Month: August 2015

Motivation

I do not particularly like exercise. But there are things I do like, and exercise is the first step to being able to do those things. So, here’s my list to encourage me to get moving.

  1. People who are fit have better self-esteem. This seems to be kind of a chicken/egg thing. Is the self-esteem better because you feel good, or does high self-esteem make you take care of yourself?
  2. People who are fit have higher esteem from their peers. I think I remember reading this in a Women’s Health article once. Either way, there’s also what I think of as the “fast food effect.” I distinctly remember sitting down at a not-terribly-crowded fast-food dining room, looking around, and realizing that every single person visible to me – including myself – was visibly overweight. Since then, that particular number 2 combo basket from that particular restaurant just hasn’t been as good. It probably relates back to judging people by the company they keep. Folks who hang with fit people tend to be fit.
  3. Better physical relationships. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, and that’s certainly part of it. But there is more to physical relationships than sex. Think of the ways we use physical activity to form bonds with people. There’s going dancing with your girlfriends. There’s taking the kids on a hike. Walking the mall/zoo/museum circuit with your family.
  4. Less likelihood or lower severity of chronic disease. Arthritis. Osteoporosis. Heart disease. Diabetes. Even alzheimer’s.
  5. Faster/better healing from trauma. I mean big trauma, like increased blood flow helping major wounds heal faster, and little trauma, like suffering from cold symptoms for four days instead of six.
  6. Less stress. You know after a medium-impact workout, like jogging, when your neck hurts, but your range of motion is a lot better? All that tension is just….gone. Plus, you sleep better, so that’s good, too. And if you’re into kick boxing, beating up that bag is a really, really nice way to hammer out some frustrations.
  7. Better overall quality of life. This is everything from being able to keep up with the kids on the playground, to having my knees feel a whole lot better in the morning, to not having to take a whole afternoon to try on swimsuits. I think it would be really nice for my closed to be a whole lot more fun.
  8. Live longer. I intend to have fireworks at my 100th birthday party.
  9. People who are fit tend to pass that value on to their kids. I think the things on this list are valuable enough that I want my kids to experience them, too.

And, as if that weren’t enough, there’s this exchange between my kids:

S: I spy with my little eye, something that is…..funny!

C: Is it your butt?

S: No!

C:Is it Mommy’s butt?

S:Yes!

Right. Now, I’m off for a walk/jog. Bye-bye, funnybutt.

School Buses Carry Kids

Here we are, again. Some of our little friends have been in school for a couple of weeks already, some are celebrating their first day of the new year today, and a good number of us begin next week.

Traffic is about to get significantly worse – budget your time accordingly. People will be commuting to their jobs in schools, kids will be dropped off, bicycles will be zipping around all over, young pedestrians will be flooding the crosswalks, and school buses will be lumbering through all of it like benevolent giants.

School buses carry kids.

An awful lot of people forget it. Each year, the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services conducts a survey of school bus drivers. On the same day, bus drivers in 29 participating states report how many motorists illegally pass them when their amber lights are flashing, and the “Stop Arms” are extended.  In 2014, they counted 75,966 violations. That’s 75,966 people who think their errand is more important than the children attempting to enter or exit a bus.

The penalties for stop arm violations vary from state to state, but that doesn’t matter.

The Kansas State Department of Education conducts an annual survey regarding school bus safety. The 2014 National School Bus Loading and Unloading Survey reports that between 2010 and 2014, 26 kids were killed by motorists passing school buses.

That’s what matters. Twenty-six children.

It might be worth mentioning that the same survey notes that most of those fatalities occurred during clear, sunny days. Weather was not a factor – this was pure human negligence.

Kids need to look both ways before they cross. But drivers need to do their part, too.

Please, please, please remember to treat the lights on school buses as if they are traffic lights. If the lights are flashing yellow, be cautious. If the lights are flashing amber and the stop sign is out – stop. School buses carry kids.

This is from Florida Safety and Highway Vehicles http://www.flhsmv.gov/safety-center/vehicle-consumer-and-child-safety/child-safety/school-bus-safety/ -but the rules are the same all over the country.

Based on the fatality survey I mentioned above, I would expect between four and six kids to be killed somewhere in the US this year by drivers who aren’t paying attention, think it won’t happen to them, or simply don’t care. This is unacceptable. Please prove me wrong.

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“School Buses Carry Kids” was a slogan that appeared on bumper stickers in Austin, Texas in 1998, when 8-year-old Adriana Gutierrez was struck and killed by a passing motorist after exiting a school bus. I offer my continuing condolences to Adriana’s family.

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