Lake Region Healthcare wellness coach Karoline Gustafson knows a thing or two about play. As a standout athlete at Fergus Falls High School, Gustafson turned her love for athletics into a career that has seen her coach at the high school level and train those in the community. When she isn’t in the gym or helping coordinate one of Lake Region’s many events, Gustafson enjoys being outdoors, spending time with her family and going on “adventures.”
What do you do for a living?
I am a wellness coach at Lake Region Healthcare.
What brought you to FF, or why have you chose to stay?
I was born at Lake Region Healthcare and raised south of town. While attending college I never had the intention of moving back to Fergus. Life has its way of aligning events which brought me back to town. I started coaching soccer in fall of 2007, left for my internship in Dublin, Ireland, shortly after the first season, and upon returning there was a job opening at the Mehl Center. I’ve been here ever since.
What do you do to “Play?”
A lot of things but being outdoors is one of my favorite. Running, biking, taking my kids on “adventures,” hunting, fishing, paddle boarding, or anything on a lake are my top ways to relax and play at the same time. Some other hobbies include cooking for my family and reading.
Is there one time a year you are more active and why?
Definitely spring, summer, and fall. Winter gets long and it is hard to stay motivated and active in those months. When the weather is nice there are so many things in this area get out and do.
What do you like about living in FF/Otter Tail County?
The beauty of our county. Recently I loaded up my paddleboard and paddled down a river with friends. As I was heading back home the sun was setting and the colors in the sky paired with the green of the trees and the fields was a sight to behold. I am so thankful to live in such a beautiful place! I also enjoy the change of seasons. Each one of the seasons allows us to mix up hobbies and keep things fresh.
What would you be doing if you weren’t in your current profession?
If I could choose anything it’d be really fun to be an adventure guide of sorts. Another area that has always been interesting to me is psychology.
As a personal trainer, how do you encourage people to be active?
To do what they enjoy. Some folks come in here with the assumption that they need to do something that they hate whether it’s joining classes, running, etc. It’s important to find a way to stay active by doing something enjoyable so it becomes a habit. If it’s not enjoyable it’s easy to find an excuse not to do it.
What are activities/hobbies that you do that people may not know about?
I can sew! I don’t do it often but I have a sewing machine and I actually cross-stitched a couple Christmas presents this past year.