I am always pleased when we can provide opportunities for better health and involve the whole community in doing so. One of our fun programs to do just that is Meet Me Monday.
I have asked Corey Surber, Director of Community Health Initiatives for Saint Alphonsus, to share her insights from Meet Me Monday as the program celebrates its upcoming second-year anniversary.
Sure, Mondays aren’t known for being the most popular day of the week. Garfield the Cat famously despised Mondays for whatever reason, and in the 1960’s the Mamas and the Papas sang “whenever Monday comes, you can find me crying all the time (in Monday, Monday).” Despite the bad rap, Mondays have really grown in popularity in the Treasure Valley over the past two years – WHY?? Meet Me Monday, that’s why!
Meet Me Monday began in Boise in June 2012 as a health partnership between Saint Alphonsus and Bandanna Running & Walking – offering a free, weekly family fun run/walk EVERY Monday year-round, through sun, rain, snow, sleet, wind and even holidays. There are suggested routes of 1, 2, and 3 miles but participants can choose to walk or run wherever they prefer, and it’s not a timed competitive race so our athletes just sign in and head out when they arrive. The MMM movement has now spread to Kuna and New Plymouth and more communities across the valley have plans in the works!
While Mondays do tend to be a tough day for most of us mentally — going back to work or school, getting back into the weekly routine – our Meet Me Monday (MMM) athletes have found if they commit to starting each week off on a healthy foot, it’s easier for them to set a healthy pattern incorporating physical activity and fun throughout the whole week. Take the Orth Family as an example – Brian and Toni Orth have brought their twin boys Taylor and Tyler to EVERY SINGLE MMM since we started in June 2012. When MMM began, the boys wheeled along in a stroller as their parents walked or ran their MMM route through downtown. Nowadays, the boys run along ahead of their parents on their route, excited to see the “Water Monster” (the fountain at Boise City Hall), and Brian has lost an incredible amount of weight since the family started getting out with MMM every week.
What keeps individuals and families coming back to MMM? Whether it’s the opportunity for social time and support for living a healthy lifestyle, the free prize drawings, discounts at downtown businesses, the beautiful walk or run downtown, or the incentives for repeat participation, the great thing is that people DO keep coming back. When MMM celebrated its 100th consecutive Monday in May, the Orth family were the first to receive their 100-timer shirts and couldn’t wait to put them on to show their accomplishment as a family.
Since then, more 100-timer shirts continue to be awarded each week and we continue to be amazed by stories of health transformation among our MMM athletes. Connie Pond proudly stepped up to receive her 100-timer shirt recently with her husband Dwight, and she has a lot to be proud of. She modeled in the Festival of Trees Fashion Show last November and was a finalist for the American Heart Association Red Dress Award this past February, recognizing her healthy lifestyle makeover and amazing 30-40 pound weight loss since starting MMM.
Mondays are so special to our MMM athletes, they even take their 8-timer, 16-timer, 50-timer and 100-timer MMM
gear on vacations with them, and if they are somewhere other than Boise on a Monday, they put on their shirts, take photos and post them to the Meet Me Monday Facebook page to show they are still with us in spirit, getting out for a walk or run to start the week even though they are far away. Their photo posts from China, Africa, Alaska, Washington DC and elsewhere are an awesome demonstration that Monday is far from the least popular day of the week, at least for those who have tried Meet Me Monday!
Please come join us June 9th as we celebrate two years of marvelous Mondays, and make MMM a part of your weekly recipe for good health! Sign in starts at 5:15pm every Monday at Bandanna Running & Walking, with announcements, prize drawings and the “GET OUT” cheer at 6:45 pm. For more information about MMM including start times and locations for Kuna and New Plymouth, please visit www.MeetMeMonday.org and “like” our Meet Me Monday Facebook page!