Parenting Blog

Wrapping Up An Active and Healthy 2014 With Together Counts


It’s yet to be published, but I’m working on a post in which I basically declare 2014 ‘THE BEST YEAR EVER,” doing so not in a hyperbolic-internet way and not in pompous-look-at-me fashion either, but in a very real, reflective, and holistic manner. 2014 was, in no uncertain terms, nothing short of brilliant for my family. There’s no other way to say it. It’s a fact.

While I’ll stop short of saying that my health was at the heart of it all in 2014 (pun somewhat intended), my relative well-being has become a paramount issue for my family since a scary scare in August of ’13. I can thank, in part, Together Counts for keeping my ship on course throughout much of 2014.

I’ve been extremely fortunate to serve as an ambassador for the Together Counts program over the past 10 months and I can’t help but see a connection between Together Counts’ clear message of energy in and energy out, and moderation and balance, and my improved eating and consistent exercise routine. I’ve been running further and faster, and we’ve also stayed active together as a family. Unfortunately, not exactly as active as I was hoping.

In March, I wrote that we hoped to do a colorful run and train for a family 5K in 2014. We tried, we did, but it never happened. My girls aren’t revealing themselves as runners yet. That’s ok. There’s plenty of time. But, but! at the very end of the year, on a pre-dawn December morning in a downtown Detroit hotel, my oldest girl ran next to me on a treadmill. I went for 3.1 miles, she traveled 1.6, and all the while we’d side-eye each other and smile. She was proud, I was prouder and felt uber connected to her, even as I listened to a Life of Dad After Show Podcast and she watched Teen Titans on her treadmill’s TV screen.

In the 51 weeks that preceded that treadmill jaunt, we swam with sea turtles in Hawaii, rediscovered our carefree youth in an Orlando hotel pool, ice skated in Detroit, hiked through the majestic Redwoods in California and I ran hundreds of miles outside in Oregon, Orlando, Seattle, the Big Island of Hawaii, New Orleans and on countless treadmills. Sure, we ate a few beignets in the Big Easy but we walked for days around the French Quarter too. We had ice cream and gelato and donuts (why, Portland, why so many delicious donuts!?) every day for two weeks in the Pacific Northwest but we hiked 2800 feet up and down Crater Lake and then up and down Wizard Island in the middle of Crater Lake. Phew. That was a doozy!

All the while, we focused on balance in what we ate and what outdoor activities we did together as a family. And it. was. amazing.

I’m looking to continue my personal success this year and have set a goal of running 750 miles in 2015: #750in2015 There is no chance I could even conceive of such an audacious plan if not for the inspiration received and knowledge gained from the Together Counts program.

During the course of 2014, I wrote five blog posts for Together Counts — ideas and tips spanning virtually an entire seasonal calendar. Go back and read about achieving balance and moderation during Halloween, finding a routine before back to school season begins, rad summertime outdoor activities for you and your kids, and ways to make Father’s Day super duper extra special. Hopefully I’ve been (or will be) able to help you and your family get and stay healthy, make good eating choices, and STILL enjoy the occasional treat. Because, as I emphatically state, that’s really important too!

Become a part of the conversation all year long on the Together Counts Facebook page.

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