John Atkerson, 50, from Chattanooga, Tn. left the world of commercial real estate after 20 years to open Three Lions Garden Center in Bowling Green, Ky. Although he’s an architect by education, he believes in the value of han

John Atkerson, 50, from Chattanooga, Tn. left the world of commercial real estate after 20 years to open Three Lions Garden Center in Bowling Green, Ky. Although he’s an architect by education, he believes in the value of hands-on work. “To me it’s more satisfying to actually build something that’s designed well as opposed to just designing it.” Beyond the day to day physical work the garden center entails, Atkerson has also built counters, planters and tables used at Three Lions. He estimates half of his time is spent doing something physical. “I’m always moving something, I’m receiving something, I’m watering something or repotting something.”

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Charissa Karr, 20, of Lakeland, Fl., has always enjoyed a wide array of art but she didn’t know she wanted to pursue ceramics until spring of her sophomore year. Karr prefers working with clay over other mediums such as paint

Charissa Karr, 20, of Lakeland, Fl., has always enjoyed a wide array of art but she didn’t know she wanted to pursue ceramics until spring of her sophomore year. Karr prefers working with clay over other mediums such as paint because “being able to feel it and use my hands just works a lot more for me than trying to create an illusion.” Now as a junior at Western Kentucky University she is fully committed to her Ceramics major. Karr hopes to continue her studies at graduate school and eventually own her own studio and create a space for other artists to work and collaborate.

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After being raised in a strict, fundamentalist church, Judith Foster Resse, 66, of Birmingham, Al., wandered from religion until she grew older. “I had to deconstruct my feelings about God then kind of reconstruct.” She found

After being raised in a strict, fundamentalist church, Judith Foster Reese, 66, of Birmingham, Al., wandered from religion until she grew older. “I had to deconstruct my feelings about God then kind of reconstruct.” She is now the Interim Minister of Christ Episcopal Church in Bowling Green, Ky. This is her second career, her first being an epidemiologist in maternal fetal medicine at the University of Alabama Birmingham Medical School. “God had been calling me to the ministry for a long time and I just couldn’t hear God’s voice very well.” She explained that physical touch plays an important role in the Episcopalian church. Each week they hold a healing Eucharist where the laying of hands occurs. “When we lay on our hands it’s symbolic of Jesus’ touch and God’s touching us by the power of the Holy Spirit.” 

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Sean Walsh, 22, originally from Detroit, Mich., began rock climbing his freshman year at Vanderbilt University. Although Walsh now works in the business development department at Climb Nashville, an indoor climbing gym, he pr
Sean Walsh, 22, originally from Detroit, Mich., began rock climbing his freshman year at Vanderbilt University. Although Walsh now works in the business development department at Climb Nashville, an indoor climbing gym, he prefers outdoor climbing. He worked as an outdoor climbing guide for three years where he took people around the Southeast to climb. “When you’re out there, nothing else exists. You’re just out there and in the moment and you’re phone’s off, you don’t have to worry about the outside world…You can’t not have a good time.” He explained how although climbing is typically thought of as physical, there is a large mental aspect to it. “If you keep on climbing and never stop to think about it you’ll get muscle…But if you never apply your mind, if you never stop and say ‘Okay how can I move myself better? how can I do this better?’, it doesn’t matter how strong you are because you’ll never be able to do the hardest things. It’s really a full body workout. Not only your arms and your legs and your torso but also your mind.”
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Myra Dwyer, 61, from Caneyville, Ky. didn’t begin painting until she was 50 years old after working with a coach who helped her find her passion. She currently works as an executive secretary at Service One Credit Union, but after work she goes to the Pushin Arts Studio in downtown Bowling Green, Ky. to work on her craft. “Everything just falls off your shoulders. It takes away your stress, gives you your sanity back, helps you cope with the world.” Her abstract style consists of building layers of acrylic paints and glaze to create unique texture. Dwyer explains she enjoys working with her hands because, “It’s in your head but you have to use your hands to determine the colors and your style and everything in order to get it to work out.”

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