One of the things that concerns me about our country is the lack of movement among all age groups, men and women. It doesn’t take much, in fact you don’t even have to be an Ironman, to live a healthy and fulfilling life. However, you do have to move somewhat on a daily basis in some way, shape or fashion for a period of 60 minutes. It can be walking the dogs, swimming in a lake, playing horseshoes or badminton with family members not to mention riding or running in your favorite part of the neighborhood. Movement is actually fun! Movement is a fundamental and necessary need for our happiness. It’s fulfilling in and of itself; it’s in our DNA.
This morning after completing a training session with some children in preparation for the Cassadaga Kids Triathlon I stumbled upon a local 5K that was a fundraiser for the Midget Football Team. Instantly I registered to support this group as memories of playing football as a child rushed into my head, in fact, I played against this team as a child and remember how tough they were. So it thrills me to see these types of groups in our community thriving. The fortunate and unfortunate part about my experience in this event today was that I won the race outright! This is very disturbing to me; that someone who is using an AARP card and getting discounts in honor of my old age can win a 5K at a local race and, don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for the win. Who doesn’t like that? For me, the issue is that there were only 20 people in the event. Number 1, where are all the runners? Where are all the walkers? And where is the support for these types of groups? Number 2, and where were all the players, cheerleaders and family members? I realize that part of the issue was purely marketing and getting the word out can be challenging especially in the summer months when families have multiple options available to them keeping them extremely busy. So, I am taking this as professional challenge. To get people excited about movement again. To help them remember what it is like to move, simply for the pure joy that one receives and the bonds and friendships and memories that are built. For instance, my wife and I recently “crashed” a class reunion of friends and athletes that we hung out with as kids. The memories we all shared will be burned into my mind as some of the greatest times of my life and it had to do with this exact thing, the joy of movement. No one ever questioned how far we went, how long we were going to play, how hard it was going to be or if we were going to hurt tomorrow…we just played.
The key is to get outside. Get away from your computer, get away from your tv and get away from your refrigerator. Please understand, I love those things and enjoy them with all my heart but that cannot replace daily exercise which would uproot your very basic health and well-being.
Be an inspiration for yourself, your spouse, your family, your friends, your co-workers, your extended family and anyone who sees you out there. I used to love the commercials by the Army; “Be all you can be” and “We do more before 9 o’clock than most people do all day”. What this means to me is, they get their ass out of bed and do something to make themselves a more fulfilled individual. 😉 Now granted, having a big scary guy over the top of you screaming “MOVE” most definitely helps but we MUST find a way to awaken that inner sergeant and tell ourselves – move. If you don’t know how to do this find someone who can help. It doesn’t have to be me but please find someone who can help you reconnect with one fo the greatest joys you have available to you. Become a child again and do what you can do from where you are at. I love you, and I will see you out there.