I was editing some listings that run in Saturday editions when information about the group, created to help improve the health of Fort Wayne residents, and its first meeting. It immediately piqued my interest, and I quickly found myself signing up on Eventbrite for the breakfast, which was held this morning. I thought it would not only help to get involved in the community but network with fitness and health professionals as I make shit happen in 2013. Bonus: Coffee was served.
The group is the brain child of Justin, the owner of a CrossFit box in Fort Wayne. An advocate of health and fitness, he found the inspiration to start an effort after attending a Social Media Breakfast. The format clicked, and he thought it would work well to allow like-minded individuals and groups to collaborate and encourage a healthy lifestyle.
As well as dispel some nasty titles. Fort Wayne has been topping the charts on lists that dub cities the fattest, stupidest and most artery clogging.
If the number of gyms opening up in town is any indication, those titles aren't so true - or people don't want them to be true. According to one of the attendees, between 60 percent and 70 percent of people are inactive. The good thing, though, is that two-thirds of them would like to be active. (I'm not sure if that's Fort Wayne specific or nationwide.)
One of things we mentioned in this morning's initial brain-storming session was that there are programs to help or guide people but they might not be marketed well or they have an intimidation factor. I think this can be especially true in the running community (and I said as much) as there aren't many running groups and many of the clubbers are standout athletes. For someone staring out, maybe wanting to participate in our Fort4Fitness events, it can be challenging to find a training partners or group.
Anyway, enough of my personal beef. Among the issues we discussed:
- An umbrella group
- Increased social media efforts to disseminate information
- Create a face to share stories and inspire
Many of the attendees were already engaged in efforts - dietitians, health educators, the director of the YMCA and representatives from the city. There were some health enthusiasts, as well, including a yoga instructor whom I sat next to. It seemed like a good mix of people who are doing fitness and those who have the resources to engage the community.
I'm really excited about the group and look forward to see where it's going. The plan is to meet once a month, ala the Social Media Breakfast format, and hopefully create more connections among the members to make shit happen (so to speak).
It is 2013, after all.