Tricia Reuter, Benefits Specialist
Growing up in a rural town, my siblings and I loved the outdoors. Every day in the summer, we would head outside and take off playing in our woods, roaming the countryside looking for apples, berries, chokecherries, gooseberries, and drinking water from a nearby stream. We loved building tree forts, riding horses, biking, walking on stilts, playing basketball, softball, kickball, etc. When my parents would call us in for supper, we were not very hungry and sometimes had stomachaches from our day's findings.
When I was 3 ½ my older brother had gotten a bike for his 5th birthday. A few weeks later, he decided to teach me how to ride his bike. He thought I would do best on the grass, so pointed me straight down a low-grade hill with nothing straight in front of me. He held on at first and then decided to let go. For some reason, my bike slowly started heading left toward the only thing around, a shed. I froze and panicked. I could not turn the wheel and he had not told me how to use the breaks yet, so of course I hit the shed. I was lucky I only bent the handlebars, the front tire, my left elbow and my face. My mom was able to capture this on video. We sent it in to "America's Funniest Home Videos" but still haven't found out if we won. Once I mastered biking, my brother knew he could count on me to try out all the ramps that we built. Looking back, I think that may be a reason he taught me to ride at such an early age. I did not care; I loved trying out any obstacle. Some of the ramps took a few tries (I have scars on my elbows and knees to prove it) but I kept trying them out until we perfected them.
We learned many things growing up and enjoyed creative play, working hard, and never giving up. My upbringing has instilled the value of mind, body, and spirit. Always having a positive outlook, finding time to exercise daily, have some fun and occasionally pluck some berries or a fresh apple outdoors for a treat. As the Benefits Specialist, I enjoy helping employees understand their health, life, disability, and retirement needs, as well as educating and engaging them in making healthy lifestyle choices.