How often can one say that they have crossed paths with athletic greatness? Faith Faatz’s future certified trainers in her Exercise for Special Populations class can now say they have.
The class of health fitness specialist students at Minnesota School of Business in Plymouth learned about a wide array of factors and effects of eating disorders from The Emily Program’s registered dietician and former Olympian, Rasa Troup (Michniovaite) recently.
“The students were able to hear first-hand from someone who works with those suffering from eating disorders,” Faatz said.
Troup, a member of the Lithuanian Olympic team in 2008, ran the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the Beijing Olympics. She was an All-American at the University of Minnesota in 1998, and is currently the dietician for the Gopher women’s track and field and cross-country teams as well. She challenged the class on their perceptions and definitions of human health and well-being.
“Looks are deceiving when it comes to eating disorders,” Troup advised the class. “They come in all shapes, sizes and colors.”
Health fitness program students learned how to train and engage in conversation with someone who has or may have one of a variety of eating disorders. Troup also talked about the overall body perception and how human health is defined for individuals from all walks of life.
The benefit to the students, who will work with athletes and non-athletes alike in the future, was invaluable, according to Faatz.
“It definitely correlates with our students working with those that are and have been athletes and how to relate to those clients,” she said.
Emily Program staff members have extensive experience in the field and experience with recovery.
“It thought it was interesting that [so many] of the people working with the program had struggled with eating disorders,” student Tina Gagner said.
The Emily Program was founded by Dr. Dirk Miller in 1993 and today offers a wide range of outpatient and group treatment services for eating disorders and related problems.