On Saturday I was proud to again sponsor the Cowtown Marathon’s exciting C.A.L.F. 15K, 5K, and one mile runs/walks and healthy foods cooking competition. It’s become one of my favorite causes as I’ve gotten older: encouraging people to be more fit and healthy.
By 6:45 a.m. school children from more than 30 schools had arrived at the Will Rogers Coliseum area and were getting ready for their events. Music was blaring and there was electricity in the air as the sun rose.
Rufino Mendoza School Children Participate
I met up with the group of 18 students and their teachers and parents from Mendoza School who were going to walk and run said hello. This is the 13th year I have sponsored the school.
I will be going to see “my kids” this afternoon to encourage the students as they run around the school, play football, eat healthy snacks, and study in the after-school program.
The Mendoza School just became a Blue Zone certified school and I will also support this excellent program.
The C.A.L.F. Program
C.A.L.F. stands for Children’s Activities for Life & Fitness. This nationally ranked program encourages Fort Worth children to exercise, eat healthy foods, and learn healthy habits they can use for the rest of their lives.
The program generously gives out more than 5,500 grants each year to children in our community. This gives them a pair of new running shoes each year, pays for their entry fees into February’s Cowtown’s races and gives them guidance on how they can run and be healthy throughout the year. I have been a member of the C.A.L.F. Council since it was formed almost 10 years ago and have enjoyed watching this program grow.
As an example, the Cowtown Marathon recently started a running camp for our students during the summer months.
Teaching Our Students To Eat Healthy Foods
It was also fun on Saturday to see 75 high school students competing in the sixth annual FitWorth Fuel Challenge. Teams of chefs-in-training from seven area schools cooked healthy meals. There was a competitive “Top Chef” feel and the students all wanted to win. A paralegal of mine’s daughter competed for several years when she was a student at North Side High and is now pursuing a culinary education. I spoke with some of the young people about the dishes they had researched and prepared. The race also served up healthy breakfast and distributed nutritious snacks for the participants and supporters.
There is no doubt that students who are fit and eat healthy foods will do better in school — and in life.
As a guy in his 60s who still exercises an hour or more almost every day and is a recently retired marathon runner, I believe wholeheartedly in the value of physical activity. After a busy day at the office yesterday, I lifted weights in my spare bedroom last night starting at 9:00 p.m.
And as a vegan I am totally committed to eating nutritious foods and am glad to see that our schools are encouraging this. Most of my 57 marathons were run after I became a vegan at the age of 55.
It is common knowledge that many people are inactive and have poor diets and that obesity and disease are serious problems in our country. Cowtown Marathon’s C.A.L.F. program, FitWorth, Blue Zones, and other exciting organizations like these are helping to transform the health of North Texas residents.
Saturday’s event is an example of why Fort Worth is such a great place to live and raise a family.