I’ve always wondered about the root of my motivations. Why do I care so much about my health and the health of those around me? I’m that annoying person who always wants to hear about your ailments and offers a tidbit of solution from something I recently read. I just can’t help it; I love health-related stuff.
Why do I care so much? Why do I put so much effort into making sure that I walk my steps every day and eat well? I suppose the source of my motivation has evolved over my lifetime. Today, I see clearly why my health matters.
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Both of my parents suffered cardiovascular trauma. My dad passed from an aneurysm in 2004. My mom is finding her way through life with the aftermath of a hemorrhagic stroke that has now developed into vascular dementia. It’s all still shocking to me.
My husband and I talk a lot about maintaining an active lifestyle for the next 30-plus years. We want to live like his 89-year old father and not with the struggles my parents had. Is that my motivation? Or, is it that I just want to feel good in my body, mind and soul.
Maybe motivation is less important. It’s the actions in life that really matter. What I can do every day is physically move, eat lots of fruit and veggies and get a good night’s sleep. That is what’s important, right?
During the day, at work, my motivation comes from the farmers and food artisans whose business I get to help to thrive. My motivation comes from seeing smiles on faces of shoppers at our farmers markets. When I read shopper surveys from low income/SNAP participants, my motivation comes from their courage to try fresh foods and watch how their lives change.
I guess I’m conflicted about motivation. I’ll just do what I can.
Executive Director, Portland Farmers Market & Farmers Market Fund
AHA Oregon Advocacy Committee Member