I recently completed the fire academy for the city of Charleston’s Fire Department. It was a long process which had its own physical and mental challenges.
At one point during the Academy, an instructor said something that I immediately scribbled down into my notebook.
“Always give yourself the best chance to go home.”
The instructor said this with the context of each individual having the appropriate skill set and technical proficiency required to complete the task skillfully, and safely.
I thought about this for a moment, and realized that it is not only an excellent state of mind for fire service personnel, but for all of us as it relates to physical training and health.
The United States faces a mostly unspoken health crisis. 160 million Americans are either obese or overweight. Nearly three quarters of American men and 60% of women fall into one of those categories.
The trend for America’s youth is even more troubling. Nearly 30% of boys and and girls under the age of 20 are obese or overweight, a 11% increase since 1980.
71% of Americans between 17 and 24 years of age are ineligible to serve in the military. The majority of those are due to health problems or physical fitness.
Simply stated, these people are not giving themselves the best chance to go home.
Overweight and obese individuals face higher rates of disease, and take significantly longer to recover from injuries.
There are circumstances for some that are major obstacles in turning the corner to achieve a healthier life… but for the majority, it can be done with time management, information, dedication, and coaching.
So ask yourself:
Have you been delaying your New Years resolution since 2012 to get back in the gym?
Wish you had more energy to commit to your family, profession, or hobbies?
Want to be #strongerfasterbetterlookingnaked?
Or simply put, you want to give yourself the best chance to go home.
If the answer to any of those questions is yes, then take action. Build the habits now to have a long, happy, and healthy life for yourself and your loved ones. You owe it to them, and you.