Keeping Our Kids Fit

You have heard the discussion about childhood obesity. The talk of how our children’s generation is quickly becoming larger than the generation before.  You’ve heard the dire prediction that if this doesn’t change, their life spans might be shortened. This is frightening.

Such dire warnings have  inspired an event that benefitted two worthwhile causes: our children and those who live life without a home. The Kids triathlon series reached its 11th year this past Saturday. It takes place in two different venues ( North Park and South Park ) and was created in part by Congressman Tim Murphy (R). Rep Murphy is also a child psychologist.

Joining congressman Tim Murphy to  welcome another competitpr across the finish line ( photo: Ken Eber ) 

For the past few years, I’ve joined in this effort to inspire kids to be fit and be competitive as well as have fun. While my duties are of the emcee variety, nothing gives me a greater thrill than being at the end of this triathlon and see these children cross the finish line. Some with big smiles, some with flowing tears and others just pleased to be done with this physical challenge. I hand out water or present them a medal, but it never seems to amaze me how they react when they see their parents after this competition.

It’s a 50 meter swim, followed by a one-mile bike ride and a half mile run. That’s for children 7-9. Those distances double for the kids 10-12. The thrill for me is to watch the kids and parents interact. You can see the effort the children are putting in as they push themselves to their physical limit. Then, to watch their parents live or die with every step their kids take along the course. Finally, when these children are done, they get a hug like no other from mom and dad.

It’s an inspirational morning for some 200 children and their families … and for those like me who have the pleasure to volunteer and take part. You know, it doesn’t take a triathlon to keep our kids healthy, but its a goal and a direction for these children to avoid the pitfalls of eating the wrong foods or becoming inactive. It also something to inspire those of us who left our childhood years behind long ago. I know. It inspired me to become a runner.

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