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Walk Star: Bridget Thompson

Saying goodbye to anyone is hard to do. That’s something that never changes as we move through our lives. It’s a bittersweet feeling because on one hand you are going to miss the time and memories, but on the other hand you realize that they are moving on to bigger and better things in their lives! That being said, the Walk Georgia team would like to announce that our awesome PR specialist, Bridget Thompson, will be moving on to bigger and better things in Texas!

While I have only been at Walk Georgia for a handful of months, I could tell — from my first day — the impact that Bridget has made on this program. Bridget has a unique sense of drive and ambition that is strengthened by a foundation of respect, kindness and faith. Anyone who has worked with her can attest to how willing she is to help others work through a problem! The example she has set through her work ethic is something I aspire to achieve. I can truly say that being able to work under Bridget as her assistant has been an honor and a joy!

Even though Bridget and I have worked closely over the past months, I realized that I never really had the opportunity to sit down and speak to her about the value Walk Georgia has added to her life and vice versa. So this week I had the opportunity to interview Bridget and get a very, very insider’s perspective on how Walk Georgia has impacted her health and wellness goals.

When I asked Bridget what drew her to Walk Georgia, she responded by saying that she was very attracted to the opportunity to work in health promotion at the community level – which she finds very rewarding.

To quote Bridget: “Health promotion is the best job in the world, because you are truly helping people increase their quality of life. I found Walk Georgia and it’s enabled me to focus on the people around me, whether it be my family, my community, or my state.”

Bridget has been promoting the health of Georgians with Walk Georgia for two years! She started in 2014, when the website was only open twice a year for fall and spring campaigns. At this time the website was mostly used by groups and organizations. According to Bridget, Walk Georgia has changed so much from then to now – and for the better! Now it is not uncommon for families and friends to use Walk Georgia to build relationships that value healthy living. She tells me that this change has been particularly exciting to see from her end:

“It’s wonderful to see these people challenging each other, saying, ‘wellness will be a priority to me and I will encourage the people around me.’ It’s amazing that we help facilitate that.”

Part of this enthusiasm in connecting people to health and wellness comes from Bridget’s own personal values. For her, making your health a priority goes hand-in-hand with recognizing your value as a person. This struck me as an interesting concept, so I asked her to explain, and she told me that:

“Health and wellness are valuable to me because people are valuable to me. But people often do not value themselves. It sometimes takes a little faith at first, especially if you don’t feel valuable. Deciding to value yourself motivates you to make sound and respectful decisions toward your body.”

And she offers some practical tips so that making those decisions can be a bit easier. Nutrition and physical activity are very important to Bridget, and she gave me three quick steps that she uses in her life to get her health in line.

  1. She avoids buying any junk foods at all!
  1. She only shops on the outside aisles of the supermarket. She told me that most grocery stores will put junk food in the middle of the store, and leave whole, non-processed foods on the outside! Staying in these sections assures her that the food she’s buying is healthy!
  1. She subscribes to the mindset of: Just start! Do what you can, when you can, as best you can! Don’t feel discouraged if you can’t do everything at once. You will learn new things every day!

We ended the interview with Bridget telling me that her personal decision to become healthy was a huge leap of faith. After being very unhealthy for a period of time, she finally made the decision to see the value in her body and her health. After that, many things started falling into place as far as replacing unhealthy habits with healthy ones. She knows what it is like to start from square one, and that has motivated her to help others on their health and wellness journeys to move more and live more!

I think I speak for all of us when I say that you will be sorely missed, Bridget! But we will forever be grateful for the drive, ambition, respect, kindness, and faith that you have used to make Walk Georgia into the program it is today! We wish you the best in your future endeavors, and we hope the paths we walk will meet again down the road!