Darlene Scott Finds Joy in “Couch to 5K” Journey

At 46 years old, Darlene Scott, CNA at Porter Hills Village Health & Rehabilitation Center, made the courageous decision to go back to school to become a nurse. It was around the same time that Darlene committed herself to becoming healthier and setting goals for weight loss to ensure she could withstand hours on the nursing floor and successfully take care of residents. These life changes presented new challenges in Darlene’s life, who, admittedly, was a perfectionist and always had a fear of failure. Feeling at an impasse with difficult classes and weight loss plateau, her boyfriend encouraged her to try something new. Something that helps with mental focus, goal setting, and discipline. That something new was running.

Just a few weeks later, Brio Living Services announced its next Wellness initiative: a 10-week “Couch to 5K” program. Jessica Finley, who leads and implements the Brio wellness initiatives, put together a robust program for runners of any level to participate. Through a group app, weekly workouts, and virtual meetings, it allowed team members from across the state to participate and come together for a shared goal; to complete a 5K race by early October.

Darlene hadn’t participated in a Brio wellness initiative formally, though she had enjoyed the resources, videos, and other items she had found while on break at the Health and Rehab Center. Darlene decided the Couch to 5K program was the perfect challenge she was looking for and quickly signed up. Darlene then connected with Jessica and many other participants of the Brio Couch to 5K program. She logged on to the app every day and found inspiration from her peers to get her workout in that day, go a further distance, or even try a new workout. The app and connection to team members who she otherwise wouldn’t have met, kept her motivated to keep going and achieve the 5K goal.

Darlene achieved that goal in October, when she completed the Red Flannel 5K in Cedar Springs. Brio Living Services team members participated in several other races in cities throughout the state: Mackinaw Island, Jackson, Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, and Gregory, to name a few.

This year, 38 Brio Living Services team members participated in the Couch to 5K program. This is more than a 50% increase from the previous year!

Darlene shared, “Brio wellness programs provide an outlet for team members to release stress, learn and try new things, and connect with one another. I have found a new joy for running and can always count on it as a time to focus on just myself.”

To learn more about wellness programs for team members at Brio Living Services, click here: Employee Wellness Programs Michigan | Brio Living Services (mybriocareers.org)