(I’m still playing a little catch-up on posts, but also focused on putting together all my writing segments from the past two months. This post is from January 1st):
I like the New year Resolution tradition and all the promises it offers. Some fitness professionals, and even some goal-setting and optimizing gurus may shy away from the sometimes outlandish promises we make to ourselves. I find making New Year resolutions to be a very hopeful time when mistakes are forgiven, errors are erased, and anything is possible.
A few years ago, I was giving the first Keeper Chat of the year at the zoo. I had already given my regular spiel about how awesome our elephants were and how we took great care of them. I was transitioning to my conservation segment, where I typically discussed palm oil. For this particular talk though, I purposefully asked the crowd of visitors who among them had made New Year resolutions. As you can guess, many hands went up. Then I asked which of them had made resolutions to “Save Elephants.” Everyone’s hand went down and I felt a little bad because several faces looked utterly guilt-ridden, so I quickly moved on to ask them if any of them had made resolutions to eat healthy or otherwise be healthier in general. Most of the hands went up again. The next thing I said was the founding moment of ZooFit. “What if I told you that by eating or being healthier in general, you could help save elephants?” This question got everyone’s undivided attention. Wait! You mean I get something out of my actions for helping the planet? I can benefit from conservation actions? Why has no one told me this before?!?!
There are many ways we can meet our new year resolutions and also help preserve and protect both the environment and our favorite animals. This year, my resolution is to save the planet with healthy habits! My main goal is wildlife conservation through successful fitness. This may sound like a broad goal, and well, it is. But it boils down to me finishing my book, running outdoor bootcamps, and getting others excited about conservation fitness. It means I’m going to have to walk the walk and talk the talk. It means talking to more people about my program, working with them to produce excitement and interest in ZooFit, and promoting all the aspects of ZooFit in all my endeavors.
When people see me, I want them to ask what I do to stay so fit, happy, sane, and healthy. I want to be (as lame as it sounds now that I’m typing it out) a beacon of hope for people looking to get fit, and to all endangered species who need our support and efforts.
While I am indeed glad to put 2016 behind us, I am filled with hope for the possibilities that 2017 can bring us all. Sometimes it is darker before the dawn, so perhaps I needed 2016 to happen in order for me to get my butt in gear for 2017.