CLEWISTON- Rosa Rivera Pelham has lived in Clewiston for the majority of her life. When asked why she thought she was nominated as an Inspirational Woman of Hendry County, Rosa Rivera Pelham responded, “Honestly I have no idea. LOL.”
“I grew up in Clewiston, with a house full of brothers and sisters. Growing up, I had 4 brothers and 2 sisters and everyone was involved in sports,” Pelham said. “My parents worked very hard to support all of us. We didn’t have much money but we had lots of love and somehow my parents always found a way to provide.”
“It’s where I spent life. Although many things have changed over the years, I love the small town feel. I have built my career here and have many family members that live here,” she said, when asked about living in Hendry County. “I love the rural feel, but still close enough to other resources. I like that feeling of knowing almost everyone and the wide open farm fields.”
Pelham has dedicated the past 20 years to being a full time teacher for Hendry County. She has also enjoyed working as a personal trainer and yoga instructor for the past 21 years.
“I’m a full time teacher, currently at Clewiston Middle School, and I own my own personal yoga training business, The Upper Room.”
Pelham has accomplished so much over the years. Not only has she dedicated her life as a teacher, she has been recognized as producing some of the best percentages and passing rates within the county.
“I give my all to my students, but try to make it a fun learning environment,” she said.
On the personal side of things, she is dedicated to helping others with fitness and health. Working to help people meet their goals through training and nutrition.
“I provide free yoga classes for anyone interested, in the park, on most Saturdays,” she explains. She does this as a way to give back to the community, and to peak an interest in becoming healthier. She added, “I love helping people reach their goals and turn their lives around.”
“I am constantly trying to implement new training and techniques that would capture the interest of people to make fitness fun for them. To help motivate them to do something that would benefit their health,” Pelham said.
While her number one hobby is training, she also loves running, “I love to run half marathons, full marathons, and even ultra races- 31+ miles,” she said.
She loves teaching, training, and running, but Pelham is most passionate about her family, “From my missionary parents who should be slowing down but instead have built and operate an orphanage for kids and the elderly in Peru, to my supportive husband and my two incredible children.” She went on, “I would describe my family as active. We love taking trips to new places and look forward to our days off to hang out together. I am married to my husband, Chad Pelham, and I have two children Cheyanna Pelham (daughter) and Ethan Pelham (son).”
When asked about inspirational women in her own life, she replied, “I would have to say my mother was and is my inspiration. She is the epitome of a strong Christian Women with unwavering faith. Watching her as I grew up always trusting in God and instilling in me the Word of God has been the biggest influence on my life.”
When asked if she had any advice for other women who might read this article, she said, “I would tell them to follow their passions and dreams. To not get discouraged if it doesn’t happen right away but to stay dedicated and never let that desire disappear. After 20 plus years working on my goals and dreams I still haven’t reached all of them but I’m closer now to achieving those than I ever have been. Don’t give up.”
She went on to say, “To everyone who has an excuse not to better themselves through fitness and healthy eating, I know all to well the excuse that can arise. I have multiple autoimmune diseases and I battle chronic migraines almost daily. There are many days that I have no desire to go workout because my pain levels are off the charts.”
“I could go on and on but we all have something in our lives and we may think that prevents us from doing what we want. I’ve never let that stop me because I know the benefits of being healthy. I could not even imagine how I would feel, with what I battle, if I didn’t eat right or exercise. In fact, because I do those things it keeps me moving and allows me to do what I enjoy.” She ended by saying, “Push past the negative thoughts and stay focused on the benefits. We all start somewhere but the important thing is to start and keep going!"