Physical fitness is a big part of my life. My obsession with exercise is almost as well known as my obsession with fine food and wine! I love both and have exercised religiously for years. So, it was extra special for me when Christine Spain from the US Department of Health and Human Services asked me if I would be interested in creating the artwork for the President's Council on Physical Fitness for the 2008-09 school year. Collectively known as the President's Challenge, the series of programs created by the Council to promote activity and healthy living begins in the schools. Children all over the country are introduced to the concept of the active lifestyle, not only in gym class, but throughout their school curriculum. It's such an important part of our lives and so often overlooked. I created a piece of artwork to illustrate this year's theme: “Take the President's Challenge: It's Fun & Good For You!” That piece of artwork is appearing on manuals and posters advertising the Challenge throughout schools all over the country.

There's just too much documented evidence that we are becoming too sedentary. We're not exercising enough and we're not eating healthy foods. I'm certainly not a fitness fanatic, but i encourage every one of you to examine your life and see if there aren't even small changes that you can make over time….changes that will move you in the right direction….towards health and fitness. Too many people struggle with health issues at too early an age because they don't pay attention today to how their activity, or lack of activity, will affect them tomorrow. It's hard to think about tomorrow….especially if you're healthy now. But please, think about how things may catch up with you later, and take action today!

As Christine always says, “Yours, in Health and Fitness”

–Charles

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