I’ve always been a big believer that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” and have made getting yearly preventive check-ups a priority. Now that I’m a Mom, I’m carrying that philosophy over toward making sure my son gets his preventive check-ups on schedule too.
Fitting in my son’s checkups with my heavy training and racing schedule was challenging so my husband and I just got creative. During the summer and fall we took the earliest appointments available so that we could both go to Breck’s checkups and I could still make it to my morning workout afterwards. We also made sure to get in Breck’s 6-month checkup and vaccinations before we took off for our 4-month road trip in Europe. This gave us all peace-of-mind heading into the race season that we were all healthy and on track to having a great winter.
As an elite athlete, I’ve experienced the benefits firsthand of staying on top of my health with preventive checkups. I absolutely must stay healthy to reach my top performance but most importantly I want to be healthy for life. That’s why I get my flu shot, take Vitamin C, wash my hands regularly and try to get plenty of sleep.
The month leading in to my first Olympic trials I had been feeling sluggish in training and was starting to get concerned that my dream of making the 2002 Olympic team was slipping away. I wasn’t feeling sick per se but my Mom encouraged me to go to my family doctor for a check-up. The check-up went great and fortunately they found nothing wrong with me. In fact, they said I looked quite healthy. That diagnosis gave me a boost of confidence and a week later I went on to win my first US National title and secured a spot on my first Olympic team.
I love being a role model for leading a healthy lifestyle. I believe that when good health becomes a community focus, we can all enjoy a greater quality of life and will have more energy to utilize the amazing outdoor playground right out our backdoor. That is why I am excited to encourage my fellow Alaskans to schedule their annual checkups this month.
So, take the Challenge!! The Premera Checkup Challenge is a great way to jump start your new year! Not only to you get that checkup on the books, you also get entered to win prizes! Visit www.checkupchallenge.com and sign up! It’s that easy. Everyone who enters is eligible to win a weekly drawing for $200 gift cards. Premera Blue Cross is sponsoring this challenge, but you don’t have to be a Premera customer to enter. All Alaska residents over 18 can participate.
See you on the trails!