Webster’s defines “passion” as “a powerful emotion or appetite; boundless enthusiasm.” Passion is exactly what drives three Plymouth women who launched second careers. While Linda Hermann, Linda Mertens and Patti Anderson entered the new chapters of their lives at different times and for different reasons, all share an infectious enthusiasm for their chosen passion, making anyone think that it really is possible to re-educate and re-invent one’s self.
“I call it my refirement, not retirement,” says former teacher Linda Hermann about her two post-teaching jobs with the Minnesota Twins. Hermann knew that she needed to fill her post-career years with something that charged her up, and as a lifelong Minnesota Twins fan, she knew just where to look. As both a Target Field usher and a team-store supervisor, Hermann gets to share her passion for baseball with fellow fans, something she considers to be a privilege.
In fact, Hermann gets a little choked up when she recalls the honor of ushering during Target Field’s inaugural season, particularly on July 4. “After the game, there were fireworks, and the Twins’ players, their wives and children came out and sat on the grass to watch,” she says. “It was a perfect evening, and I got to share it with my son Rich, who was ushering that summer in the section right above mine. It still gives me goosebumps.”
Hermann takes seriously the Twins’ guest-service motto to create “magical moments,” greeting each visitor with a smile and a “welcome to Target Field.” Fans who are lucky enough to encounter Hermann are treated to her wealth of Twins’ trivia. “Did you know that the pitcher chooses the jersey that the team will wear that day?” she volunteers. If you head to Target Field this month, look for Hermann, one section up directly behind Joe Mauer.
To take in a Twins game or to tour Target Field, check out:
The Majestic Twins Clubhouse Store is located on Target Plaza near section 102.
Linda Mertens discovered her passion at a very different time in her life—actually at two different moments. Looking at the petite, strong and energetic Mertens now, it is hard to imagine that she was almost 200 pounds during her senior year in college. “I almost surrendered to obesity when I had an ‘ah-ha!’ moment,” Mertens recalls. A friend who had lost a lot of weight and discovered running asked Mertens to join her, and she agreed, eventually shedding dozens of pounds.
After college, Mertens began her career as a clinical laboratory scientist. Although she loved her work, she decided to stay at home after her second child was born. It was then that Mertens really kicked into high gear her desire to be fit. “I was working with a personal trainer who was also a mom with young children,” says Mertens who then became a certified personal trainer herself.
She then discovered kettlebells, which have since become quite a phenomenon in the fitness world. “I was teaching a class in a friend’s basement for about a dozen women, but after three months, I decided to rent my own space in a Hamel karate studio,” says Mertens, who is now a certified Russian Kettlebell Challenge instructor.
In 2010, Mertens opened Fusion Fitness and got her degree in personal training. “Running my own studio is much harder than I thought it would be,” says Mertens, “but I’m so happy that I did it. Every day great things happen here because people get to change their lives.”
Is it time for your own transformation? If so, check out:
Fusion Fitness: Offering kettlebells, yoga, cardio fusion, TRX suspension and boot-camp classes.
830 Tower Dr. Ste. 150, Medina
Patti Anderson’s life transformation literally went to the dogs—and cats and guinea pigs. When health problems forced Anderson to retire from 26 years as a school guidance counselor/teacher, she found a way to channel her passion for animals into multiple projects involving pet-assisted therapy and activities. Anderson, a former sled-dog sprint musher, actually discovered the healing power of animals as a counselor, when her own dog Koko helped a student to open up.
After leaving her counseling career, Anderson became a certified professional dog trainer and an animal evaluator for Delta Society, which trains and screens volunteers with their pets so they can visit hospitals, nursing homes, schools and libraries, and offers animal assisted activities and work with a licensed professional who provides specific patient care. (She’s also a therapy animal trainer for the Humane Society in Golden Valley.) “There is significant scientific research that the presence of animals has a calming effect and helps those in therapy to reach their maximum potential,” says Anderson, who has three therapy dogs, Charlie, Taz and Ballad.
Other pets can also provide that same kind of benefit, which is why Anderson also teaches a therapy cat class for the Animal Humane Society and why she brings her three guinea pigs—Hermione, Dora and Daphne—to area libraries as part of Paws to R.E.A.D., a program designed to improve children’s literacy skills currently available in more than 30 Hennepin County libraries. “The program has great side effects that go beyond improved reading skills,” says Anderson, who explains that kids in the program often end up with better school attendance, self-esteem and behaviors.
Perhaps your pet has what it takes to be a therapy animal. For more information, check out: