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Daira Hoegh Driftmier 2005

About Me: I was born in Atlantic, Iowa, but did most of my growing up in Sully, Iowa. Sully is a small version of Pella, just 20 minutes north. I am one of six kids, two brothers and three sisters. I graduated in 2001 from Lynnville Sully High School. I chose Central because of the closeness to home and for its long-standing traditions in community and education.

Although I am not Dutch, I can appreciate the importance of being proud of where you come from. I am Danish, and through my grandparents and large extended family, I grew up knowing the importance of my Danish heritage, family, community and traditions. The Danish equivalent of the Dutch Tulip Time is Tivoli Fest. Very different, but with the same idea of celebrating our heritage. I am pretty sure I never missed one in Elk Horn, Iowa—the largest Danish settlement in the United States.

Employment: I started personal training at Aspen Athletic Club in Clive, Iowa, the day after graduating from Central. I was blessed with great clients. After two years I left to manage a Snap Fitness in Urbandale, Iowa. Two years later, I joined two other personal trainers to run Nutri-Sport, a nutrition store.

In 2015 I was approached by Hy-Vee and my eyes were opened. Now I am thriving with my knowledge and enthusiasm for health and fitness. I began to imagine what it would be like if I could help more people, specifically kids and families. It was a leap of faith and took me completely out of my comfort-zone to sitting behind a desk in a corporate office. After four years, I am still getting used to sitting, but grateful to be helping so many people—something I never realized I was capable of.

Since the program began in 2016, I have worked with over 350 schools, reaching over 197,000 kids across eight states. Hy-Vee partners within their communities to bring elementary students on to college campuses to have a positive experience with future education and their personal health. Creating a clear message that the choices they make today will impact their future. I get to work with universities across Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri as well as the Minnesota Vikings and the Kansas City Chiefs. Our largest event is Exercising Your Character. Last year we hosted over 10,000 students from schools across the state attend this free field trip where Hy-Vee provides education, meals and busing. (See the photo)

I am actively involved as a member of the Well Kids Coalition of Central Iowa and help support the Healthiest State Initiative in Iowa teaching the unified message 5-2-1-0: Five fruits or veggies each day, two hours or less of screen time, one hour of play and 0 sugary sweetened drinks.

Hobbies/Activities: Right now, my life revolves around my husband, Clint Driftmier ’07, our 5-year-old son, Kyler, and our 2-year-old daughter, Diem. As a family, we enjoy golfing, going to the zoo, biking and traveling. In my free time, I enjoy running, CrossFit, music and listening to podcasts. Most recently, I hiked the Grand Canyon from the south rim to the north rim (#Rim2Rim) in one day with my extended family of three cousins, one second cousin, three aunts and three uncles. It was an amazing adventure with beautiful surroundings!

Books: I just finished “Grit” by Angela Ducksworth. I highly recommend this quick read. I also listened to “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg on audio books a couple of years ago. There is so much knowledge, if you are looking to improve yourself and those around you!

Fun Fact: I Lemurs meditate every morning when the sun rises. It is usually a group activity as our son loves to tell us animal facts.

Memorable Central College Moments: Freshman year, third-floor-Gaass was an incredibly fun year. Bus rides for basketball were always comical. The Lemming race, every year! I also loved working for Coach Edwards in the fieldhouse. He was very committed to his job, I appreciate the example he set. Out of college, I have still had the best moment at Central. I met my husband, Clint, at an alumni basketball game. I am not sure we ever would have met if I wouldn’t have gone back to play.

My Life After Central: The work I do continues to inspire me, but I am also constantly reading and dreaming of how I can better myself as a parent, wife, daughter and FUN lover! You read that right. I want to live and love my life. Sometimes we stop enjoying and having fun with the things we GET to do. I am constantly surprised by daily challenges, some of which can be overwhelming. I have discovered that if I look at these challenges as something I GET to do, it helps me to maintain a positive perspective and stay joyful.

Had you told me I was going to graduate from college with a degree in exercise science and work for Hy-Vee, I would have told you that you’re crazy. Life sometimes does not happen how you imagine and that’s okay. I feel blessed to be a Central grad.

If you’d like to connect your community with Hy-Vee KidsFit, here’s how you do it:
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