Pattie Beaven is a zookeeper at heart, always and forever. She worked in the zoological field for more then fifteen years as an animal care specialist, educator, animal behaviorist, wildlife rehabilitator, and as a zookeeper for land animals.
WHY I WRITE
In 2014, I became quite obsessed in fitness. What was so alluring to me about my personal journey was how I applied the same principles of my career, being a zookeeper, to my health and well-being. That had made a huge significant difference in my success and ability to stick with my program. It was focused on positive reinforcement, having fun, and even saving the planet!
When the few opportunities I had to share with friends and even the public about my physical transformation, the genuine interest and encouragement was astounding.
All my life I had wanted to write. And all my life I’ve wanted to make a positive impact on the world. Showing people how they could use fitness to protect the environment, or save their favorite species from extinction was something I truly felt was important.
Unfortunately, being a zookeeper was more than just a full time job for me. I’ve known a couple people who have had full time jobs and still hashed out fantastic stories to share with the world, but that was not me. I discovered I could either be a zookeeper and therefore do zookeeper things, or I could pursue being a writer, and see if writing was something worth pursuing.
In 2015 I quit my job and became a stay at home “writer”. It’s harder than it sounds. Not so much in the “getting my book done ” sense as in “not distracting myself with thousands of other activities so I don’t have time to write”. I am so easily dis- did you see that?!?!
Anyways, I have become disheartened in my hopes for conservation these past few months. I really thought America was ready for progression into a new age where we cared for the planet more than we care for money. I thought my book helped fill a niche that wasn’t being covered. I didn’t think even once that anyone would deem my stories as unnecessary drivel touting about “junk science” of climate change and deforestation. But that was before November.
The fact that the environment is even remotely a politically charged subject leaves me dumbfounded. People “believe” in climate change, as though it were a religion, and not scientific fact.
I became quite discouraged and almost gave up on my project altogether. Who cares about treating yourself well and getting in shape while saving the planet? Apparently, no one does.
But then a good friend turned me around. “We need your story now more than ever,” she exclaimed.
“This is your moment to shine! To show people who don’t even care about the environment that they can do great things FOR THEMSELVES! And they’ll save the planet, too!”
And so I’ve revived my momentum for finishing “A Zookeeper’s Guide to Fitness”. I have a couple other books that I can spin from this project as well. “Reuse, Recycle, Reduce Your Waist” to discuss how repurposed household items can make fantastic exercise equipment to create dynamic elements in your workout, “Conservation Fitness Program Guide” to jump start your fitness, complete with a 6 week meal plan including vegetarian, vegan, and paleo meals, and my “Animal Exercise Cards” to make all your workouts fun and creative.
Is our world a mess? Yes. But giving up on it isn’t the answer. I’m writing to give hope BACK to this world! One conservation fitness fanatic at a time!