When I first met Mayor Swain at a local networking event in Huntersville I never thought I would be writing about her thoughts on health and well-being! When I asked if asking her some questions would be possible she told me to meet her at Huntersville Elementary at her youth volleyball practice. I had never been there before and if not for the 25 volleyballs slamming on the hardwood floor and Mayor Swain shouting “GREAT JOB GIRLS!” I may have never found it. As I approached the gym I could hear her shouting praise over the top of the volleyball slams to her young athletes and that is when I knew that we would become friends!
When I walked through the doors she immediately halted practice and gave my grand entry announcement to the parents and spectators. She enthusiastically said, “STOP, HOLD THE BALLS! Hey Moms! You should reallllly want to know this guy, he is your trainer and he is here to stay. This guy gets it!” A smile came to my face as she made me feel like the king of the room and I realized Mayor Swain has that impact on everyone and that is why she is one of Huntersville’s most beloved.
As I am sitting watching the last 5 minutes of practice I turn and talk to the two moms sitting behind me and they couldn’t tell me enough how great M.J. (my nickname for Mayor Jill) is with these young girls. She has a unique way of building the girls confidence and providing them with a sense of accomplishment no matter what ability level they possess. Soon after M.J. sat down we started chatting about how she has taken her volleyball program from six kids to hundreds over the last few years. When I asked how that happened so quickly she explained that building a community of moms and daughters who participate in physical activity keeps them engaged and builds healthy relationships on and off the court.
Mayor Swain understands the importance of building relationships between mothers and daughters through physical activity. We talked about how building these bonds can multiply into a fit community overtime. She puts together a mother/daughter volleyball match once per month to strengthen these bonds, “It it so good for the girls to see that their mothers are participating and the girls admire their moms more for being out there with them.” It is no secret that childhood obesity effects over 13 million children ages 2-19 and is a serious problem, M.J. stresses that all moms need to incorporate healthy habits as a collective effort to reverse this deathly trend. Volleyball is just one outlet for physical activity and there are thousands of activities you can do to show your children you understand the importance of health.
Talking to your children about being healthy is a start but showing them how to be healthy by example is what will truly reach them. When I asked Mayor Swain if talking to your kids about fitness and nutrition is enough she said, “Absolutely not! They need to physically see that their mothers, their role models, their leader understands and practices the value of well-being and health”. This concept is so important because you are the leader of our community and you influence the future community based on your present actions.
For the thousands of moms that follow this blog, Mayor Jill and I challenge you to make a change. If you have been following my posts you know what the mission is and what type of community we strive everyday to build. We are little group against a big world but without people like Mayor Jill, you, and myself we will continue down the path of having overweight, sick, and unhealthy children. You are the most influential person in your child’s life and being the best mom you can be entails not only teaching but SHOWING your children how to live healthy life. Change one life at a time!