Finding health in the new year

Club promotes walking, attending events

Carlie Massey, Copy & Online Editor

The Health Science Club is holding their first annual Color Dash on March 23 at 8 a.m. at the World’s Richest Acre. The entry fee for the 5K race or the 1 Mile Fun Run is $40 until March 18 when it will be bumped up to $50. The 5K entry is free with a completed Log Book, a book logging how many miles you have run.

To help students log miles and prepare for their health science Color Dash, they can come March 2-3 to Jack Stallard’s birthday event.

Stallard, sports editor for the Longview News Herald will be walking 53 laps around the track beside R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium in celebration of his 53rd birthday as well as hosting a canned food drive that the Health Science Club and the softball team will participate in.

“When Jack posted his birthday event on Facebook it was a perfect way to incorporate into the marathon challenge activities,” softball coach and health science teacher Cheyanne Kirkpatrick said. “He helps us offer the opportunity to walk/run at the track together, and hopefully we help him collect more food, thus the KC food pantry gets a large donation.”

Students have to log 26.2 miles that they have run or walked over the course of six weeks.

“Following Jack Stallard’s health journey over the last couple of years pushed me to inspire this event in Health Science,” Kirkpatrick said.

Exercising and focusing on one’s health does not always mean major diets, extended workouts, and refusing to eat that piece cake. Sometimes it just means taking a walk.

“I’m always telling my friends about how I need to start working out more,” senior Saidie Hamblen said. “I thought this was the perfect opportunity to start working towards my fitness goals.”

I thought this was the perfect opportunity to start working towards my fitness goals

— Senior Saidie Hamblen

This is a volunteer based event.

“It is a lot easier to stay motivated to workout when you have others supporting and working out with you,” Kirkpatrick said. “By inspiring students to walk or run, we hope their entire family will walk or run together.”

Stallard has been on a fitness journey for the past two years.

“I mentioned to my wife wanting to do a lap for each year I’ve been alive,” Stallard said. “The food pantry at Kilgore College always needs a little boost so that’s when the idea to ask folks to bring some items came about.”

Stallard was interested in creating this event to continue his fitness journey that he has endured over the past two years. He hopes to spark something inside of others as well as help a worthy cause.

“To be honest, two years ago the thought of driving 13 miles made me tired,” Stallard said, “so it’s never been something I ever considered until recently. I walked more than 2,500 miles the last two years, doing 3-5 miles per day most days. This just seemed like something I would like to try, and hopefully it will help others.”

Stallard is calling it, ‘Walking is for Losers.’

“I’m not asking for presents, but I’ll sure take a hug, a handshake, a fist pump or just a ‘Happy Birthday’ while I’m doing the walk,” Stallard said.

Joining in on this event brings a community together.

“This will not only satisfy my want to work out,” Saidie said, “but help me to be more involved in special events involving more than just Kilgore students.”

Stallard will have crates at the track for his canned food drive. The food pantry needs include Pop Tarts, canned fruit or cups, breakfast bars, cereal, instant oatmeal, tuna, Mac n’ cheese cups, chili, canned tomatoes, spaghetti, rice sides, pasta sides, ravioli, chunky soups, tomato soups, chicken noodle soup, snack items, and snack crackers. The food pantry has plenty of Ramen Noodles, canned corn, canned green beans, carrots, or mixed vegetables, so Stallard is asking that these items be avoided.

“I’m asking folks to not just drop off stuff for the food pantry, but also to join me on the track for a lap or two,” Stallard said. “In no way do I consider myself any sort of fitness expert, but I’m living proof that being active can not only save your life, it adds to the quality of life. And, obviously, I hope to help Kilgore College and some of the students who might need a little boost on food.”

Stallard has used his social media following on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to tell about his fitness journey and spread the word about his 53-lap challenge.

Participating in this event helps in not only uniting a group of people, but it helps out the food pantry as well.

“This will benefit the community by inspiring the citizens of Kilgore to join together and encourage one another,” Saidie said.

“I’ve had folks tell me I’ve inspired them to fight their own battle, and I promise you the support I’ve gotten from others has meant a lot to me,” Stallard said. “I would love the chance to tell folks in person how much I appreciate that, so I hope they come out to the track March 2 or 3.”

Stallard will be at the track from around 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Saturday, and 2 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday for those who wish to join him, donate to the canned food drive, and log any miles for the Marathon Challenge as well.