She's just your typical school teacher in Bakersfield, teaching kids and helping them learn what they need to make it in the world. Or is that all there is to it? Carrie Swidecki goes above and beyond that level, especially when it comes to health and fitness.
So how does one teach kids to exercise in a world where they would rather just sit and play video games all day? How about both at the same time with a well known title called Dance Dance Revolution. Carrie has found the formula to get kids off the couch by showing them that even exercise can be fun if you put your mind to it.
While she herself enjoys a good game of DDR for her own health benefits, she also set a total of 5 world records in the process. Back in her college days, she had gained about 90 pounds, and then discovered the game of DDR. After playing it for the first time and thinking no one was watching her, someone shouted in the background "you suck".
Of course, that didn't stop the determined Carrie as since then she lost a total of 75 pounds playing the famous music based game. Her experience led her enthusiasm to teach her students that staying fit and healthy can be fun, and not just the agony that some believe goes along with exercise.
"Every child has a gaming console at home they're all gamers so why aren't we using this in schools to meet their needs. This is what they enjoy and plus I have a lot of students that go home and get fit with their parents while playing Just Dance and parents love it because it's family time now and they're getting healthy together.", says Carrie in an interview recently.
I myself was inspired by just talking to Carrie on Facebook, and with a few words of wisdom from my statement to her about the guy that yelled "You Sucked", she responded...."Dean Andrews I really need to thank him! Indirectly he changed my life when he yelled "You Sucked" and laughed at me for being obese and failing when I played DDR for the 1st time!
That moment in the arcade was my last straw with people making fun of me, because of my weight! After gaining 90 pounds within 6 years from graduating from high school I had given up on myself when I reached my peak weight of 210 pounds!"
"I had lived the best years of my life in high school when I was a 120 pound athlete And was living my life in the past! That moment 15 years ago in the arcade set me on another course in life. I took the challenge and decided to fight back by taking 3rd place in a local DDR arcade tournament.
DDR gave me a reason to wake up in the morning for a chance to achieve my DDR dreams! It took me 9 years to finally take 3rd place in a local DDR tournament And in the process I rediscovered myself! Without that moment 15 years ago I really don't know where I would be today. I'm thankful to have a 2nd chance at life and use my passion for Exergaming to help fight both childhood and adult obesity. ; )"
Some food for thought for those of you who may have some roadblocks in life you might be dealing with. Just take a look at this fine lady, and you just might have a change of heart! Carrie is now listed in a place where she never thought she would end up, the 2014 Gamer’s Edition of the Guinness Book of World Records. To this day she still plays Dance Dance Revolution to keep up her figure and doesn't plan on stopping any time soon. Check out a couple of videos below to get an idea of how this lady transformed her life, among quite a few others. You go girl!
Carrie's Official Site