I am pleased to announce that FC&L sponsored our first community event several weeks ago (late post, sorry guys – there is only one of me *sigh*). We worked with a local children’s indoor play and event company, Mighty Jumps of Buckhead.
The purpose of the event was to commemorate National Physical Fitness and Sports Month through fun family fitness activities for those living within the metro-Atlanta area. Statistics on the lack of physical activity and childhood obesity are rising at alarming rates. May was declared the national observance month for physical fitness and sports in 2010 in an effort to fight against health complications that arise from childhood obesityi. This event targeted families and children (ages 3-12), commemorated May as National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, and celebrate healthy lifestyles in general. It is our aim that the event was also a place where families could come together to learn about the different activities they can do, organizations or businesses that offer those activities, and other general information to help families make active lifestyles a routine.
The event also supported the aims under First Lady Michelle Obama’s ‘Let’s Move!’ campaign and the President’s Council for Physical Fitness and Sports. Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Atlanta was a special, invited guest for the event. The Family Fitness Challenge included a three-fold schedule for fitness opportunity: aerobics/cardio challenges for adults, child-centered aerobics sessions, and an outdoor obstacle course where families could play together. In addition, the event will offered competitions, such as jump rope, 3-legged race, sack race, and hula hoop contests, feature family-friendly music, OMG Photo Booth, nutrition and health information resources, and provide healthy snacks for all participants.
This was an amazing experience for us, for several reasons:
- It is empowering to be able to mobilize families in the Atlanta community about an important issue.
Quite simply, this event made me happy. It was a pleasure seeing kids having fun – in an old school way. I mean, when is the last time that you participated in a good ol’ sack race contest? I thought I was in shape until I competed next to a bunch of energetic 7-year olds.
- Childhood Obesity is not new. But, the Michelle Obama Let’s Move! Campaign sure helps to bring more visibility to this cause.
What is interesting is that our country has gotten so comfortable with expanding waistlines. Think about it, look at media from the late 1950s, 60’s and early-70s. There were not many overweight Americans in that time period, yet our knowledge of health and nutrition information has grown exponentially since then. Many families dined nightly on a large protein, starch and veggies – religiously. Where did we go wrong? One major reason may be with the corporate removal of physical fitness programs in elementary, middle and high school education systems. Secondly, cooking – especially thoughtful healthy meals takes time, time that many don’t have in this overworked, overstressed and overwhelmed culture. Thirdly, processed and fast foods are readily accessible and cheap. Fourthly, our saturated media and entertainment-driven culture has been our downfall. Who wants to go climb Stone Mountain, when the BET awards, Single Ladies and Basketball wives are coming on?
- Health events are some of the trickiest to build momentum for. Lesson Learned.
Our event had a decent turnout and I am utterly pleased, but I was expecting to be the next Ian Smith, Makeover Mile and 50 Pounds Challenge extraordinaire – yes, with this one event lol. I am going to try not and complain, but be a solution and action-oriented blogger. I haven’t really found the secret formula to get people enthusiastically involved in health events. I mean, I am looking to have events where people are lined up the day before like the next iPhone is coming out. *idealistic much?* I have heard that the key is celebrities, food, and strategic timing. We are gonna work on that for round 2. That’s a promise.
More resources are below:
Press Release: http://www.mightyjumps.com/ffcpressrelease.pdf
Event Photos: http://www.erikumphery.com/Gallery/KeepMoving/