Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Brainstorming

Goal: 30 minute tempo run

Results: 2 mile tempo run (8:56 miles, should have been 9:15 miles, but I overslept but needed to get it in)

Diet: lite yogurt, Atkins bar, PB and celery, two grilled chicken breasts, apple.

Ok, so I touched yesterday on the fact that I have been thinking about something lately. This topic has been on my mind for months, but about three weeks ago I began putting pen to paper and trying to begin writing my thoughts down. I have also been putting phone calls out to my fraternity brothers in the business world for advice (with no luck). Not sure how to organize my thoughts, so here goes.......

First and most importantly...

According to a study from the US CDC over 25% of Americans are obese. In addition, obesity complicates other health problems such as:
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon)
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Dyslipidemia (for example, high total cholesterol or high levels of triglycerides)
  • Stroke
  • Liver and Gallbladder disease
  • Sleep apnea and respiratory problems
  • Osteoarthritis (a degeneration of cartilage and its underlying bone within a joint)
  • Gynecological problems (abnormal menses, infertility)
    (from http://www.cdc.gov/)
We know that many of these are killers on thier own.

Why is this important to me? First, because as an EMT it should be. Second, because that means 25% of Americans are at a severe risk of ending their lives entirely too short. Third, because I am obese (per BMI) and I can understand, to a point, how this effects one's life, self-esteem, and how it is easy to go down that path.

Next......

Two of the things that many people need to break the cycle of an unhealthy life are motivation (first internal and then external) and HELP.

Where is this going......

Who likes pro sports? Who grew up hoping to be a pro athlete one day? Who dreamed of the fame, the attention, the endorsements that go with it? Maybe you dreamed of being a movie or rock star? Same principle.

I have a desire to create a place where those who have internal motivation for change can come and be paired with the external motivators and support to help achieve a healthier lifestyle. The support I have received here has been a large part of my success. I think about how motivating being treated like a rock star while you are trying to become healthier would be. I also think that endurance sports are a very healthy way to lose weight and that endurance athletes can be a very uplifting community as a whole.

Through this summer I have seen half a dozen all female triathlon teams as well as other specialty teams, wheel chairs, etc, but never one for the obese/overweight. Why not?

I do not know what the meduim would be for this local club, national club, website like BT, blog group?

Another major goal would be to gather a group of sponsors from bikes, to clothing, to coaching, to diet (weight watchers, nutrisystem, etc), gyms, or anything else needed to help offset some of the burden of getting started (through substantial discounts or donations for use of giveaways). Why should the pros be the only people with sponsors?

An even more important step would be the tracking of the participants and pairing them with mentors that are established members of the endurance sport they choose (5k's to Ironman).

I think this would build a very positive environment with the equipment and the attention, helping to foster an excitement about the work it takes to make changes. Anyone involved should feel like a Rock Star!

Diet, exercise, motivation, mentorship, and personal attention seem like a recipe for success to me.

To be the ideal way to membership would be a goal and a pledge toward that goal. For instance maybe a goal in pounds or maybe an event as a goal. It would be great to be able to give rewards at each step, such as entries to give aways. Another though of mine was to set up clydesdale only races.


Tell me what you think about the concept. Do you have any suggestions about the execution?

As you can tell it is conceptional at this point and I am not sure which direction to head first. The next step in my opinion would be to start targeting the medium for doing this.

7 comments:

Andrew Opala said...

You know that sounds like a good idea - the only problem would be keeping the weight on to qualify for the sponsorships!

Luke said...

Hopefully partipants would turn to mentoring and stay involved that way once they lose weight. continued sponsorship may be a reward for mentoring.

Kovas Palubinskas said...

Very cool concept Luke, HUGE undertaking! It seems like the way to start would be with a small local group, looking to the LBS or running store for sponsorship and take it from there.

Patrick said...

The concept is great. There are all sorts of challenges on the blogs to help keep people motivated and moving, and they work if the particpants work at it. Your concept differs in that it provides a mentor. A mentor that has a closer connection to the particpant(s) which should foster greater success probability.

I am uncertain myself on how sponsorship would come to be, but there has to be a way. But before getting into sponsorship I'd say drafting out a charter of sorts on what the program's objective would be and how it would be accomplished may be the next step. Add a little meat to the skeleton you've come up with in your brainstorming, then a little more, and more, etc.

So yes, very much like the concept you have come up with.

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Years ago, their use to be a Cydlesdale National Championship held at the Chicago Triathlon. Also WTC Ironman race use to have clydesdale divisions and even cyldesdale slots in Kona, then both races for some reason decided to do away with them, I have no clue why.

Molly said...

Maybe starting locally would be a good first step, my running club started off with just 10 people and now we're over 100.

Christine said...

I think this is a wonderful concept! For instance, I've *ALWAYS* wanted to just run in a 5k (or 10k, half marathon, iron man, whatever!) but I've always been paralyzed from signing up because "I'm too fat" or "that's only for REAL athletes." Having a support group out there-- yes, a blog group AND a real-life support group-- would be so helpful! First of all, it would be motivating ("Yes you CAN do it!") but it would also be educational: obese people have significantly different physical needs when doing extreme exercise than their thinner counterparts, including really needing to watch heart rates and knee and ankle health, etc. Having a group of mentors and experts to advise about how to exercise HEALTHFULLY would be an enormous support. If there's anything I can do to help, let me know. I think this is a wonderful idea!
Christine
www.phoenixrevolution.net