Emmert column: Summing up five years of columns

Today marks my 116th fitness column for the Post-Bulletin. I penned the first one back on September 15, 2008, five and a half years ago.

Today also marks my final regularly scheduled column for the P-B. Thank you to the P-B for the opportunity, Craig Swalboski, sports editor for your support and to you, the readers, who have approached me throughout the community to tell me how much you have enjoyed my writing.

It has been a fun and very rewarding ride. I have had the opportunity to meet and share with you some wonderful stories of individuals who have used physical activity to improve their lives. They were profiles of individuals who discovered the "magic pill" either through adversity or through their own focus and determination to take control of their physical health.

Today's column will summarize some of my points that I have written over the years.

Many resources and activities


I've been able to share with you the different resources and programs in the Rochester community to help you find that physical activity or activities that you really enjoy. We are blessed in this community to have so many opportunities to engage in physical activity. Those opportunities range from fitness clubs to parks to bike trails to 5 Ks to 10 Ks and beyond.

There is no shortage of activities to get you moving. It's only a matter of weeks now before the world begins to turn green and we all crawl out of our winter caves. Remember the components for success with physical activity; 1. find an activity that you enjoy, 2. find a support system, friends, family or a strategy to hold yourself accountable, and 3. stay consistent.

I have written many times that increased physical activity can benefit you in so many ways. Improved fitness will decrease stress, blood pressure, improve heart health, improve muscle and bone strength, and help you to manage your body weight.

You have the choice to be responsible for your physical health. Unfortunately, too many times we don't appreciate our health until it is taken from us. Don't wait for that to happen. Be proactive. We never hear about the heart attack or stroke that didn't happen.

Athletes, it's that time of the year to put your summer schedule together and decide what you are going to do to become a better player. Were you satisfied with your performance and/or your playing time? If not, what are you going to do to improve your performance? Off-season training includes strength training, speed, agility, and quickness and skills development. Once again, we are blessed in this area to have so many options for programs.

Taking responsibility

An athlete who prepares his or her self physically for their respective sport(s) can decrease the risk of injury significantly. It's your responsibility to report on the first day in the best possible physical condition you can be in for your respective sport. It's your responsibility to play fair and follow the team/school policies. It's your responsibility to refrain from tobacco, alcohol, and other illegal drugs use. It's your responsibility to support your teammates through the wins and the losses. In team sports, it's a team win and a team loss.

No one athlete can do it solely alone.


Coaches, youth through high school, it's your responsibility to teach the game to your athletes. It's your responsibility to communicate clearly to your athletes your expectations. It's your responsibility to be honest and follow through on what you said you would do.

It's not always about the wins and losses. If your athletes had fun and want to play again next year, consider it a successful season.

Parents, it's your responsibility to support your athlete(s) and their team(s). It's their game, not yours. All communication to the coach should go through the athlete. Coaches do want to win and they do want to do what is best for the team. Be realistic. It is only a game. Very few high school athletes have the opportunity to play at the collegiate level. Enjoy their high school years.

As I close out this column, it's time for me to pursue some other writing projects that I have put off over the years. I hope to submit quality pieces to the P-B in the future for publication, but for now, it's time to dust off the ole bike and get her ready for another upcoming season of riding.

I'll see you on the bike trails. Stay safe, keep moving, and stay healthy.

Wes Emmert is Sports and Athletic Performance Manager for the Olmsted Medical Center. If you have have a question, contact

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