Interview with Eunice McSwain - Cramerton Parks and Recreation

This month's wellness blog is an interview with Eunice McSwain - Special Events & Program Supervisor for Cramerton Parks and Recreation. In the interview, Eunice talks about all of the great health and wellness opportunities that the Town of Cramerton offers, as well as what living a healthy lifestyle means to her.

1. What health & wellness programs have you found work best with young adults?

I have found that any health/wellness program that ties in adventure, outdoors, (and of course, fun) work extremely well with young adults. There's been such a push for passive recreation, making it important to find a way to incorporate that into programming. Since a big piece of my job is planning programs for our community, I have found that working in the emotional and physical needs of others is what matters. Giving opportunities to those around that promote health, fun all while building a connected community.

2. Are there any difficulties that arise when promoting health and wellness in your community?

In my community the biggest hurdle that comes to my mind is awareness. I won't lie when I say it’s hard to make sure everyone in town knows exactly what there is to offer. It’s so easy for me to get caught up in my everyday routine. There are days where I have to step back, look around, and realize there are so many opportunities to better myself. Making sure that we inform others of these opportunities, personally, is where I see the biggest challenge. It’s easy to take advantage of what is right in front of you without realizing how awesome it truly is!

3. What opportunities does the Town of Cramerton offer to get your community active?

The South Fork of the Catawba River running right through downtown, sidewalks, & multiple walking/running trails is just the start of what the Town of Cramerton offers to the community. Our town is loaded with kayak launches, fishing piers, an 18 hole disc golf course, picnic shelters, a dog park, permanent outdoor cornhole boards & even table tennis. What more could you want out of a small town? All these amenities are available to the community and those surrounding! On top of that, our Parks and Recreation Department offers multiple youth sports programs, group paddles, Zumba, yoga, and walk/run groups. In May, we have our annual Goat Island Games. The games consist of a 5k around town, yoga, kayak races, a fishing tournament, cornhole/ping-pong tournament, and a pro/amateur disc-golf competition. This is just one of many events offered that promote an active lifestyle in our community that is continuously growing year to year!

4. Being a young professional, how do you incorporate health and wellness into your personal life?

I decided to make my personal health and wellness a priority instead of an option. Before going to college at Appalachian State University, I didn’t have the first clue about how important it was to maintain a healthy mindset. I played a few sports, spent some of my time outdoors; however, I never really worked that lifestyle into my daily routine. I adopted my newfound active lifestyle after graduating from ASU’s Recreation Management program. I made a few changes in my diet, took a kayaking class, started running more and just simply enjoyed being outdoors. I walk to work somedays, spend my weekends outside and most importantly surround myself with people that enjoy the same outdoor lifestyle. My job keeps me on my feet and I am thankful for that knowing not everyone gets that luxury. The best advice I could give is to simply surround yourself with those that have a similar mindset as you. This has allowed me to share my love for being active with others while having fun of course...which is always the most important.

5. What has been your greatest success in promoting health/wellness in your community?

Exposing people to opportunities in the community would hands down be one of my favorite accomplishments so far. Watching, promoting, and growing the programs that our parks and recreation department has makes me smile so big. Connecting with others and introducing them to new ideas is so important and can be overlooked at times. Having the chance to create a space that is open to the community to try new things from yoga, Zumba, and walk/run groups all the way to open paddles. I encourage everyone to share their knowledge of facilities that are in the area to their family, friends, & local communities, and to always keep an open mind! Being able to share my experiences and programs with those around me is easily my greatest success.

6. Why do you think it’s important to promote healthy lifestyles?

I believe living a healthy lifestyle is one of the keys to living your best life. Being able to find activities that meet your physical and emotional needs all tie into benefiting yourself long-term. That could mean running 10 miles for some, and could just be spending some time outdoors for others. Maybe you’ve found it or maybe you haven't. Wherever you may stand, it's important to never stop looking. Challenge yourself to go outside your everyday routine to add something that will benefit your lifestyle & always remember it could be as simple as a walk in the park.

Eunice McSwain is the Special Events & Program Supervisor for the Town of Cramerton Parks and Recreation Department. Eunice received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Recreation Management from Appalachian State University in 2018 where she concentrated in Parks and Recreation management with a minor in Media Studies. During her time at Appalachian State, she spent 6 months in Australia studying outdoor recreation, was chosen as the undergraduate commencement speaker, and worked various jobs through University Recreation. On the weekends, you can find Eunice traveling to the mountains, spending time outdoors, or even taking some photos on her camera!

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