There is a great mantra that we use at TWIST that says:
“A LEADER OF ONE, A LEADER OF MANY; IF YOU CAN’T LEAD ONE, YOU CAN’T LEAD ANY!”
Taking care of yourself, being accountable to your health and wellness, and setting yourself up for success is infectious. People recognize it, people respect it, and people react to it. It sets the tone for other people and suddenly they want to follow your example.
This is how a movement begins.
Many of us in Canada think of ourselves as healthy, active and athletic. We think of our recent successes in the Olympics and with our Professional athletes and kids performing at high levels in numerous elite sports. We look at other Countries, most notably the US and say, ok we are definitely better off than many of them when it comes to health, obesity and activity. The truth is we are actually failing. For every kid who is athletic, active, and high performing there are many more who don’t get enough activity, don’t eat nutritious food every day, and don’t look up from their devices long enough to communicate, interact and just play.
Participaction recently released a study of kids from 37 countries. From this they created a report card on different area and guess what? We got a D- ! A D MINUS!
“The consolidated findings show Canada has above-global average grades in physical activity infrastructure and programs, yet is trailing at the back of the pack in grades that measure physical activity and sedentary behaviour.”
This means we have the technology, the programs, the knowledge and the people to be successful, but for some reason it is NOT happening. Unfortunately for us and for our kids, being active has become a choice and not a way of life. Slovenia is the big winner in the study with an A- overall and 81% of kids age 6-18 getting the recommended amount of only 60 mins per day of physical activity. In Canada we are at ONLY 9%.
The culture of activity, exercise, health and fitness must start with the parents. This is an opportunity to recognize something we are failing at as a country and make a change. This is a chance to recognize something we are failing at as families and make a change. This is an opportunity to recognize something we are failing at as individuals and make a change.
As parents we all need to set the example for our kids, for our family and friends and for anyone else who can be inspired along the way. Success breeds success and we all want to do better. For the kids it is as easy as getting them involved in new activities, new programs, and just getting them outside to play. There are TONS of businesses, programs and options for kids to move more, move better, be more active, and to “get fit, and have fun” (isn’t that right Hal and Joanne?). It is not only the athletes and the rep team kids who deserve to be healthy; in fact many of those kids still do not get enough of the activity and energy expenditure they need to qualify for the 60 mins per day minimum.
What can you do to be a leader of one? How about a little inspiration from some people who have already done it? Here are just a couple of quick stories of some special people who are leading the charge and becoming Leader of One in their lives.
“Leader of One, that’s a phrase that really hits home for me. I am 64 and live with Type 2 diabetes. I have witnessed many friends and colleagues sit at home and remember how they once loved to dance but can’t anymore, loved to golf but can’t walk the course, loved to ski but don’t have the stamina. I decided to take control of my life and be proactive in exercise and making healthy choices to improve my quality of life before my doctor forces me to or worse yet, I have a stroke or heart attack.
Too many of my friends have suffered debilitating illnesses and even death due to not keeping active and watching their health. How can you preach to your children to make healthy choices if you can’t do it for yourself.
Get up off the couch and take the first step, all the other steps will follow, enjoy the journey and become your Leader of One. – Don Kwasnycia, ChPC, MLF; National Skeet Team Coach
“For me being a Leader of One means honoring the opportunity I have to be my best self-everyday. It means sharing positive energy and recognizing that what I choose to say, do and whom I choose to spend my time with matters. It means living my life with my values and actions in alignment.
Sport and physical activity have always been an integral part of my life. The connections I have made with people through this and the valuable life skills I have developed because of these opportunities have helped to define who I am today as a Woman, and for that I am always grateful. I truly believe that when we fill our life with healthy hobbies and amazing and positive people who inspire and challenge us, it makes it so much easier to be our best.
Since my girls were just babies I have told them every time I leave the house that mummy is going to train, to play, to run, etc. so that I can feel Healthy, Happy, Beautiful and Strong. One day when my oldest daughter was just one and sitting in her high chair I was getting ready to leave to go train at Twist and I leaned in to give her a kiss goodbye. When I stood up she raised her little arms above her head and cheered, saying in her little voice Healthy, Happy, STRONG! I cried tears of joy in that moment because not only did it reaffirm to me that what I do and say matters, but it filled my heart to know that as a mother I could help my daughter to be excited to feel all those things, to be all those things, and to live her life to the fullest!
Healthy, Happy, Beautiful and Strong is always my goal, it is what motivates me to be my best, it is my hope for everyone I have the honour to connect my energy with. I want to be proud of the life I’ve lived and I want to have fun living it. – Michelle Kasprzak –
Are you ready to be a Leader of One? The best news of all is that is never too late. The most important thing is to simply start. You don’t need to be an athlete, you don’t need to be elite, you just need to begin to make it part of the culture in your life, in your house, in your family and with the people around you.
You just need to be willing to get up and go. So, what are you waiting for?
You can read more about the Physical Activity Study at the www.participaction.com website. If you are ready to become a Leader of One, let us help you get started today.