Monique TAMMINGA and Nick GREENIZAN
Four Valley mayors are willing to not just talk the talk, but walk the walk in an effort to promote health and fitness throughout B.C.
Bruce Banman (Abbotsford), Dianne Watts (Surrey), Peter Fassbender (Langley City), and Richard Stewart (Coquitlam) signed up to take on the Healthy Community Challenge 2012.
The three-month venture – which encourages participants to get active and lead healthier lifestyles – doesn’t begin until next month, but it got an early boost last Thursday when the four mayors met their personal trainers from Innovative Fitness and got their Body Mass Index (BMI) tested at a Langley gym.
The mayors said their fitness progress will be made public as they go along. Most are committed to work out with their trainers three times a week.
“Since my horse accident where I broke my back, I haven’t exercised at all,” said Watts, who broke two vertebrae while riding on vacation last July.
The Surrey mayor noted she has a “leg up” on her male colleagues.
“I don’t have a gut. The boys have belly fat,” she joked.
Banman didn’t dispute this, saying he’d like to see his abs again from this fitness challenge.
“I know they are in there somewhere. In 90 days you can do a lot. I turned the big ‘five-oh’ this year. What I do now will set the foundation for years to come.”
The Langley City mayor – a cancer survivor – is setting a goal to reduce the amount of diabetic medication he has to take.
Coquitlam’s Stewart – like Watts – is recovering from a serious accident.
Banman’s trainer plans to get the new Abby mayor in crampons – traction-improving footwear – to climb neighbouring Elk Mountain, which currently has nine feet of snow.
“Nothing worth having comes easy,” responded Banman, a chiropractor.
Challenge founder Matt Young, Innovative Fitness president, said organizers put the challenge to the mayors with the hope that their communities’ residents, and others from across B.C., will be inspired to take part.
Once registered, participants will have access through the website to all types of healthy living and fitness resources, and will also be able to track their fitness progress over the course of the program.
The challenge begins March 12. To register, visit www.healthycommunitychallenge.com or watch for announcements on how to get your BMI and measurements recorded two days prior.