Dianne Watts ready for fitness challenge
The horse that threw Mayor Dianne Watts last July may have fractured her back, but it failed to break her spirit.
Watts is still recovering from breaking two vertebrae in the B.C. Interior while riding a horse last summer, but is nonetheless mounting a fitness challenge starting on March 12.
She's taking on three other mayors, including Langely City's Peter Fassbender, Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart and Abbotsford's Bruce Banman, as part of the Healthy Community Challenge 2012.
The three-month venture encourages participants to get active and lead healthier lifestyles
For the politicians, the friendly jabs have already begun.
Watts opened up the war of wit by saying she has an advantage over the pot-bellied mayoral men.
“I don’t have a gut. The boys have belly fat,” she joked.
Stewart responded with chivalry by sending Watts a large box of Purdy's chocolates. She says she hasn't eaten them yet.
However, she vollied back by dispatching an extra-large meat-lover's pizza to Stewart.
Fun aside, they all get down to business on March 10, and for Watts, the challenge begins with watching what she eats.
Already a heatlh food fanatic, Surrey's mayor says she'll "fine-tune it a bit."
That means eating more fish and less red meat.
As for the workouts (the mayors have committed to three a week), those are going to take a little more forethought and expert advice.
"The program has to be taylor-made for my body," Watts said.
She says she'll be working on some core-strength, but doesn't know yet what that will look like.
Any workout she undertakes will be in close consultation with her doctor, she says.
She thinks she'll be doing a bit more yoga and walking in order to be gentle to her mending spine.
For each positive activity – which could range from simply remembering to eat breakfast to going for a walk after work – participants earn points. Those points are then added to a larger pool and sorted by the participants’ communities in an effort to find which city has gained the most points.
Prizes will be awarded for the top individual point earners, while other rewards will be handed out at random.
The Healthy Community Challenge begins March 12 and runs for 12 weeks. There are no costs associated with joining the Challenge, which helps participants establish goals, assess current fitness levels, and receive ongoing access to tracking tools.
A kick-off event for the Challenge takes place Saturday, March 10 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon at the Cloverdale Recreation Centre, 6188 176 St., and at the Guildford Recreation Centre, 15105 105 Avenue.
The kick-off event will include free fitness testing, information, and a Zumba class. The first 100 people to pre-register in each of two Surrey locations will receive a prize.
For more information or to pre-register, call 604-501-5100 or visit: http://www.surrey.ca/culture-recreation/10690.aspx or http://healthycommunitychallenge.com/