Meijer State Games of Michigan Athlete Spotlight:

Heather Kesselring-Quakenbush, Track & Field

by: Kenneth DeGraaf

Ithaca resident Heather Kesselring-Quakenbush just turned 50 this past year, but donít tell her that. She thinks sheís only 0, or at least thatís what she tells herself. Heather explained, ďIím seeing it as a start point with 50+ more to go. With that in mind, I wanted to challenge myself in several ways.Ē These challenges include the Triadventure, shot put, and 100 miles of cycling. Last time Heather competed in shot put she was a high school student, now she plans to bring the sport back into her life.
When Heather first joined the track team back in high school, she saw it as something to do with her downtime. Heather couldnít run very fast or jump very high, but she knew she was stronger than most girls her age. Ultimately, shot put was her only option. Unfortunately, Heather had to quit mid-way through her junior year due to mono. Come senior year, Heather decided to work instead of compete so she never got to truly see what she could do in the sport. She plans to find that out this year at the Meijer State Games of Michigan.†
Despite recently getting back into her high school sport, Heather has been maintaining a healthy living her whole life. When asked about how she does it, she replied, ďI walk 4 miles every morning with some friends, my dog and a 30 lb. pack. I lift weights 2X per week, do yoga 1-2 times per week, and then fit in other activities where I can. I also try to maintain a healthy diet, a regular sleep schedule, reading and daily prayer.Ē†
As if her commitment to a healthy lifestyle doesnít seem busy enough, Heatherís professional life is just as demanding. She is the Director of Business Administration/Sport Management at Aquinas College, in addition to being the President of the Michigan Statewide Sport Management Association, which is a non-profit organization aimed at both student professional development and helping students find internships/employment in the sport management field. When her fitness and professional life are aside, Heather also enjoys gardening and spending time with her husband, 2 step children, 4 step grandchildren, her 2 cats and her dog.†
Mary Humm, a friend of Heather who competed in the Triadventure with her, is amazed at the commitment Heather displays. Mary enlightened, ďHeatherís dedication to her sport is like her dedication to everything she does, making sure to maximize her knowledge and skills by learning and practicing technique, strengthening her body, and setting an inspiring example to all she encounters.Ē
In addition to attending the Meijer State Games as an athlete, Heather looks forward to watching a former student of hers, Emily Smith, compete in the discus event. Together, the two plan to cheer each other on. At 50 years old, or 0, however you want to look at it, Heather hopes her positive optimism and dedication will lead her on a track to redemption in a sport she hasnít competed in since high school.
Interested in Track & Field?
The Meijer State Games of Michigan is a multi-sport, Olympic-style event(s) that welcome athletes regardless of age or ability level. The Games embody the values of participation, sportsmanship and healthy living.
In August 2017, the Meijer State Games of Michigan will play host to the
2017 State Games of America.
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