When I was asked to nominate my Health Hero, you were top of my list. Your commitment to exercise and staying fit has helped shape my view of what it means to be healthy.
I may have been only 8 or so when you started running, but I remember cheering you on as you ran as many 10Ks as you could fit in a summer. When I hit my teens, you didn’t put me off when I asked if you would help me start a jogging routine. You gamely included an appearance-obsessed (I’m sure I never went running without full-on makeup and the apparel had to be stylin’) 16-year-old girl in your afternoon jogs and taught me that hills aren’t for walking. Though I’ll never win for speed, your lesson was about finishing what you start.
Running stuck and over 35 years later, I’m still pounding the pavement.
But you’ve taught me other things as well, adaptability being one. When told your running days were over, you didn’t chuck the fitness routine. Instead, you turned to swimming. Daily. And you still don’t miss a day. You’ll also climb any mountain or hill you find when you travel.
From you, dad, I learned the importance of moving. Building strength. Mixing activities up to keep the body healthy. Kicking it up a notch as a hill approaches instead of backing down. And that final sprint at the end. While neither of us will be qualifying for the Olympics anytime soon (or ever), you’ve taught me all I need to know about a lifetime of fitness and staying strong. Start moving, keep going.
When asked to participate in the newly formed American Recall Center‘s Who Keeps You Healthy campaign, I considered the question of who I would name as my Health Hero. This post is my response. I encourage you to think on who your Health Hero might be and share in comments. It’s a fun and rewarding ponder.
*food for fun readers, here’s a bit of a secret: If you knew me pre-college, I will always be Beth to you.