No excuses, please

Over the last year, we have met some special and inspirational people via this blog (love you, Mom!). We have covered some of the excuses many of us have for inconsistencies in our exercise routines and healthy lifestyle choices. I have attempted to motivate you by cajoling, encouraging, inspiring and even shaming you. I’m always looking for inspirational stories to encourage others to be health and wellness role models for our families and communities. 

For those of you who still have a list of excuses for not exercising, please allow me to introduce Terry and Joan Garman. I hope their story will put you on a new road headed in the right direction toward healthy thinking about your exercise capabilities.

I met Terry and Joan at "MD & Me: Walk-n-Learn,” a wellness event sponsored by Parkview Physicians Group.

This program was launched in May and continues through October on the second Tuesday of each month. The event features a 10-minute presentation on a medical topic followed by a one-mile group walk on the paved biking/walking trail at Solomon Farm Park on Dupont Road. Of all the people I’ve written about in this blog over the last year, Terry and Joan have become perhaps the all-time leaders in inspiration.

Parkinson's disease has severely limited Terry's mobility, confining him to a wheelchair. Joan, the engine of this dynamic duo, motored them both around the one-mile course. In August, they chose to complete a 1.8 mile loop just for grins. The first time I saw them in the audience I assumed that they were there for the medical presentation and would quietly leave after the talk. But when I asked if they planned to walk I was met with incredulous looks and they replied: "Why of course we plan to walk." 

In order to get from the Solomon Barn, where the lecture takes place, to the trail, we needed to negotiate about 200 yards of grass. I was concerned that this obstacle might prevent them from walking. Was I wrong! There were no excuses. With a little help from myself and a friend of the Garmans, we got Terry and Joan onto the bike path and from that point on, LOOK OUT! I was not allowed to touch the wheelchair despite some gentle hills along the course. They completed the route with smiles in abundance the entire time. Terry and Joan are now regulars at the "MD & Me" event and are truly inspiring to all who witness their combined energy and enthusiasm. 

So, the next time you are too tired, too busy, too sore, too...whatever, I want you to remember the picture of Terry and Joan and realize that there are truly no obstacles or excuses large enough to prevent us from becoming healthier. Let’s all commit ourselves to becoming the healthy community that Fort Wayne is destined to be. 

Come to "MD & Me" at the Solomon Farm (or indoors at the Dupont YMCA in inclement weather) Sept. 10 and Oct. 8, beginning at 5:30 p.m., and meet Terry and Joan, my paragons of inspiration.

Mom, by the way, has recovered from her recent medical condition and is on pace to complete the necessary miles long before the Fort4Fitness Senior Marathon 1.2-mile conclusion at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27, at Parkview Field. Aunt Mary still needs a little push out the door, but I am hopeful we can get her miles accomplished and join in the final celebration.

Upcoming MD & Me events in 2013.

• Tuesday, Sept. 10: Robert Godley, MD, “Hypertension: What Do the Numbers Mean?”

• Tuesday, Oct. 8: James Edlund, MD, “Colon Health”




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