Y Notes

What gets your moving?

  • Ronda Graff
  • 10-Jan-2019

What gets you moving? What keeps you from moving in the first place? The answers vary as much as we do.

Perhaps the answer to the second question could help with the first.

Maybe your excuse is: “My son has basketball practice three times this week.” Then, you could use the time your child is in practice to walk around the block. Or better yet, help with practice, even if it’s just running up down the court or partnering up with a lone player to pass the ball.

Maybe the excuse is routinely: “I don’t like working out.” Then, try something new...every time. Between fitness classes, lap times in the pool or pickleball in the gym, there is a variety of ways to get moving without really “working out” at the YMCA.

As we roll into the new year, it’s the perfect time to figure out what will get you moving. For many it is organized activities, such as group workouts or group events.

The Republican River Fitness Series, a collaboration between the YMCA and Community Hospital, was created to get people moving and to develop a healthy community. We hope it motivates people to try their first triathlon or improve their time on 5K or push their boundaries with a half-marathon. The first event of the 2019 season is the Shamrock Shuffle in March, so now is the time to get moving and prepare.

The YMCA’ 2019 Team Fitness Challenge kicked off Sunday with a massive group workout in the YMCA gym. This will translate to a lot of new faces in the fitness classes, additional people on the exercise machines and lots of additional vehicles in the parking lot. Be warned that in the evening, the lot will be full, so be prepared to walk.

And that’s not a bad thing.

We are spoiled in McCook and Southwest Nebraska because we can drive and park close to our destinations. People would rather circle a block for 10 minutes, rather than walking two blocks to their destination.

But returning to the original topic,: what will get us moving? What keeps us from moving?

This weekend, my college-aged daughter and I discussed - sometimes heatedly - what motivates a person to walk or bike, rather than drive, to reach their destination.

She leaned toward improving infrastructure such as installing bike lanes on city streets and expanding the walking trails across town.

I agreed that McCook’s walking trail should be lengthened, but that the current trail provides a lot of opportunities and sidewalks are available to get from one destination to the other. But people still choose to drive.

A bigger issue in our area is societal norms. People just don’t bike or walk to get to their destination, whether it is because of time constraints, it just doesn’t look cool, or my favorite - and most honest answer - laziness.

Bike commuters are looked upon as a novelty and sometimes a nuisance. Someone out for a stroll is most likely getting a breath of fresh air, rather than walking as a mode of transportation.

So what would create a shift in our community? What would get people moving?

Again, the answers are as varied as the people in our community. Maybe it’s installing more bike racks around town so people are encouraged to use two wheels instead of four. Maybe it’s dimmed lighting in the pool so people are more comfortable in their swimsuits. Or maybe it is as simple as encouraging others to take that first step and just getting moving.