Mission to Zero
Jeff Martin, vice president of Safety Services
Here’s to better health. After one long and very cold winter, we are finally beginning to see the earliest
efforts of spring. And that returning warmth of the sun can inspire much more than a rebirth of all things
green, it can bring renewed perspective to a willing heart.
Feeling so inspired, and now that I am beginning to thaw out, I have decided to take a personal inventory
and to assess where I am versus where I would like to be in several categories. And like many, I am now
lamenting the physical activity I did not do during the winter months.
As the vice president of Safety, naturally, I believe that health is the best investment. The rewards for
maintaining a healthy lifestyle are immediate and it generates a sense of well-being that allows you to
physically pursue your goals. Health is a big part of personal happiness and has a positive effect on every
aspect of your life, including your personal relationships. What a shame that it’s so easy to take good health
for granted and to put it off when other aspects of our lives demand attention.
As sure as the sun rises, a number of us within the WM family boldly declared to better care for ourselves on
the first of January this year. While some of you readers may be well on your way to recognizing that goal –
and congratulations to you – some may not have achieved the necessary traction. For those who have not,
take heart. New Year’s will always bring the inevitable suite of resolutions, but spring brings a confidence that
all things are possible. It’s a second chance to get things done.
I therefore want to issue you a challenge — dust off those discarded commitments from January and give them
new legs and new fuel. If you made a commitment to better health, a better diet and more exercise, then join me
in getting it done. If you are like me, the neglect was mild and resulted in only a modest waistline expansion that
can be easily erased after a week or two of salads.
However, also keep in mind that most experts will tell you that real health is a lifestyle choice – not simply a fad
that eases you into a bathing suit for three months out of the year. Sure, a few of us have ridiculous genes that
do most of the heavy lifting, but folks like me will have to sweat. We have to invest real effort to recognize our
health goals. That doesn’t necessarily means two hours in the gym each day, but it definitely means more
discipline and a smarter approach to fueling the body. Just imagine what quality of life we can have if we make
personal a health a top priority each and every day.
So, if you are waiting for someone to forgive you for not exercising or eating smart from January to the end of
March, let me be the guy to wave the magic wand and tell you “no worries.” That’s as long as shedding the guilt
will next lead to shedding a few pounds.
And hey, it is not about vanity. It’s about the impact you have on the folks who care for you, and making sure
that you can be with them for many decades to come. Oh yeah, and if you start to really like what you see in
the mirror each morning, that’s okay too.