Childhood imagination leads to healthier lifestyles

What did you want to be when you grew up? Did you want to be a couch potato?

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Did you want to be a couch potato? Overweight? A junk food addict?

Probably not.

Me neither.

It seems none of us adults living in the big people’s world with jobs and bills and responsibilities ever wanted to grow up and live in a world ruled by stress, high blood pressure, heart attacks and just, overall, being in really bad physical shape.

But, according to statistics, which are sometimes, but not always, correct, being overweight, physically inactive and eating crap, which ironically all fit together like a big puzzle, are huge issues.

And, another missing piece to the giant jigsaw, is, of course, having an ungrateful heart and lungs.

And, as a final piece is the worry of bad things happening, really bad things, like a heart attack or stroke.

It appears being overweight, not active and eating crap is like an invisible ball and chain hooked to lots of people. And, instead of taking the initiative to get free of it, some of us decide to lay the blame somewhere else.

I, personally, kind of like the idea of blaming someone else for my lifestyle as I lay on the couch, crunching my way through a bag of chips and listlessly pressing the remote.

In fact, at our house the other day, a crisis occurred. We could not find the remote.

It was a sad day; a very sad day And as I hung my head in despair I knew I should go walk around the block so my heart and lungs would thank me for it, but I simply couldn’t.

I was too depressed.

Seriously, a recent survey I read shows that lots of people are stressed out about being overweight and inactive.

Weird how the two are connected.

Anyway, a collective SOS call went out to the universe about this little problem that was immediately picked up by this mysterious force and tossed it back to the powers that be. And, quicker than the demise of the penny, the powers that be went into action.

And formed a committee!

There’s your answer.

And, of course, some seed money was handed over to the committee so the deprived age group, who apparently has nothing to do, can quit being part of the “gap” in recreation.

It may or may not work. For some reason the old saying, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink,” comes to mind, but time will tell.

For me, as a kid, and now as a big kid, I have learned that, unfortunate as it may seem, the shortest route to a healthy lifestyle lies right inside my own head.

I was fortunate enough to grow up as one of those poor, underprivileged kids who lived on the wrong side of the tracks. As such a kid, I learned that as long as I had my brothers to hang out with, a tin can could become a football, a front yard a baseball stadium, and an unplanted garden a broad jump pit.

In short, I learned there’s nothing like a little imagination to pick up the slack if I wanted to remove my derriere from the chesterfield.

And, because I am convinced there is no age limit on imagination or choice, I’ve decided that fact still holds true.

So I’m going to quit looking for my remote.

And go for a walk!

— ON THE OTHER SIDE

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

As of Friday, Alberta has under 10,000 active COVID-19 cases. (Image courtesy CDC)
Three new COVID-19 deaths in Central zone, Alberta under 10,000 active cases

The Central zone sits at 849 active cases, with 52 people in hospital and 10 in the ICU.

Black Press File Photo
Maskwacis RCMP lay charges for attempted murder, kidnapping, and flight from police

Female victim remains in hospital in serious condition.

(File photo)
After several years in limbo, Parkland Manor to be torn down

Rimoka Housing Foundation has received funding and approval for the demolition

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw announced 16 additional deaths Thursday. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
No easing of Alberta’s COVID-19 measures Thursday, 678 new COVID-19 cases

The province also hit 1,500 COVID-19 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic

Lucas Berg, left, with the backpacks filled with essential items he donated to the Red Deer Mustard Seed Jan. 19, 2021. (Photo submitted)
Ponoka youth fills backpacks for less fortunate

Lucas Berg, 14, of Ponoka County, donated 20 backpacks he filled with necessities

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, updates media on the COVID-19 situation in Edmonton, Friday, March 20, 2020. Hinshaw says residents in long-term care and supportive living facilities will remain the priority as the province grapples with a looming slowdown in COVID-19 vaccine supply. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta long-term care residents remain priority in looming slowdown of COVID vaccine

There are 119 patients in intensive care and 1,463 people have died

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

In this Dec. 18, 2020 photo, pipes to be used for the Keystone XL pipeline are stored in a field near Dorchester, Neb.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Chris Machian /Omaha World-Herald via AP
‘Gut punch’: Alberta Premier Jason Kenney blasts Biden on revoked Keystone XL permit

Kenney said he was upset the U.S. wouldn’t consult with Canada first before acting

Joe Biden, then the U.S. vice-president, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau take their seats at the start of the First Ministers and National Indigenous Leaders meeting in Ottawa, Friday, Dec. 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau, Biden to talk today as death of Keystone XL reverberates in Canada

President Joe Biden opposed the Keystone XL expansion as vice-president under Barack Obama

Prince Edward Island’s provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Friday July 3, 2020. A lozenge plant in Prince Edward Island has laid off 30 workers, citing an “almost non-existent” cold and cough season amid COVID-19 restrictions. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
‘Almost non-existent’ cold and cough season: P.E.I. lozenge plant lays off 30 workers

The apparent drop in winter colds across the country seems to have weakened demand for medicine and natural remedies

Gov. Gen. Julie Payette takes the royal salute from the Guard of Honour as she makes her way deliver the the throne speech, Wednesday, September 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Gov. Gen. Julie Payette resigns, apologizes for ‘tensions’ at Rideau Hall

Payette, who is the Queen’s representative in Canada, has been the governor general since 2017

Grounded WestJet Boeing 737 Max aircraft are shown at the airline’s facilities in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, May 7, 2019. WestJet will operate the first commercial Boeing 737 Max flight in Canada today since the aircraft was grounded in 2019 following two deadly crashes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Passengers unfazed as WestJet returns Boeing 737 Max to service on Calgary flight

After a lengthy review process, Transport Canada cleared the plane to return to Canadian airspace

(Photo submitted)
Community Futures brings back Social Media Challenge for 2021

This time the challenge is for non-profits and community groups

A conveyor belt transports coal at the Westmoreland Coal Co.’s Sheerness mine near Hanna, Alta., on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. Coal mining impacts are already occurring in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains even as debate intensifies over the industry’s presence in one of the province’s most beloved landscapes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
As Alberta debates coal mining, industry already affecting once-protected Rockies

UCP revoked a policy that had protected eastern slopes of the Rockies from open-pit coal mining since 1976

Most Read