Champion spotlight: Running beyond the exercise
Ann Vidro is not only an avid triathlete, she also is the director for the Priority Health Champions program.
Since its inception, the Priority Health Champions program has relied on people like Ann to connect the Champions in the community. In 2011, Ann was named director because of her dedication and enthusiasm for leading a healthy lifestyle and for encouraging others to do so too.
Exercise is Ann's favorite way to relieve stress and blow off steam. Ann grew up on a small farm in Southern Michigan with five brothers and sisters, a horse named Pudding and a rabbit named Sugar; exercise was a way for her to take a break from the hustle and bustle that came with farm life. "I think staying active has helped me deal with life in general. I feel like I can get back up when something knocks me down. I feel stronger and more positive."
Maintaining her physical health is dear to Ann's heart. Her father died of emphysema, and she has several other family members who have battled cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure, among other health conditions. "My motivation to live a healthy lifestyle is to still be doing races when I'm 80 or 90 years old."
Never content with just one form of exercise, Ann is a passionate triathlete. The combination of swimming, biking and running keeps things from getting repetitive. "While I might follow a training plan leading up to a race, I also give myself permission to bike on a specific day if I don't really feel like running and know that it's still benefiting my end goal." Cross training in all three disciplines also helps prevent injuries that can occur from focusing on just one type of sport.
Ann doesn't just participate in triathlons — she also organizes them. She and her husband, Andy, founded the Grand Rapids Triathlon, an event that's in the top three percent of triathlons in the country and has been voted as one of the top five newbie-friendly triathlons in the world. The couple also manages the Michigan Titanium, Michigan's only full iron distance triathlon. Being a triathlete has given Ann the opportunity to make lifelong friends and form a support system with like-minded athletes. "The people I have met doing triathlons are incredibly positive and encouraging."
Ann believes people should become Priority Health Champions to connect with other individuals who aspire to live a healthy lifestyle. "I joined the Champions program because I am passionate about health and nutrition. I believe when we are healthy physically, our mental and emotional health improves as well."
About Priority Health Champions
The Priority Health Champions program is a group of people focused on getting and staying healthy while inspiring others to follow suit. This program is open to everyone who has a passion to be and stay active and healthy. Champions are a close-knit group of people across the state of Michigan who come together to compete in races and walks and share insights on how they're living healthy lifestyles. Learn more about the passionate people that make up the Priority Health Champions community.
Yoga at GRAM
- Thursday, April 19
- Thursday, May 17
- Thursday, June 21
- Thursday, July 19
- Thursday, August 16
- Thursday, October 18
- Thursday, November 15
- Thursday, December 20
- Grand Rapids
Borgess Run Kalamazoo Marathon
- Sunday, May 6
Grand Rapids Triathlon
- Sunday, June 10
- Grand Rapids
Gran Fondo (Biking)
- Saturday, June 23
- Grand Rapids
Gazelle Run Camps
- Marathon Training
- Early Start Half Marathon
- Half Marathon
- Early July
- Grand Rapids
Champions have access to races, volunteer opportunities and chances to earn points across the entire state of Michigan. Our highly anticipated Priority Health hosted run camps through Gazelle Sports offer runners training and support from 5K to marathons. The next session starts in early July. These run camps are in Grand Rapids, Holland, Kalamazoo, Northville and Birmingham.
There are also biking events and volunteer opportunities like Gran Fondo in Grand Rapids on June 23 and the Kalamazoo Marathon in Kalamazoo on May 6.
Champions are invited and encouraged to attend community events like Yoga at the GRAM in Grand Rapids, and the Arts, Beats & Eats festival in Royal Oak. Discount codes are available to use on many of the mentioned events. We make it easy to get involved at your own pace.
In this issue
- Don't let allergies spoil your spring
- It's spring break – your coverage is already packed
- Mental health and substance abuse help