Your Wellness Stories

Do you have a wellness story you want share about weight loss, mindfulness, fitness, lifestyle, healthy eating or any other success you have had?

Sharing stories of our successes is one of the best things we can do to motivate and inspire others.

Send a short summary along with a photo (optional) to Krystle Hobson at

Charlene Miranda-Wood and Nicole Martin | Nursing Education

mirandawoodI wanted to take a moment and thank you for the opportunity you have provided us at the medical center in regards to personal training and massage. My colleague Nikki Martin and I are working out with a personal trainer on most Mondays and Wednesdays while the opportunity exists.

We both feel that [the trainer] Alex is extremely good at what he does and is working us “hard” but appropriately.

He “watches” both of us as we work out and makes adjustments as needed, even to the point of changing up an exercise for me because of some difficulty I may be having. He has such energy at 6:30 in the morning!!!

Jan Slavin | Ophthalmology/Gavin Herbert Eye Institute

janslavinThis week I proposed a fresh start with our Staff Engagement program and it was very well-received by my chief administrative officer. She really liked my idea to have gift cards ready to hand out for on-the-spot recognition of stellar work by hardworking staff, along with a personal note thanking the staff member for their efforts and acknowledging their successes. 

She also liked the idea of dentifying a staff member of the month. This person will receive notes throughout the month from colleagues that recognize something positive about them or stating why they are appreciated. Finally, staff will be recognized with the gift of lunch with the CAO and a friend of their choice.

Gabe Contreras | Human Resources

GabeLast year, I started thinking about getting back into running since it had been about 10 years since I participated in an organized race.

That's when Valerie Croft told me about the Mission Bay 10k in San Diego, which she has run twice before with her cousin. I signed up and started training.

With my new running shoes, I started running two to three times a week. Sometimes I ran only one mile, other times running up to five. The most important part for me was just getting out to run.

On race day, Valerie and I had a great time. The best part about the race is the experience, which is what I had been missing about these events: the before, during and after, the adrenaline and excitement, and the feeling of satisfaction. Hanging out with coworkers, friends and family to celebrate your achievement adds to the fun.

I can definitely see myself doing this event again in the future along with other races!

Valerie Contreras | Human Resources

ValGrowing up as the youngest child and being surrounded by boys naturally had an impact on my life. I idolized my brother and cousins and always wanted to participate in all the fun games they played. I would beg to play baseball/softball, football, soccer and ninjas with them. Grudgingly, they would let me. 

As the years passed, my brother and cousins picked up snowboarding. As usual, I wanted to join. On my first run, they took me to the highest part of the mountain and had me figure out how to get down. As petrified as I was, I loved every part of it. That initial run began my passion for snowboarding.

Every season since, I have coordinated trips with my family/friends to various ski resorts. We have been to Whistler, Lake Tahoe, Mammoth and Big Bear. This year we went to Mammoth and took advantage of the great snowfall.

I have a few other places that are on my bucket list, such as a Colorado snowboard trip and a visit to Brian Head, Utah, next season.

Margaret O'Brien | Nursing Informatics

margaretobrienThank you for continuing to offer yoga classes on Thursday evenings.

I do weight training three days a week. I decided I needed to improve my flexibility and balance, so I added yoga.

I find yoga difficult. Standing like a tree is a lot harder than it looks!

However, I persist. I decided it may become easier if I could do it more than once a week.