Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Want to be inspired?

Found myself digging through the PE4life archives, looking at old articles and testimonials that have been written over the years. Each time I do this, I am reminded why I work for PE4life. I have been with the organization for six years now. I'm not a physical educator. I don't have a health background. But what continues to drive and motivate me to contribute is that I work with the most amazing physical education professionals who are so passionate and truly make a difference in this crazy world we live.

Phil Lawler is the driving force - the leader - the person who inspires us here at PE4life and educators across the world to look at how we can change the culture of health and wellness through physical education. I came across Phil's testimony before a US House Subcommittee in 2007 – and while I’ve heard these things over and over – Phil breaks it down so simply. So clearly. With such vision.

Here are some of my favorites:

"Let me give you a quick example of when I saw the light. Our department had acquired a single heart rate monitor. I hadn’t used it but one day I took it out and put it on a girl I didn’t believe was working very hard in class. In the old days of PE assessment, we said, “let’s run a mile, and if you can’t run a mile under eight minutes, you’re a failure.” How many people in this country were turned off to exercise by those standards? I put the heart rate monitor on a young lady who didn’t have asthma and wasn’t overweight. So, based on her 13.5-minute mile, I deemed her a failure. But when I downloaded her heart rate monitor, her average heart rate was 187. By just using my observation as a physical education instructor she wasn’t doing anything, she wasn’t expending any effort. But in reality, the heart rate monitor told me she was working too hard."

“It’s about enabling each student to maintain a physically-active lifestyle forever. It means emphasizing fitness and wellbeing, not athleticism. It eliminates practices that humiliate students. And it assesses students on their progress in reaching personal physical activity and fitness goals. A [quality] program exposes kids to the fun and long-term benefits of movement – it’s really that simple.”

"I think former surgeon general, Dr. Richard Carmona, summarized the situation the best when he said, “As we look to the future and where childhood obesity will be in 20 years… it is every bit as threatening to us as is the terrorist threat we face today. It is the threat from within.” Physical Education can be a key part of the solution to that threat, maybe the most important part of the solution."

This being said – I’ve got to get back to work. So much is still to be done!

Carrie Gibson

To read Phil's full testimonial go here.

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