GROVETON, N.H. - Groveton eighth-grader Brooke Routhier, of Bloomfield, Vt., lives a balanced life that involves exercise, a love of basketball, academics and a path for the future.
She comes from a family of active sports players -- her mother, Bobbie Routhier, was a star player for Groveton's winning girls basketball when she was in school.
Brooke exemplifies the Get Fit ethos, said Groveton middle school and high school athletic director Brock Ingalls.
"She's involved in a lot of activities, is good with her peers and is very respectful," he said. "She does everything well, and if she struggles with something, she doesn't let it defeat her."
Brooke is a dual competitor in school, a member of both the basketball team, on which she plays point guard and sometimes center, and soccer, playing center, midfielder and striker. Her entry into team sports and fitness began in fourth grade, with a shared interest.
"My friend was doing it so I decided I wanted to do it, too," she said.
Though she is an equal opportunity sports player, Brooke said basketball takes the top spot. "I like the intensity and that fast speed," she said. "There's always something new."
Fueling that exercise and sports playing is vital, said Brooke. "I keep a balanced diet," she said. That diet includes fresh meat, pasta, fruits and vegetables.
Also part of the regimen is ample water that she says helps prevent cramps while running and working out. One thing she stays away from is soda.
"That's one of the things that impressed me the most," said Ingalls, who noted soda is popular among many students Brooke's age.
Off season, Brooke stays in shape with activities that include playing basketball with her mother. "I love being outdoors and I also hike a lot in the summer with my family," said Brooke. She enjoys running, too, and will go on runs around her house with her mother.
Another member of the family is her 10-year-old sister, Reese, who Brooke said is also interested in following the family tradition of playing sports.
Off the basketball court and soccer field, Brooke delves into her studies and is a member of the National Junior Honor Society and is a member of the student council and class president. For her high school years, she intends to stay with her two favorite sports, basketball and soccer, though Ingalls is encouraging her to play softball as well.
To have a good quality of life, Brooke recommends exercise, but advises those new to the lifestyle to begin slowly to avoid injury and build up strength and stamina.
After high school, she plans to attend college. "I want to be a physical therapist," said Brooke. At college, she also intends to continue playing basketball.
"It's my favorite sport and I love it," she said.