To Whom it May Concern,
I would like to speak to you all today about the growing obesity problem in America and about the First Lady's initiative's Let's Move and Joining Forces. I would like to offer up one possible solution that could help you, help each other, help our military families, and last, but most definitely not least, help the children of our nation that we hold so dear.
My name is Julia Greenfield; I am a wife, mother of four wonderful children, a believer in people, a believer in God, and a believer in taking care of our communities. I believe that fitness and fun go hand and hand and are absolutely necessary components of leading a successful, satisfying life. I believe in hope, I believe in the strength of the people of this nation, and most importantly I believe in a better tomorrow than today. I am a personal trainer/health fitness specialist that works in a small town just outside of Portland, Oregon. My passion is to help people along their journeys in discovering their inner strength both physically and mentally. I love my job!
For the last year I have been advocating for Let’s Move and The American Council on Exercise's partnership with Joining Forces and their goal of donating 1 million man hours of health and fitness services available to our families of deployed military personnel. http://www.acefitness.org/joiningforces/about-joining-forces.aspx
I volunteered 100 hours of personal training, group fitness/boot camp classes, in-club training, and mobile training. I saw it as an excellent opportunity to do something for the community I live in, as well as pay back our deployed military with the peace of mind that comes from knowing that their families are being well taken care of. I started by volunteering 100 hours, but for me it was only the beginning, there was no finish line for the for the hours. I am willing to give as many hours needed to help these families develop healthier habits. I promoted it as much as I knew how, but I am a personal trainer/health fitness specialist, not a marketer. I managed to spread the word to the local news, to the chambers of commerce, and local live television.
I am aware that many of you have promoted Let’s Move and Joining Forces through sports and school programs and PSA's and I am grateful to all of you for getting involved; your hard work and solid commitment to these very important initiatives is much appreciated. Unfortunately, what I have found, especially here in the North West, is that there is an apparent disconnect between public awareness of these programs and the fitness professionals wanting to help. We want to help and we are qualified to help but we are not being utilized. We have not been able to produce enough public awareness or belief in the program for it to launch. I still have all my volunteer hours available, not one of them used. I asked around the fitness community, if my fellow fitness professionals involved in the initiative had used their hours. What I found is that I am not the only one not being utilized; there are many other fitness professionals that are as concerned and bewildered as I am over their hundreds of unused hours.
With so many people crying out for help, how can it be that personal training, fitness classes, nutrition advice, offered by some of the most qualified fitness professionals in the world, FOR FREE, is not being taken advantage of and almost nobody is showing up? I am not quite sure if it is because people are simply unaware that it is out there and available to them, or if it is because they don't believe it. It has been pointed out to me many times during the research and writing of this paper that nothing is for free; “If it is too good to be true, then it probably is.” It seems to me people don't believe in the goodness of people anymore and I want to show them that this is just not the case. We do care!
I am extremely passionate about both of these initiative's and I have been working for quite some time to make sure people know what is available to them. I am watching it fade away in many areas, including my own and I am doing my best to keep it going, but I can't do it alone. I am now one of only two active participants in the Let’s Move Portland (sadly, nothing is moving Portland). http://www.meetup.com/Lets-Move/Portland-OR/
I see a regression of a very good cause and I don’t want to see it just disappear. The health of future generations is a stake here. Our kids are in real trouble. It's not to late to come together and try to salvage this situation. I truly believe this trend can be reversed... but 'Us', the trainers, the ones in the sweaty trenches, ready to do what we as are so passionate about and capable of doing, cannot help if the public is not informed that there is help available and we are here waiting for them.
To date, the American Council on Exercise has completed 10% of their goal of a million hours. While 100,000 hours is a great start, in reality, what that breaks down to from a personal trainers perspective is around 5-10 thousand people properly served nationwide. I know we can do better than that. It has been my experience that break through (mentally, physically, and psychologically) most often occurs at about the 10-20 session mark. http://www.acefitness.org/joiningforces/donation-create.aspx
I was reminded of a parable today out of the book of Luke 14: 23, The Parable of the Great Banquet, “Then the master told his servant, 'Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full.'” The table has been set and the banquet's ready, WE the fitness pro's are ready, but nobody is showing up. Please, go out to the highways and byways and urge people to come. Team up with us, promote us! Join us in promoting this. Help us by raising public awareness of the American Council on Exercise's part in Joining Forces/Let's Move and it's fitness professionals and then 'pass us the ball'. We are a fantastic group of people, with strong shoulders, built to endure heavy loads and we CAN make a difference if given a chance. Help us to remind everyone that moving and sports and fitness are not only good for them but are FUN as well. Let's teach our kids to be kids again. Playing is a must in life! Together I know we can achieve this goal! You are an incredible, amazing, innovative group of minds and each exceptional at what you do/your passions. Use what you have been given to help in reaching this goal. Innovation is KEY!
To those of you I sought out,
You are an exceptional group of individuals, each with unique gifts and talents, with strong minds, the ability to endure, and most importantly you know that nothing is impossible, that within each of us we carry the ability to change, grow, and achieve our dreams. With your help we can teach our families and children this valuable lesson through sports and fitness. Help A.C.E and it's fitness professionals achieve this million hour mission.
Among you sits an inspirational individual, one of my role models, Mr. Peter Davis, owner of Idea Health and Fitness Association, the worlds largest association for fitness and wellness professionals which is in partnership with the American Council on Exercise http://thewellnessrevolution.paulzanepilzer.com/peterkathiedavis.php . To all of you, I encourage you to seek Mr. Davis out, find out and find out how you can help this wonderful cause. And to Mr. Davis, I ask you to seek these exceptional individuals out; they have been kind enough to show me what they are capable of doing and they can help! If we all Joined Forces I believe we could achieve great things together.
To this wonderful nation,
Please support Joining Forces and Let's Move in any way you can. United we CAN reverse this. And to those of you seeking help, I am here. I have strong shoulders and I will help and all I ask is that in return you pay it forward.
ACE certified personal trainer, ACSM health fitness specialist