Harlem Word: Marcia Sells shares her personal health goals and what it’s like to be an “older parent"

Editor January 10th, 2012

Marcia Sells, BA, JD, Associate Dean of Community Outreach in the School of the Arts, and  Associate Vice President in the Office of Government and Community Affairs at Columbia University talks about her own personal fitness goals as an active Mom.

Q: You mentioned that you wanted to swim three times a week. Did you actually do that this summer?

A: I did even more than that. We’d go out to a house on a lake every weekend. I’d make myself get into that cold lake and swim. The hard thing will be to swim as much in the winter. The pool at the Barnard gym is just across Broadway. I have my towel and goggles here with me. I really have no excuse not to go swim!

Q: What are some of your other health goals?

A: I need to be more aware about letting myself get too stressed and then not taking enough time for myself. I also want to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables.  I’m proud of how my family and I ate more fresh fruits and vegetables this summer. Things I should do more of are eating less meat and more fish, even more vegetarian meals.

Q: Do you want to set an example for your daughter in terms of fitness?

A: Yes, I do. She is 10 years old now and I want her to have an active life, because I did. Growing up in Cincinnati, we were always outside playing, running around, being active. My daughter loves to swim. Last summer, she went to a multi-sport camp where she was very active and running around. I am what is called an “older parent” because I was in my forties when I had my daughter. When she is older, I don’t want her to think, “All my parents did was sit around and read books, and they didn’t want to move because they were in their fifties.” That thought motivates me to be active, even when I feel “I just can’t do that!”

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