Thursday, May 27, 2010

A pear shapped America...

Tonight my post is going to be a little different.  Instead of talking about focus and training I need to vent about something I saw last night.  Kara (my Wife for all of you who don't know her) purchased tickets to a Cubs game for my birthday.  We had amazing seats, right behind home plate about 25 rows back from the field.  The seats were perfect, the weather was perfect, and energy of the crowd was perfect.  Everything was great, I sat back and relaxed and between batters and innings I looked around the crowd and at the people passing by our row and was appalled.  I was appalled by the health disasters walking all around me and the terrible influence they were being on their children.  I am not judging any one's ability to parent or whether or not they are good people...I was just truly worried about them.  People looked swollen, red faced, could barely walk up the ramps and stairs in the stadium, and were breathing as if they just did an 800meter sprint.   These people looked like most of us after "Fran" and all they had done was walk down an aisle.  What is going on here?

Poor nutrition, lack of exercise, and a sedentary lifestyle!  That is what is going on!

I do not compare normal American's to me, my lifestyle, or my fellow crossfitters but I do compare them to an image of health and these people failed miserably.  It seemed like 90% of the crowd was like this.  I started to think harder about this and to question why and then I looked at all the food that was being sold by the vendors.  Hot dogs, beer, pretzels, licorice, ice cream, etc.  No wonder these people look like this...I think I saw some guy put down like 6 or 7 hot dogs that were fully involved.  Then I thought "I wonder if broccoli or apples would sell at ball parks?"  I started to laugh at the thought of the poor vendor that had to carry around a huge steamer full of broccoli and cauliflower...he would probable make 2 sales at the game...1 to me and 1 to my wife.  We had no hot dogs or  beer, but had opted for a couple waters.  This did not effect my level of enjoyment of the game, I was still able to walk home, and did not feel terrible afterwards.  I had a huge concern..."Where are we going to be as society in 20 years?"..."How much money am I going to have to pay in taxes to support all these people's health issues?".  I am not getting into any health care debates so save your rhetoric.  I am just simply saying that we as the fitness and health minded individuals need to get out there and show people why it works and how easy it can be.

Just like we have a responsibility to each other in our boxes to push each other and help each other we have the same responsibility to do this in our general community.  It makes me incredibly sad and depressed to see obese children.  They are going to have diabetes and massive other problems throughout their lives.  All they need to do is eat a little better and play outside.  They don't even play outside anymore!  They sit in front of the television eating billions of tons of processed foods and sugar and become piles of fat.  Let's get out there and create safer communities so they can play outside.  Let's get involved in after school programs and rec league sports.  If you want to raise my taxes to pay for stuff I will gladly fork over my money to help children become safer and healthier. 

How can we do this?  How can we influence our communities?

Invite school age children into our local crossfits.  Teach them fitness and make it fun for them.  During this class teach the parents a little about nutrition and appropriate portions.  It could have amazing impacts like less medicated children.  What a great world we could create.  We could be called the Crosslit legionnaires!  We are campaigning to save our youth, to ensure a safer future, and to make a better America!

I am not sure this is possible or will happen but we can try.  I am not sure if I will ever have children but some day if I do I would like my children to set an example for the friends.  To be healthy kids, eat a fun and healthy diet, to play and grow up in crossfit gyms, and to be a great human! 

Back to last night.  You can only help people that want to help themselves.  I was not about to walk up to some guy drinking beers and eating hot dogs and say hey why aren't you drinking water and eating green leafy vegetables.  This guy would probably laugh at me and think I am a total crazy person.  I idea here is listen to the people you interact with everyday.  Maybe someone at work looks up to your levels of fitness and them and show them the way.  Teach them what you know and give them the tools to be the best they can be.  This will have a trickle down effect.  They will teach their family and friends who will teach their family and friends and eventually one day the difference will be evident.

Just like my other post topics this will take tons of work and effort but we can't give up.  We need to keep working and being the strong voice.  We are the products of our consumptions.  You make poor nutritional and health choices and in return you will be a person of sub par health and productivity.

Make each of our choices count no matter how big or small!  These choices will reverberate in more ways than you can ever imagine.  I hope that all of you make the tough decision to eat healthy, keep working hard at your box, and undertake the challenge of making somebody you know a better person. 

GOOD LUCK!  Nothing worth having ever came came with sacrifice, diligence, and faith.  Put your faith in the greater good of the human condition and into a higher power that will lead you when you are lost.  Sometimes faith and hard work is all we need. 

"When you have come to the edge of all light that you know and are about to drop off into the darkness of the unknown, Faith is knowing One of two things will happen: There will be something solid to stand on or You will be taught to fly”
-Patrick Overton

1 comment:

  1. Great post Patrick. I feel one of the best venues for doing this is on Facebook. I've seen a lot of people positively influenced by the changes in my life just by posting stuff on FB day in day out.

    What we need is to use the power of "social contagion" to change our culture!