Why do I want to bike to the South Pole?That is the classic question and the classic answer is because it is there. To do something that hasn't been done before, the ultimate challenge! But...
I feel the world is facing an obesity crisis. We live a physically easy life compared to the past. Food is relatively cheap, labor is relatively easy, and entertainment is becoming less and less physical.
We Need to Create a Culture of ActivityNearly everyone needs to have some kind of exercise program. Going to the gym is great, however, if we don't truly enjoy our exercise we will eventually quit. We need to help people find ways to become active that they will enjoy. For me that is biking.
My StoryI was a computer programmer for 23 years. During that time I spent a lot of time sitting in front of a computer and not getting enough exercise. I had grown up being active. I spent a lot of summers hiking in the High Uintas. However it just got easy to be less and less active. Then I went and got my blood checked. My cholesterol numbers were real bad, my blood pressure was high, and I was a few pounds over weight. I panicked, thinking I might die early. So I got into mountain biking. It saved my life! My cholesterol numbers improved to healthy numbers, my blood pressure returned to normal, and I lost the extra weight.
Then I got laid off. My wife says that I went into mid life crisis. I think I just decided I wanted to do something to help others. So I opened a bike store to help others get the health benefits of an active cycling lifestyle. For the past 5 years I have been focused on getting people out on bikes, and have been involved with the American Diabetes Association's Tour de Cure each year.
The ProblemOK, I've already stated the problem but here it is in more detail. There are so many problems facing the world today, but I think returning to a culture of active lifestyles will help with so many of today's issues. Obesity is a huge drain on the economy. Violence and lack of concern for others seems to be on the increase. The number of mass shootings recently is beyond alarming. Returning to activity will increase our health, reduce the drain on the economy being caused by runaway health care cost. Physical activity helps our mental well being. And being outdoors having fun with others is a great way to learn to get along and be less selfish.
According to the CDC "Research has shown that as weight increases to reach the levels referred to as "overweight" and "obesity," the risks for the following conditions also increases:
- 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)
- 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)"
My cause is simple. First to inspire people to get out and be active. Find an activity that you enjoy and you can do on a regular basis. For me that is biking, so I hope my trip to the South Pole will inspire others to get out and ride a bike. Second, I would like to encourage people to donate to the American Diabetes Association, or get involved with some other diabetes, cancer, or other health related foundation. I'll be including information about opportunities to get involved in my blog.