I just finished coaching the second session of Boot Camp at Woodward Academy where there is an incredible group of educators driven toward improving their health and fitness. I left Woodward and headed over to my favorite little coffee shop in Hapeville (http://www.dripatl.com/) to do some work and sip on an Americano. As I sat down to work, I started thinking about how we could turn good fitness, health, and nutrition practices into cultural change.
A health pyramid scheme is what has been going through my head…uh-oh…where is Smugs going with this?!?
Think about how a pyramid scheme works… one person gets a group of people to buy into some product and then that group goes out and gets other people to buy into the product and…this continues until a huge network of people are buying into and selling a product. The beauty in this is a large population of people have “bought into” a product or idea. The ugly in this is most pyramid schemes result in someone at the top getting wealthy by stomping on a large group of zombie-like worker bees that get drawn into the idea of quick, easy money and can’t get out because it doesn’t really exist. How is my plan different? My health pyramid-like scheme does not have a tangible product for sale, does not require financial buy-in, and does not require you to go around begging people to buy into some crappy product line. Instead, what if we used a pyramid-like scheme to ignite a cultural change toward better health, exercise, and eating by making a concerted effort to freely share healthy habits with others and encourage others to do the same.
Here's what is might look like…
I talk to my neighbor, coworker, friend, or unsuspecting stranger on MARTA and pass on some knowledge to him about exercise, treat him to some good food and the knowledge to identify good food, and encourage him to go for his yearly check up at the doctor's office. In return, he goes to the next neighbor's house and does the same thing I did with encouraging him to eat right, exercise and engage in other preventive health measures. As he is dropping some healthy living knowledge on the next neighbor, I haven't stopped spreading the good news of health and fitness to other people and continue encouraging them to go out and do the same…If we continue this process with each of us spreading the word, before you can say “Burpees, Burpees, Burpees!”, we’ll have a huge web of people out there growing our health pyramid. If everyone can just convince just one person to jump on the health train, think about how quickly we would see a cultural shift toward regular exercise, good eating and better health!
Thanks for reading and if you’re left thinking, “Smugs…you’re a dreamer, dude…what you are proposing will never work!” Well, you are probably right, but where would we be without ideas and dreams? I’m not ready to give up on this one!