Sunday, July 11, 2010
Is Fitness Strong Enough?
Over the past couple weeks I have been to a couple different areas of this country that are not necessarily known for their impressive population of fit people. This has brought on a lot of thinking and conversation for me, as I have some pretty strong reactions to the sight of obese people. It used to be pure disgust; but it has turned to a deep feeling of depression that people can actually get to be that way. It is especially difficult for me to handle the sight of a young person who could be tipping the scales at well over 200lbs. This should just not happen in my eyes.
But my views are perhaps biased. I surround myself with fitness. I live in the gym, visit a large number of gyms wherever I go, attend competitions and races, and head outdoors to trails and rocks and rivers where the majority of the people I would probably run into would be pretty fit. I always say to surround yourself with like-minded people and you will be happy. And the fact is, I still say that; but that does not mean avoid all other people. Especially when it is my life's-work to help people in need, people who desire to be fitter and more active.
There is an epidemic after all. Despite the impressive growth of CrossFit around the world, the increase in the registration of runs, triathlons and other multi-sport races (warrior dash, urbanathlon etc.), there is still the ongoing problem of un-health in this country. My question looms strong in my mind all the time: is fitness strong enough to defeat this epidemic of un-health and obesity?
Being so involved in the fitness world, I really do tend to surround myself with like-minded people. In doing so, the idea that people do not know what CrossFit is, or do not know how to eat properly becomes unbelievable to me. This is, of course, an ignorant view on my part, and if I truly want to help people make changes in their lives, and get involved in the changing of the world to become fitter and healthier, I need to always keep an objective view on how things are working.
Walking around St. Louis, around small town North Carolina, you tend to get a small sampling of what the majority of this country is actually dealing with. It was almost impossible for me to eat properly in NC, my choices were fast food and chain restaurants, and I resorted to going into Texas Roadhouse and getting unseasoned chicken breast with two servings of steamed veggies. They looked at me like I had twelve heads. The side salad came out, iceberg lettuce with literally 15 croutons (yes I counted) and covered in shredded cheese. Some salad. I remembered that the minority are those that go to Whole Foods, and the fancy, often pricey grocery stores to purchase good, real food. Most people find the need to resort to the cheaper version of things, which generally means packaged, "fake" foods. But this is a whole different post (one that I am planning, so keep an eye out over the next couple weeks for that one). What I really am curious about is the idea that with the growing strength of fitness out there, will it be strong enough, powerful enough to overcome the problems in health and fitness this country has let take over? Will fitness, and those promoting it, be able to reverse this horrible cycle of problems that go from lack of education, to improper eating patterns, to sedentary lifestyles, to sickness and disease, to crazy medications, to obesity and to early death? Will we be able to become a healthy, active, fit country?
God I hope so.
This post raises an ever-growing concern of mine; something that weighs at my mind every single day, and drives me to do more, help more people, spread the word of fitness as widely as possible. I have no intention of supplying all my answers here, right or wrong, I simply want to put forth the question to people and perhaps re-ignite that spark under those of us who want to help. As I prepare for my move out West, I am constantly coming up with new ideas to help people in need; and I truly hope that I can be a part of the grass-roots, perhaps unconscious at the moment, group that will lead this country out of its disgusting habits and on the road to good health. And, as I always try to get my clients and friends to do: please spread your stories, tell people about your adventures in fitness. Share your happiness as you challenge yourselves daily. Do not keep it to yourself, do not hide all that you've learned. Help someone next to you make a change. If I can do it, and you can do it, anyone can do it. And you just might be their motivation to start, or to go a little harder, or to spread the motivation on themselves.
Never Stop, GET FIT.
Posted by Josh Courage at 11:10 PM