Texarkana, caught in the middle in a battle to win the war on obesity!

by / Friday, April 15, 2011 / Published in Fitnesss 4 All 50 State Tour
“Being defeated is often only a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent.”

Marilyn vos Savant-1946-NA

Kevin shows that being paralyzed from the chest down you can still be fit in TEXas, ARKansas, and nearby LouisiANA = Texarkana


Wikipedia says; “That Texarkana that Col. Gus Knobel, stated a railroad surveyor, coined the name]. Local lore suggests that, before Texas’ annexation by the US, lawlessness ruled in the area that at times was claimed by various nations” Texarkana was founded in 1873 on the junction of two railroads. The name is a portmanteau of TEXas, ARKansas, and nearby LouisiANA.”.

As you can see,  I found myself in a city that was half Arkansas, half Texas and part Lousiana.

Despite all the lore of the old west Texarkana it turned out that it was a friendly place and they welcomed me with my message of improving education for Texarkana’s youth, parents, teachers, administrators, local workforce and other Texarkana’s.

In 2008 new guidelines for physical activity were released by the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (PAGA) recommend that adults obtain at least 150 minutes/week of moderate-intensity physical activity, or 75 minutes/week of vigorous-intensity physical activity, or a combination of moderate and vigorous physical activity1.

 These levels are those necessary for substantial health benefits which include decreasing the risk of premature death; decreasing the risk of diseases such as heart disease, stroke, some cancers, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and depression; decreasing the risk of high blood pressure and high cholesterol; and improving the ability to function in everyday life. The guidelines are very similar to previous recommendations but provide more flexibility in how physical activity is accumulated across the week. Previously the guidelines stated that at least 30 minutes on a given day were necessary as a minimum2. Now, however, there is no daily minimum as long as physical activity is performed in 10-minute bouts and accumulates to the recommended amounts for the week.

What does this all mean?
Regardless of how you measure it, the bottom line is Americans need to move more! We are not meeting the minimum physical activity recommendations needed to benefit our health. Below are some tips to help you achieve the guidelines.

  • Ditch your car and try more active modes of transportation.
  • Pick up the pace while doing household chores.
  • Take walk breaks at lunch.
  • Reduce the time you spend being inactive for example watch a little less TV.
  • Choose exercise that you find fun.
  • Do your own yard work or wash your own car.
  • Make time for family walks for example after dinner or on Saturday mornings.
  • Play with your kids.

While all activity is good and burns additional calories, in order for it to count towards the recommendations it needs to be moderate-intensity. You don’t have to break out in a sweat but you should feel like you are pushing yourself a bit. This should cause an increase in your breathing and a warm feeling in your muscles

Kevin’s Personal Journal

Total miles pushed: 40

8:00 AM – We loaded up and got ready to meet the Mayor of Texarkana and to push. We were loaded and ready to go by 9 am and made it to the Mayor’s office by 9:30 am.

Mayor Shipp awards Dora with a special beautiful pin from Texarkana for important people who visit. We were very honored.

Kevin interviews Channel 3 ABC KTBS Texarkana Kevin tells them about BIG PUSH and the huge need for education our nation's youth for proper Fitness Activities & Health nutrional meals & snacks. So they have the knowledge to make better choices on a daily basis for a lifetime.

9:30 AM – We drove down Stateline road to the office of Mayor Horace G. Shipp of Texarkana, AR. I had a thorough meeting with the Mayor and explained to him the points of our tour. I challenged the Mayor to work to create lasting health and fitness initiatives for all citizens of Texarkana. I presented the Mayor with a certificate and a sculpture on behalf of the ‘Big Push Across America’ tour. The Mayor presented Dora, Andy, and I with special state lapel pins. He had also prepared a proclamation from the city to present to me, but forgot to present it. We will pick it up in the morning.

Media Present: After meeting with the Mayor, I did a brief interview with KTBS Channel 3 ABC of Texarkana. Reporter Julie Moore and photographer Mike Moore both did a great job in getting the interview. The station was able to use a lot of the B-roll footage that I provided them, as well as a lot of material that they filmed themselves to put together a great piece. I told Julie Moore the reporter that the BIG PUSH across America and my presentations to schools and city and state leaders was about helping educate our nation’s youth, parents, teachers, administrators and Americans about proper Fitness Activitires, sports and proper nutrition, So they have the information how to get information so they can choose a balanced nutrional meal or healthy snack or make one themselve. The very best fitness trainer, nutritionists and body builders will tell you to be in great shape it is 70% more or less what you eat and 30% more or less how much you exercise, Whatever it is you start slow but pick up the inensity as the days, weeks and months go by, Just like if you went out for sports in Junior High or Middle School, High School etc, you always have to go see a Doctor before you are allowed to start practicing, The same goes for execising if you are starting something you need to see you Doctor first!

I also told Julie how the BIG PUSH across America is just the prelude to the bigger “Fitnesss 4 All 50 State Tour”  I told Julie that I han’t been in a wheelchair all my life. That when I was young I loved sports starting in Junoir High / Middle School and played varsity sports in college and after I graduated from Kansas State University, the first thing I did after I got my job as a Federal Inspector for the USDA in Corpus Christi, Texas was joined the local rugby tea and the YMCA. Then before I knew it I was blown up in one of the worst explosions in TX & US history of its kind – I was thrown over a 2 story and blown over 300 feet through the air and landed in concrete parking lot left paralyzed from the chest down in a wheelchair.  Most people with my type of disability never leave home since life is so tough no core balance and you have to drain your bladder with a catheter every 3 to 4 hours a day and it used to take me 10 minutes to get up shower and get dressed, NOW that same action takes 2 plus hours – I because I lost the function of my body from the chest down 2 I have to do all these medical things that I never had to do before. I guess it like a young guy like me just turning into an old man really fast. But,  Thanks to proper fitness and proper eating habits I am able to live a full live. I even pushed across America thousands of miles to prepare for the next herculean event the “Fitness 4 All 50 State Tour”

Our mission with the “Fitness 4 All 50 State Tour” a nonprofit organization 501-(c) (3) is to serve as a catalyst to educate and empower our nation’s youth grades 3-12, parents, teachers, administrators, city mayors, community leader, state governors and state leaders and Americans to inspire and empower them to become self- motivate to utilize the tools, resources and “My Daily Healthy Lifestyle Journals” to make daily educated health decisions so making healthier lifestyle choices becomes a way of life.

Our purpose is to educate our nation’s youth, parent, teachers, administrators and the American people about the positive effects of physical fitness and proper nutrition, in such way that they are inspired to actively make healthier choices on a daily basis for a lifetime. We have partnered with the top fitness.

Our goal is to cover all 50 states giving approximately 4,000 presentations to the schools grades 3 – 12 and approximately 4,000 presentations to city and state officials and leaders. For the school’s students and other Americans that follow the tour through the media and the schools and city and state governments and leaders we give presentations to. We want them to be able to download all this information from the top fitness experts, top trainers, aerobic experts such as Dr. Cooper and the Cooper Institute has partnered with us. They have invented the NutriGram® and Fitness Gram ® We also joined with the top nutritional experts so our nation’s youth, teachers, parents can download this information to their computer, Mp3 Player, iPhone, iPad etc. Dr. Cooper “Known as the Father of aerobics” his team has made video games to teach nutrition. Here is a link to what the Cooper Institute is doing http://www.cooperinstitute.org/  So that this current generation stays fit and it is just a normal day to do a fitness work out and pick something really healthy to eat. When people don’t do that then that’s not normal for them, they want to get back on track like an elite athlete would to stay on pace for the GOLD! That is just what the goal of massive “Fitness 4 All 50 State Tour a nonprofit organization 501-c-3.

Our vision is for our nation’s youth to understand the significance of taking part in physical fitness, activities, sports and making good nutritional choices. We will use daily personal accountability journals for students to help them set short and long term goals, and for them to make the necessary changes to lead healthier lives

Thanks! Kevin Saunders  www.KevinSaunders.comwww.KevinSaunders.com/blog – Is covering the-  BIG PUSH – the prelude to the “Fitness 4 All 50 State Tour”

After finishing the interview, we drove to the post office on the line between Texas and Arkansas for a photo opportunity. We were told that this post office is the second most photographed federal building in the U.S. Andy took my picture with the officer who was going to escort me to the city limits of Texarkana.   

Doing some of the media shots for TV & Newspaper Kevin with police escort from Texarkana raise their hands in victory after a great reception for the BIG PUSH for education for proper Fitness Activities & healthy balanced nutrional meals or healthy snacks!

I pushed down Highway 71 all the way from Texarkana to Hosston, LA. The road had a shoulder that was not too bad to push on, though it was rough at parts.

Kevin heads out of Texarkana pushing hard up hill towards Hesstion, LA

Kevin heads across the state line pushing hard on Highway 71 to Hesston, Louisiana - Highway 71 had semi's 18 wheelers going back and forth every minute. Kevin saw a gu turn left in front of a passing semi and almost got broad sided that terrible for the driver of that car. Gald they just missed each other!

I am very thankful that there was some shoulder to push on because the traffic was very bad. There were more semi trucks down this road then there has been during any other day of pushing.

Kevin strokes his racer hard from Texarkana to Houston, LA it was a long day Health & Fitness Summit Mayor & community leaders & Media Hwy 71 was one of the toughest streches of highway I have ever traveled with BIG 18 wheelers constantly coming & going.

6:30 PM – After reaching Houston, we loaded back up into the Jeep and drove back to the Baymont in Texarkana. We did some maintenance on my racer and got ready to leave for Shreveport, LA. We downloaded our pictures, video and put captions and wrote blog and cooked something healthy to eat.

11:00 p.m. See you tomorrow because “There’s Always a Way” to get in shape when you get educated with the right information of what to eat and when and NEVER NEVER GIVE UP!

Keep Going for the GOLD! Never Give Up!
Kevin Saunders, motivational speaker
Kevin Saunders

Kevin Saunders is a World Champion Paralympian, motivational speaker, athlete (with multiple gold medals) and author. Kevin Saunders was the first person with a disability appointed to the President’s Council on Physical Fitness Sports (only 20 people are selected for this nationwide) by the President of the United States. Kevin Saunders was first chosen to be appointed to the prestigious Council by President George H.W. Bush and was the only person reappointed by to this Council by President Bill Clinton and he was reappointed again by President George W. Bush as a constituent expert to the President’s Council on Physical Fitness & Sports. Learn more about Kevin’s story and accomplishments.