Interviewing Terrie Anne Bennett is like getting a great pep talk from your coach. Her non-stop inspirational tips and enthusiasm make you feel ready to run a marathon. She is, it turns out, nationally and internationally certified in alpine and adaptive racing and race coaching.
“I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to work my passion into work…helping people grow through being active.” The highlight of her career was coaching Maine Handicapped Skiing, a group of young athletes usually excluded from team sports. “Some of the disabled skiers were outperforming their instructors, so I created a ski team.” Four team members eventually competed nationally.
She also develops K-12 curriculums for modern languages in Maine, including programs to teach English to migrant workers. Then there’s the volunteer work she does for the Disabled Veterans Association in Aspen, Colorado, and little things like launching the nation’s first smoke-free ski facility at Black Mountain. Not to mention her own rigorous training regimen (see below!).
How does she do it all?
“I have a high-pressure job. For me to be successful at my work, I need my mind and body and soul to be balanced.” This means working in workouts wherever she can: taking the stairs to her sixth-floor office, starting walking programs with coworkers, doing yoga in hotel rooms. She plans vacations to coincide with sporting events, taking mom to a half marathon in Reykjavik, Iceland. “I do a distance that’s not gonna kill me, I have fun, my mom walks the 10k. We still enjoy the country because we’re not beat up and exhausted.”
Working out makes you more efficient in the long run. You get out more than you put in. “You’ll be a better person if you take the time to do this in your life.” And that means knowing what you want to get out of your workout. It’s not a question of weight loss or external factors. When Terrie Anne gets a woman on the slopes, the first thing she asks is “Tell me what you want to feel on the hill?” and she works from there. “Recreation is re-creating yourself. We need to find those activities that work. It might be different for everyone.”
And it does work. I hung up the phone after our conversation and got my bike out of storage. Thanks Terrie Anne!
Home: Portland Maine
Occupation: Education, Skiing
Education: BA Anthropology; MA Leadership and Administration; Certificate of Advanced Study in Curriculum Instruction and Design
Children: No, but want to adopt.
Height: 5’ 5”
Sports, past and present: Ice Hockey, running, triathlon, alpine and cross-country skiing, yoga, hopefully kite surfing someday.
Athletic accomplishments: Highest physical fitness score in Army basic training in my company (for men and women); Being a PSIA adaptive examiner; running races with my mom, who’s a cancer patient. In Maui she ran her first 5k since coming out of cancer treatment.
Little known fact about you: I speak three languages fluently.
Guilty pleasure: Thai food as hot as I can get it, and coconut milk.
Most embarrassing moment: There’s just been so many of them! I had a brand new cross bike and it was on the back of my car. It had a velcro strap to keep the wheel from turning while I was driving. So, I get to the parking lot where there are all these people getting their bikes ready. I jump on my bike and clip in and start to pedal, and go ass over teakettle because I forgot to take the velcro strap off.
Favorite thing to do when not working or working out: Working on the kid’s book about migrant workers I’m writing.
I have different seasonal workouts.
Lift 2 – 3 times a week (including a lot of core strength and balance, free weights using lighter weights, 3 sets, 15 reps. I split upper and lower body, super -set the sets, doing three mini-circuits, to get the cardio…which makes it quicker and less boring).
Swim Twice a week.
Run 3 – 4 times (minimum 5k, maximum 10mi…anywhere between 20 and 30 miles a week)
Yoga 4 days a week (even if I’m on the road and can’t find a yoga place, I’ll do a couple of rounds of “salute to the sun” in my hotel room).
In summer I run and cycle more.
Moment of Inspiration: Watching my mom finish the Maui Tacos 5k after cancer treatment. As a kid, watching my dad run the Green Mountain marathon, which inspired me to be a runner.
Favorite Quote: TS Elliot “Only those who risk going too far can find out how far one can go.”