months. When I began, I weighed 303 lbs. Now, I weigh 202 lbs. I know I need to lose more and I am trying. Some days I do better than others, but I will not allow myself to quit and go back to the life I had before, because it wasn’t much of a life at all. Now, I walk every day on the walking trail at school and I walk every evening at the walking trail in my town. I no longer need a cane and I feel great!
I worked very hard to get healthier this past school year and the walking trail certainly helped me get there. The health program we did at our school was a great motivator too!”