By Jenna Milliner-Waddell, MUN

Being away from home can mean many things: A break from your parents, friends, and traditional responsibilities give delegates a real change of pace for the week. The relaxed environment encourages deviation from normal routine. Here at the Blue Ridge Assembly, activity never ceases. From committee sessions to mixers, it is easy to forget about eating a balanced meal or fitting in that early morning workout, apart from the forced cardio of trekking up and down the mountain.

In true YMCA fashion, the staff on the mountain is promoting their goal of healthy living by providing the calories for every item served this week in the dining hall. Being mindful of this information allows people be mindful about what they are consuming. Having the consistent daily reminder of your intake is a way to encourage people to curb their daily consumption. This information can be found on the television screen in the Blue Ridge lobby.

The drive to be active on the mountain can be seen around 6 AM every morning. Delegates still exhausted from the full day before rise with the sun to get in their morning run. Connor Kane from Massachusetts said, “It sets the tone for the day.” He enjoyed the outdoors with his new friends from Tennessee. If intense cardio is not your forte, some delegates have joined Hannah Corn of New Jersey on the steps of Asheville for sunrise yoga. “It’s a way to really enjoy the environment of Blue Ridge and all it has to offer,” Corn said.

These individuals are taking matters into their own hands, but it can be hard to motivate yourself to work out alone. If a group activity is more of your style, you can participate in morning meditation every day at 7:45. People often forget about the mental aspect of healthy living. Morning meditation, held with conference director Bob McGaughey, is another opportunity provided by the YMCA for delegates to stay grounded while at CONA.

By taking a moment to participate in any form of wellness this week, you are contributing to your CONA experience, as well as the experience of your peers.