Next week, next week, next week. I would normally run this article topic next week. However, there are times you need to get the word out in advance. People have to plan. So we're going to get tough. But first, a wakeup call to Oklahomans.
According to healthyamericans.org, we are a chubby bunch. A leisurely stroll through the local grocery store or mall would reveal the same. The numbers provide an additional jolt to the topic.
One out of every four adults in Oklahoma is obese. This staggering number ranks 14th highest in the nation. A whopping 11 percent of high schoolers also fall into the "obese" category. This doesn't include heavy or slightly overweight. We're only counting the obese here.
More than seven percent of Okies have diabetes. If you don't get the correlation, ask your physician.
Physical education in elementary and secondary schools is mandatory in all but two states. You guessed it. South Dakota and Oklahoma. Honestly, the programs being deployed in other states are likely substandard. Many are not even enforced.
You've probably heard 90 percent of all statistics can be made up 50 percent of the time. What cannot be argued is this. We're a nation and a state battling the bulge.
(Give me a minute here, I'm out of breath -- someone pass me a Twinkie so I can wash it down with a triple grande macchiato cappuccino with skim milk and eight sugars.)
And you thought this was just going to be a bitch session about gaining weight at epic proportions. Wrong, we're going to spotlight Tulsa Tough. We've laid out our health issues. Here is at least one group offering a solution.
What is Tulsa Tough? It's a three-day cycling event designed to promote fitness and healthy lifestyles. It also serves as a showcase for our city. Winner-Winner.
The third annual Tulsa Tough Ride and Race is set for May 30-June 1. Again, perhaps this article could have run next week. I wanted to give everyone ample time to make the necessary plans to partake.
Three hundred kids have registered for the Tough Kids Challenge. They will receive free bikes presented by The Children's Hospital at St. Francis, the title sponsor.
Participation and/or spectatorship is encouraged. Tulsa Tough offers opportunities for everyone whether you are a professional-level racer, recreational cyclist or a soak-up-the-scenery wallflower. The festival also caters to the youth with tour rides, kids and youth activities and live music. Rock on!
I love the course design. The multi-day, multi-route layout is cool. And honestly, I can't remember ever writing the word "cool" to describe anything.
The first day's races highlight Tulsa's Blue Dome District. No need to list all the sites on this route. Good times abound.
The second day showcases Main Street and the Brady district. The number of races multiplies by two on day two. Competitors traverse new landscape. Again, possible watch spots will be plentiful for non-cyclists.
Sunday winds down the river. Not in the river physically but you get the idea. Our riverbanks highlight the final day of celebrations.
Now, the following information means absolutely nothing to me. In fact, I'm sure the same could be said for most readers. However, it is my duty--my obligation if you will--to pass it along.
The cycling team Toyota-United added Tulsa Tough to their 2008 calendar. The elite cycling team brings nine racers, including recent Tour of Georgia stage winner Ivan Dominguez to town. So yeah, this sounds kinda important.
A little more palpable news recently broke for Tulsa Tough. Criterium racing stresses high-speed races through picturesque urban environments. Criterium has been around since the 1920's when cycling was, how can we say this, more popular.
Tulsa Tough was added to the USA Crit Series. A few of the others cities with tour stops include New York City, Las Vegas, Vancouver and Austin. Not too shabby a list.
If the aforementioned festivities have you greasing your chain, then you have probably heard about Tulsa Tough and plan to participate.
If you're not familiar and want more information, visit their Web site. TulsaTough.com provides specific times, dates and individual events.
This isn't like a visit to the gym. You know how daunting health clubs can be. Patrons must be in fantastic shape with bulging muscles and six-pack abs before you step foot inside.
Don't let this weekend intimidate you. The ability to ride a bike is all that's required for many of the 'fun rides'. The ability to have an enjoyable time is the receipt for another successful event in T-Town. Now set the turkey leg down and hop on your bike.
Allow me a final side note to wrap up this week's column. The Tulsa Oilers launched their initial ticket sales push last week for their inaugural season in the BOk Center.
I'm not saying you must purchase immediately. As much as the Oilers would love otherwise, season tickets are not for everyone. I do, however, implore you to at least give it a look-see.
Visit tulsaoilers.com for full details. You can also call 632-7825 for information. Let's do our part to fill the lower bowl!
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