I have to admit that this isn't the letter I had originally penned for this month. The original column had to do with providing an experience for members — don't worry, you'll read that one next month. (I'd hate to deprive people of any of my words of wisdom.)
The change came about earlier this month when one night I headed out to the movies (a rare treat with a 15-month-old at home). I arrived too late for the movie I wanted to see, so I wound up going with my second choice — and I'm glad I did.
The documentary, Super Size Me, by first-time filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, has gained a lot of press for belting McDonalds as Spurlock survived exclusively on three meals a day from the fast-food kingpin. While that is a key to the movie (and not to bash McDonalds, but I probably will never eat there again), the real meat of this movie is far juicier than that and contains a far more important message for the fitness industry.
By looking at the fitness of America — especially the nation's youth — from various angles from nutrition to activity (or more accurately, inactivity), Spurlock helps paint a picture of the problem that fitness facilities as an industry are combating every day. This picture is painted by looking at the lack of phys. ed, and the contrast of the abundance of soda and candy machines in schools, not to mention the unhealthy lunches served (most of which look as unedible as during my school days). Take that and add in the amount of time people spend sedentary, eating on the go and lack of education, and you have a powerful message.
Spurlock does a good job of delivering this message in not only an educational way, but in a way that is entertaining enough to keep even those in the theater munching from the tub' o popcorn and drinking from the giant soda engrossed and hopefully reconsidering their choices in life.
Now, I have to preface this with the disclaimer that I have no financial interest in this movie, but as a former fat kid I believe this movie should be required viewing for all school-aged children, parents, health club staff, members and more. In fact, maybe you can take your nutrition clients out for a screening or have a movie night for all members.
To bring to life the impact and immediacy of what people are doing to themselves and show the benefits of the lifestyle that fitness pros live everyday, this movie proves that sometimes a picture — especially a moving one — is truly worth a thousand words.