December's Goal: 3 miles/day

Friday, October 1, 2010

Getting Jazzed for American Heart Association Walk

Tomorrow morning is the American Heart Association walk here in Tacoma, WA. I'm really excited about it because this is my first 'community fitness event'. I signed up my sweetheart for the walk, but sadly he has to work. But our oldest kiddo will be there! She isn't working tomorrow and will join me.

The company I work for is setting up the first water station and should have some branded water bottles to hand out. And there are supposed to be activities for kids and all sorts of things going on somewhere along the route.

The walk is 4 miles and shouldn't be difficult for Koda to walk with me. I'm familiar with the route as I use the same streets on my bike commute to and from work. My only worry is that I have a walking buddy who isn't use to long walks (I had her huffing and puffing on a 1.6 mile walk once), I hope she has comfy shoes.

Here comes the emotional part:
Koda's grandma has congestive heart failure (among other health issues) and it can sometimes be a handful to take care of her. We love her and want her to be comfortable in our home, but also want her to feel healthier. I'm not sure the exact cause of her heart problems, but I can guess years of not taking care of herself contributed... being overweight and getting diabeties, smoking and getting COPD... these things catch up to you down the road and then you have to look back and ask yourself "was it all worth it to feel this way?". But then, its not like she went through life expecting she would be sick in the future, in her youth, they didn't teach kids this stuff.

I wanted to do this walk because I love my family.

We don't think about our bodies when we take that big bite of a hotdog or bacon and say "OMG, this is yummy", all we care to know is that it feels good in the moment and this food just made us feel happy... but its only temporary. It may feel good now, so we keep doing it, it becomes habit, nothing else compares to it (fuck you turky bacon!), then our arteries clog up, we carry extra weight around, and it doesn't feel good anymore.

Little by little, I'm trying to gently push healthier habits on my family. Its easy on my kids, they are active and don't notice when I swap mayo for nonfat yogurt. They have fun cooking with me and I can talk to them about healthier choices and they are very receptive to trying new things. The adults push back (and I've been warned a few times...). When I cook, I swap for healthier ingredients and I get the thumbs up despite the prior disapproving grumbles when they see what goes in my shopping cart. I think its all in the mind- seeing a label that says 'Fat Free' or 'whole grain', puts a bad taste in their mouth, they don't want to try it.

My family doesn't take perfect care of their health, but then, nor do I. (um, body by beer?) I think we can at least be healthy enough to be aware of our choice and try to find a balance. (fuck you turkey bacon!)

I love my family. And I don't want any of us to grow into our golden ages hurting, feeling sick and waiting for it all to end. It REALLY sucks to see someone everyday who is full of "I can't"s "I can't go to the grocery store", "I can't walk my dogs or throw a ball", "I can't". We think its less "I can't" and more "I don't want to try". If she tried to walk up the stairs and change out of her pajamas before 2pm, I bet she would feel better. She is afraid to go for a walk for exercise because she is on oxygen and we have stairs or a small hill before getting to the sidewalk. But she could always turn on some music and walk from one end of the house and back a few times. My son use to run circles around the house and laugh his ass off just because it was fun, what stops us from moving? What stops us from having fun with it? It hurts? I'm tired?

I don't think its too late, mom... just try, I bet you can, and it'll just get easier and life will be more exciting. I'll keep trying to encourage and inspire those I love, but I'll try to not push too hard. I just want it on the record that I love my family. I love you guys. You're why I wanted to walk.

ps, thanks for trying my 'healthy' cooking. I couldn't ask for better science experiments. >:)

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