Faculty Staff Fitness participant profile: Rick Brand

Three decades of dedication

It’s a family affair – Rick pictured in a wheel yoga pose with his daughter, Kristina, and granddaughter, Leah, at Willamette Power Yoga.

Rick Brand works in OSU’s Academic Technologies media services. He has been a part of the Faculty Staff Fitness Program for the past 30 years.

Synergies: What is your fitness routine?

Rick: “I change up my routine from time to time for the sake of diversity. Currently, I practice Baptiste Power Yoga four days a week, do the FSF cardio weights class twice a week and run 20-30 miles a week, with one longer run a week. I usually stick to the trails but mix it up on the road or track. This has been working up to a relay race so I’ll probably change things up after the relay. This could mean some biking or hiking. I also garden in the spring, summer and fall. I also referee indoor soccer, which I also consider part of my routine.”

Synergies: What types of activity do you enjoy the most? Is there anything you really want to try?

Rick: “It’s hard to say what I like most. I do like the cardio piece of running and the focus that yoga demands. I’ve never taken an organized swim class, I think I’ve avoided that so it would be a challenge, and I like challenges. I have done water running, which I love.”

Synergies: What is your fitness philosophy?

Rick: “I have a number of components to my philosophy around fitness and exercise. Consistency is very important, and creating good habits around overall fitness is first on the list. It’s about a way of life and includes diet, exercise and movement, focus, mental challenges, creativity and having fun with life. There is solitude in all of this, but at the same time it’s a social event. I probably do 90 percent of my exercise socially.”

Rick pictured with his instructor when he went skydiving at Eagle Creek last summer on a challenge made with his dinner group.

Synergies: Why are you active? What affect has that had on your well-being?

Rick: “I’m active to enhance my life. We are designed to move and challenge ourselves. There is a saying I like – the universe rewards action. This is so true as we look at nature. We are an integral part of nature whether we realize it or not, and the rules of nature apply to all of us.”

Synergies: How long have you been active?

Rick: “I’ve always been active. I played in nature as a kid and started with sports in high school. I became an avid bike rider and played sports as a young adult, and I took up running and refereeing soccer in my late 30s. I’m still running and refereeing at 65.”

Synergies: Have you had any challenges or obstacles you’ve had to overcome in regards to physical fitness? If so, how have you addressed them?

Rick: “I had two strokes at age 54 due to a heart condition, which I still have. The challenge was remapping my brain, which was something I knew nothing about and probably still know very little. I know my attitude played a big role in my recovery. The other piece that I didn’t accept not being able to do something. When I was a kid I had to learn to walk, talk, throw a ball and do everything in life. I figured if I learned, I could relearn. My overall health going into recovery helped tremendously.”

Synergies: What advice do you have for people who are thinking about becoming active or who are struggling to fit it into their busy lives?

“Don’t wait; there’s no time like the present. Do what you can do but challenge yourself. Small steps multiply to produce much bigger things. Know that you can do more than you think; and your body was designed to move. Understand that you will never get to where you are going, but that the journey is fun and enriching.”

Synergies: What is your favorite healthy food?

Rick: “I love smoothies and put a plethora of healthy things in them to mix it up. I typically have a couple a day.”

Rick became a certified Baptiste Yoga instructor at Willamette Power Yoga in March.

Synergies:  Do you have a guilty food pleasure?

Rick: “Dark chocolate is a pleasure for me, but I love all food. There can be guilt in overeating, and I’ve had to learn moderation in my eating as I grow older.”

Synergies:  Anything else you would like to share with readers?

Rick: “Body, mind and soul are all separate entities within one system – you. They interact and should support each other. Don’t judge yourself by comparing yourself to others. We are all perfectly imperfect, which can translate to ‘you are perfect just the way you are.’ Just be the best ‘you’ that you can be and you’ll thank yourself later in life.”

Interview and answers complied by Kinesiology student Jerick Haynes.