Terry Cooper

Yakima, WA


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HOW I MEET THE CRITERIA

How do you stay fit and healthy? Why is it important to you?
I rise early, pray, meditate, read a poem, write a poem, pack 4 of my 6 meals. Then I'll swim 2-3000 yards, some butterfly. Then I start my workday. I'm a high school English teacher, so I have to be on my game physically, intellectually, socially, and spiritually at all times--kids know when you have their best interest at heart, so no faking it. Then I hit the gym for strength building. That's why fitness is important to me because it helps me offer my best self to the world--to kids, our future.
How do you maintain a healthy lifestyle? How has that lifestyle helped you overcome challenges in your life?
To maintain commitment, I vary my goals: cut, bulk, emphasize different muscles groups which demand adjustments in diet and routine. I regularly text my trainer who is now one of my best friends. He keeps me focused and offers options and insights. I am a husband, father, teacher--each role fraught with challenges. I have had my battles with depression and alcohol. My fitness and diet regimen now offer me focus, control, and results. There's no gratification greater than visible results coupled with positive feedback from family, friends and students. Fitness is the hard-scape by which I monitor my well being.
How do you give back to your community/friends/family?
I have National Board Certification and teach at a low income school, offering the nation's best skills to the community's most needy--Yakima, Washington: rural and agrarian. Education offers the only true upward mobility and the highest quality of living--a way out. 30 years now leave me able to appreciate each one of them while they're in my classroom and look for what they have to offer rather than what they're doing wrong. The study of literature provides me the world's greatest literature by which we can explore the greatest wisdom and insights to equip them for their journey.
How do you measure success? Have you achieved it?
Success: to what degree have you done more than you thought possible? Real success is about tenacity: will you push on? To what degree are you willing to press further? I am 57, have a 6 pack, teach high school English in a mostly Hispanic community, and am revered by students and staff. I just recently started modeling part time. I shatter stereotypes and invite others to do so. I'm frequently stopped while running, asked how I stay so fit. I offer free advice. I embody success and inspire all ages in my community and beyond.