by Barbara Scarpella Reed
A year ago, diehard outdoorswoman, Carol D. Wier collaborated with a partner and created a series of sport-based workshops, blending nature and exercise into a spiritual journey.
Fitness With Spirit blossomed from Wier’s early childhood experiences and her love for sport related outdoor activities. Through the years, she has developed an expertise in snowshoeing, biking, camping, kayaking and mountain climbing.
Her passion for exercise became the impetus for a new program at St. Joseph’s Hospital. Educated as an RN, MHS and GNP, Wier developed and directed the Sage Clinic program for 20 geriatric patients. "The focus of the program took a strong preventive direction, correlating with my own active lifestyle," said Wier. Wier left St. Joseph’s Hospital five years ago, the Sage Clinic program is still in existence today.
Wier’s desire to pass on the concept of the Sage Clinic Program to the general-public developed into her Fitness With Spirit business. "The goal is to get the participants to try something new in activities, including and encouraging novices as well as the experienced, the reluctant lacking confidence, to attempt a new adventure. We are in a movement of people being more active," explained Wier.
The majority of participants involved in Fitness With Spirit are 40 to 65-years-old. "This life phase seems to allow flexibility, and fits lifestyles. This age is looking for adventure," said Wier.
Weir defines the program as a spiritual experience, not religious. "It’s about personal beliefs; it doesn’t have to have a deeper level, but includes the spirituality that you have within you that relates to the outdoors," explained Weir. The organized event is often adjusted to what the group wants, we customize the environment of the activity based on the participants, mainly just having a good time, not competitive or performance orientated, just being in a beautiful setting."
Weir always brings a co-leader on the activities, the additional leader helps maintain all paces of activities. "No one is ever left behind," said Wier.
Weir provides all amenities for the workshop, allowing the participant total freedom from any responsibility. The program includes ticketing for the event, food and accommodations.
Wier encourages participants from all occupations and age groups to take advantage of her sport-based workshops. She particularly would like to see an increase of nurses attending, as she stated, "nursing is a busy and stressful job, a demanding field, and the workshops would be one outlet to manage the stresses."
"Our first year in the business brought a very positive response, overall touching the lives of 40 people with activities, said Wier. I am hoping to have an outreach of 100 people this year, marketing the business is my biggest challenge."
Weir currently works at Porter Adventist Hospital as an Infection Control Professional. "I would love to have out of state, or even out of the country sport-based workshops. This being my primary business in several years," said Wier.
Contact Carol Wier, Fitness With Spirit Director for more information regarding 2005 Fitness With Spirit activity schedules.
Phone: 303.331.0943 or e-mail