Tuesday, November 4, 2008

American Duty

It's election day in America. Because of the trip we recently took, and the election I thought talking about our duty as Americans would be a good topic. The picture above is from Omaha Beach, Normandy. That tree probably wasn't there in 1944 but it sits at a rather important spot. Essentially this picture was taken from the forward German Bunker that sits on the the gradual slope that heads to the Beach. It was this bunker that according to everything I've read, caused the most problems on the Beach. It was mid afternoon when the Americans finally knocked it out. So this one tree stands alone on the bluff. To me it symbolizes our duty as Americans. To stand up and say something. To take action. It's just a tree, but in that setting on that beach with an American Cemetery not far away, it's more than just a tree.

First Thing: Vote

Fuel your American Pride
My wife Mary and I don't agree on everything. One thing we are crystal clear on is our love for the USA. We both got to it differently but we love it for the same reasons. But we are not immune to bashing the country from time to time. So we make it a point to fuel our love on a regular basis. I suggest if you are feeling down about the country especially after this long and hard election year, go learn something new about the country. Now our absolute favorite place to fuel the love is Washington DC. It is truly inspiring. It may be expensive to get there but once there, it's not expensive. Just about everything to do with being an American in D.C. is Free. The Bill of Rights, Smithsonian and so much more is Free. One of the other things we like to do is visit the US Cemeteries. The Omaha Beach Cemetery was just an incredibly moving experience. If you live in San Diego, there is one on Point Loma. You sit there for an hour with the US Navy and America's Finest City as the back drop and you can't help be proud to be American. Finally a non-military way to be wowed by the USA is visit a National Park. It's one of my goals to visit all of them. Each one it unique and each one represents what is great about the USA. We obviously did not create that beauty but we preserved it and they are just unreal.

Fat
i'm not the ugly ameroeuro who says, 'football' and suddenly wears pointy shoes; but we americans are f-a-t fat! - Paul Astorino

I can't help to think my boss is making fun of me because I call Soccer, Football in Europe. But I don't care. The real part of the quote is the we Americans are F-A-T. Those of us who live in Europe get a unique view every time we travel back to the USA. The first real sense you get is when you head through Customs. As you know there is an American Citizen line and then an everyone else line. If you took a random sampling of 100 people from each line you would be shocked. I'm going to guess an average of 40 lbs heavier on the American Side. And that 40lbs is all Fat. You can visibly see the difference. But I'm not telling you something you don't already know. We all know it. I think it's time we all take it on as a challenge. Heck, that is what endorphin fanatics is about anyway.

My view of the weight issue we have is this: Rarely do you ever hear that someone died because they were fat. They died of Cancer, Heart Disease etc. Those are real diseases that kill millions. I'm going to go out on a limb without any medical research and say that many of the diseases can be reduced if we cut out the Fat. Heck said another way, what if they started keeping the statistics of death by Fat. We would really do something wouldn't we.

On this Election day one of the major topics is Health care. Something all of you pay into. Your premiums are high and will continue to increase because of Fat. So as healthy obsessive Triathletes, Runners etc. we have to band together to change the tide. Choose your reason, more room on the plane, smaller cars on the freeway, you actually care about the people around you or simply your health care budget.

My initial take is this, everyone in the US knows someone who is Fat. Maybe it's your brother, your neighbor, your coworker, your kids best Friend. Everyone knows someone and it's here where we need to start. We need to use all the knowledge we have about our bodies and our drive and share it with others. That doesn't mean we want to turn people into athletes. What it means is we have to start with something and using our know how, there is something we can do to support the effort. I started a short list of some things we can be involved in and I'll give some examples. The List

Reasons for Being Fat What needs to happen

No Activity More Activity

Driving Everywhere Self Powered

Fast Food Natural Food

Soft Drinks Natural Drinks

Examples

1. Work on your family members with soft drinks. You know one won't kill you but 3 or 4 in a day may. I did this with my brother. He would drink 4 Mountain Dew's a day. He switched to Diet Mountain Dew but when I told him his body does not know the difference between regular and diet he was a bit shocked. So somehow through discussions and some pleading he is down to one a day.

2. No Activity - The next time you are standing at the elevator with your co-worker challenge them in a nice non-I'll kick your ass challenge to meet you their every morning for two weeks to take the stairs. Show them some small victories. You know as well as I do after two weeks the stairs won't seem so daunting. Small victory.

Send me your ideas or success stories. I'll post them on this Blog. Again I feel it's our American Duty to change the makeup of our country. It's our duty at athletes to take a stand and show America the way.

It's a good life....

Dave

One other note, it's good to be in the USA. For some reason Google can't spell check in Germany so I know my blog is full of errors. Now that I'm back in the US for a time my spelling will improve.
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