One of the hottest media stories today is about the childhood obesity epidemic. This is, indeed, newsworthy, as the future of our children is in jeopardy because of of it.
But what I witnessed today is a movement– no pun intended– fighting against the tide of an inactive generation. Today was the ceremonial final lap for thousands of schoolchildren who have been accumulating miles in the Marathon Kids program. Through running at recess and during PE classes, the kids have each run at least the equivalent of 26.2 miles. Additionally, the kids had ‘fuel logs’ to color in to track their consumption of at least 5-a-day fruits and vegetables on 26.2 days each month. By encouraging physical activity and healthy eating in manageable, realistic increments, these children are on their way to establishing behavior patterns for a lifetime of wellness.
More importantly, despite rainy and chilly weather, thousands of children and their parents took a lap around the track to celebrate their accomplishments. Seeing so many parents who believe that physical fitness really does matter and watching so many happy children realize that exercise can be fun was a thrilling sight. And the joy on their faces when they received a finsiher’s medal made me realize all of the important lessons taught by Marathon Kids.
Have a goal. Work hard every day. Eat good foods. Move your body. Surround yourself with people who do the right thing. Savor your successes.