A Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with You
It has been said that a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. So does the personal journey toward better health.
It has been said that a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. So does the personal journey toward better health. That is why I am proud to be one of the chairs of the American Heart Association’s Start! Heart Walk – and thrilled that so many of my Sodexo colleagues are joining me. We already have more than 50 teams around the country, with 150 walkers, who have taken the pledge toward better health.
Does walking, running or other types of exercise really matter? Perhaps the lessons from my own life will serve as encouragement: I was a college athlete. When I graduated from college, after four years of three-a-day workouts, my friends and I declared ourselves members of “Athletics Anonymous.” Every time we got an urge to work out, one of us would talk the other into drinking beer instead. We didn’t need to work out – we were in tip top shape. By the time I was 40 years old, I was 20 pounds overweight and almost completely physically inactive.
Then, one of my former teammates, died of a heart attack. A former world class athlete – dead at 40! It was a gigantic wakeup call for me. When I considered that I had three uncles that died of heart attacks by 60 years old, I knew the statistics were not on my side. I was never good at math, but even I knew my small children would want or need me around beyond their 25th birthdays. Imagine not seeing them graduate from college, or marry, or have children of their own?
That day, I began running – in an old pair of tennis shoes. I held out for a mile and it almost killed me. I stuck with it and eleven years later I am still running. I feel better, I believe I’m a better leader, a better person, even a better father setting a good example to my kids.
It just takes one step. Won’t you join me? Our goal is to raise a total of $175K for the American Heart Association.
Start! Walks will take place in major metro areas around the country throughout the rest of 2010 and into 2011. There are no registration fees. To join a team, visit this easy to use website. To start a team, contact Lynne.Adame@sodexo.com or head to our Start! Heart Walk Facebook page.
Patrick “Pat” E. Connolly is COO and market president of Sodexo Health Care Services