Portsmouth West High School teacher Mrs. Leah Blevins earned top honors after being named one of six “regional stepper” winners and earned $2,000 for health and wellness efforts in the Washington-Nile School District. OHSAA, partnering with the Health Action Council, recently hosted a a two-week Step-It-Up Wellness Challenge for Ohio schools. Superintendents were given the opportunity to nominate a district representative, and Mr. Bazler knew Mrs. Blevins would be the perfect candidate when he saw her walking the campus during lunch.
Mrs. Blevins explains her motivation:
When quarantine began in March, I began cooking big meals and along with that came some extra weight. I decided to start walking to try to shed the weight. When school began back this fall I didn't have as much time to walk so I began walking during my lunch break.
Prior to the competition, my goal was to walk 10,000 steps a day. I felt that since I was competing I should try to double that. I began to walk the circle around my floor each time the bell rang, walk back and forth in front of the board while teaching and continued to walk during my lunch period. After the first day of the competition I saw that I was going to have to work way harder if I was going to stand a chance of winning. I was told several times to give up because people could be attaching it to the ceiling fan or anything to get that many steps. However, I am a firm believer in "Whatever your hand (or feet) finds to do, do it with all your might." I even explained to my 10 and 6 year old that I may not win but life isn't always about winning - it's about giving it your best effort. Once my family realized that I was committed, they got behind me 100%. They would walk with me in the evenings, my Granny talked with me on the phone while I walked, teachers I worked with would walk with me during their free time and I even started getting up before work and running. I kept telling myself that slow and steady wins the race and that if nothing else, I had to set a good example for my children. I tell them ALL the time that we may not be the best but we always have to give it our best and that was what I did.
In the end - surprisingly enough to even me - I came out a winner! I am so thankful for the help and support of my family, friends and colleagues and am so grateful for this opportunity.
PWHS plans to use Mrs. Blevins' $2000 award to purchase a water fountain with a water bottle filler to install by the gymnasium.