Growing up I was raised by my mother and sister's father, Gary Lodge. He was a eccentric man, an out of the box thinker. He was a school teacher, an avid learner (he completed his PhD in Education at the age of 58), a runner, a biker and a lover of humanity. For as long as I can remember, my father would refer to my sisters and I, our friends and his students as “Scholars”. Scholar is defined as, “a person who is highly educated or has an aptitude for study”. I was referred to as Scholar as much as I was my given name. “Scholar, what are we doing today?” “Scholar, how was your day?” It was a household norm in which our friends quickly learned to accept. Little did I understand the impact this subconsciously had on me. I now know that this helped foster an inner confidence and strength to believe in my own intelligence and not shy away from learning challenges. This led me to want to impact and share this love for learning with others, hence why I became a school teacher, following in my Father's footsteps.
Along with this positive daily affirmation, my father also ensured that I was heavily involved in physical activity. Whether it was track and field meets, or gymnastics practices, I was always active. Throughout my teenage years I fell in love with the game of basketball and played soccer in the summer to stay active. It is clear that physical activity has taught me to fight and never give up. But it’s also helped me understand what it truly means to sacrifice for your team and give graciously to others. It’s put me in pressure situations time and time again that have forced me to manage my emotions and perform to the best of my ability.
As a parent, you want nothing but the best for your kids, I fully understand that having two children of my own. The impact in the choices my father made by valuing education “Scholar” and sport “Active” played a huge role in shaping me today. Active Scholars was created in memory of my father, Gary Lodge. May we all set up our children for success, both athletically and academically, and help foster a balance childhood.