Spotlight On: Jacki Vandergon
Name: Jacki Vandergon
Department: Campus Recreation
Position/Role at UNH: Coordinator of Member Services
Year Started at UNH: 2012
1. What does health mean to you?
Health isn’t a compartmentalized thing. It doesn’t just show up in one area of life. It is a part of every fiber. For me, I try to do my best to work towards all my definitions of emotional, financial, physical, etc. health. The good part is that there is no health enlightenment phase, we get to work on it and improve upon it all the time and in our own ways.
2. What do you do to make a healthy UNH?
In my different roles at UNH I have had an opportunity to supervise and interact with a lot of students. One thing that is important to me is to be the best role model I can be and to allow a sense of transparency. As a Hall Director, if I was going to focus educational programming about healthy living I wanted to make sure that my students got to see me live this out and to help them understand that being healthy is a continuous process and something we are always learning about and working on.
3. How do you stay fit?
I love trying new things and presenting myself with a new challenge. If I find myself questioning my ability to do something, I push myself to give it a try. The last challenge for myself was to run a half marathon and I’ve now completed three. This year my new challenge is to start rock climbing.
4. Do you have any tips for eating healthfully?
If you have goals, develop a plan that will help you work towards them. But never forget to show yourself some grace and patience. These type of habits do not just happen overnight.
5. How do you find motivation to stay healthy?
I love to travel and to embark on new experiences. However I do not like to go somewhere and feel like I can’t really dive in and experience it. My motivation to stay healthy is that I can be a part of as many things that are so much larger than myself for as long as possible. My last experience was hiking Angels’ Landing in Zion National Park. Google it! I would never want to pass up that kind of opportunity!
6. Have you made any tangible improvements to your physical or mental well-being by making positive changes in your life?
As I’ve gotten older I’ve become more okay with saying “no” and not feeling guilty for protecting my time for self-care. This has been the most beneficial and significant change I have made in my life over the last two years.
7. Anything else you would like to add that might encourage others on campus to make health efforts too?
Embed fun into your health goals and it makes it so much more fun!