Posted on 05 October 2012.
I posted this on my site last year… I know a lot of you are new so I wanted to re-post it again.
Today I pause to remember a great man, my father, Cleveland Buckner. Six years ago today, he died of a heart attack. It was the third he’d had in his lifetime. I remember when I was younger and he had his first heart attack how nervous and scared I was. Visiting him in the hospital with tubes coming out of here and there. My dad was 6’9″ he hardly fit into a California King sized bed, let alone a hospital bed. To be a young girl, seeing her big strong daddy, in a tiny bed, in a small room, hearing beeps, and nurses being buzzed was let’s just say, a lot for me to handle. Unfortunately, I’d visit him another time in my lifetime in the same position before the 3rd one would finally take his life.
I pause to remember my dad today for several reasons. If you don’t know, he was the reason I started Fit Moms Fit Kids Club in the first place. He too was a professional athlete. He was an all star player at Jackson State University (he was inducted into their hall of fame before he died), and he also played in the NBA. Though he had been a pro athlete in his younger years, like so many of us, he began to neglect his health as he got older. Years of coaching after teaching math all day, and having to make a long commute home afterwards took it’s toll. As they say, you are what you eat, and he ate pastrami sandwiches and burgers from some of the greasiest places in town. Stress and neglect of his body took its toll and high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and in his later years type 2 diabetes took residence.
As many of you know I am a professional athlete as well. After my fathers death I was so bitter, and angry at him for not sticking to a healthy lifestyle. All of the things that plagued him from heart disease, to gout in his knees were all preventable. He had a choice, like we all do, to eat right and exercise. I was upset because now he would not get to see his grandchildren grow up, and I wouldn’t have my daddy.
Well, as God often does he put a mirror in front of my face and told me to look into it. What I saw was not pretty. He showed me that I was living my life just like my father was in my off season. I’d stop exercising and I’d eat whatever I wanted. Every off season I’d gain 10 pounds. The reality was, if I lived this way after I retired, that I would end up exactly like my dad. I’d gain a ton of weight, end up with heart disease, possibly type 2 diabetes, and maybe I wouldn’t be there for my children either. This was a hard pill to swallow. I was living the life of the obese, and I was teaching my kids how to do it too!
Something had to change. I had to change. I realized that I wasn’t going to be a pro athlete forever. I wouldn’t just lose all the weight every year once I started working out and playing at my events during the season. I realized that I had to make some serious changes and I did. Fit Moms Fit Kids Club was created because I realized that I’m not perfect, and I know other moms aren’t either. We need each other, we need support, we need encouragement, we need information, we need accountability, and we need to feel a part of something bigger than ourselves. That’s why we started this revolution to try to get 1 million moms to sign the pledge to commit to raising healthy families.
If you’d like to join me on my journey and gain support you can become a twitter follower, and you can subscribe to the blog to get helpful tips to help you on your journey. You can also join our facebook page. When you download the pledge on the right side bar you’ll get a free meal plan and workout plan to help you get started with your desired outcomes.
Today, I’m not angry at my father anymore. I realize that he was just human. A great man, but just like you and I, he made some poor health choices over the course of his life. I thank him for teaching me so much in my life. Some of you ladies may feel like you or your child’s weight issue is beyond changing. Maybe you feel like you’ve eaten this way all your life, and you cannot possibly change now. Let me tell you what my dad would have said. He would have said, ‘NOW IT’S TIME TO GO TO WORK!” It doesn’t matter what you used to do, or what you did 5 minutes ago, NOW is the time. You can change your choices. And, as my husband always says “Change your Choices, change your life”. You can do it.
Here's a hug and a kiss on the cheek, you can do it!
In the final years of my dad’s life he started to make positive changes in his heath and fitness. He began walking to exercise, he started eating much better. In fact, he was getting his diabetes under control. He was on less medication than he had been on in years. He was changing his choices. His body started to slim down, he looked younger, more confident, and was feeling good too. Unfortunately, it was too late for him, his body had taken a toll. Don’t let that happen to you, don’t let your choices as a mom affect the health of your children in a negative way. We have a responsibility moms to take care of ourselves so that we can be there for our kids. And, to take care of our kids so that they can outlive us. It is predicted that this current generation will not outlive ours. It will be the first generation to not outlive their parents. This prediction does not have to become a fact in our history books. Let’s make better choices, let’s change our lives together. Let’s start today.
Now, it’s time to go to work!
Annett Davis, Olympian & Founder of Fit Moms Fit Kids
P.S I forgot to mention that my dad taught me a ton of other wonderful things. He encouraged me to get my college degree before I got married (so that I’d finish school). He taught me that an education was a gift and that I should not waste it! He taught me that life is short, so make sure I ENJOY what I am doing. He taught me that if I really love something I’d naturally spend a lot of time doing it without having to be paid. My dad would spend hours on the couch doing math problems because he LOVED math! We’d also see him making out basketball plays, even when he wasn’t coaching anymore. I too do this blog because I love it. I’m not being paid, but it brings me joy to learn things myself, and to help others. My dad taught me that my relationships and family are important, and that we need to nourish them. He taught me that traveling is a MUST, and that we must take time out to see the world. He taught me that I must take time out to just have fun doing the things that I love. Most importantly I got to see his eyes beam brightly with love when he’d hold my son Mya as a baby and my daughter Victoria, and how he looked at them with love and amazement. It taught me how special my kids are, and that each moment with them is a gift from God.
Thank you dad for teaching me all this… and so much more!
I love you forever… see you in heaven.