Monday, January 12, 2009

You Could Carry the Olympic Torch

I was in college in Pasadena, California when the Olympics came to Los Angeles in 1984. One day, quite by accident, me and a few of my friends happened to be on the street when the Olympic torch went by. It was quite exciting just watching the runner carry the torch down the street, vicariously being a part of something important. Imagine actually being that runner.

Now, thanks to SOGO Active, when the Olympics come to Vancouver in 2010, over 1,000 Canadian teenagers will have the opportunity to be an Olympic torchbearer. They don't have to be outstanding athletes, they just have to become an active member of the SOGO Active community and demonstrate a commitment to a healthy lifestyle. SOGO Active makes it easy, too. Registration is free, and it's open to 13-19 years old. Using SOGO, Canadian teenagers can plan activities with their friends, find activities in their communities, and track their progress.

I love the idea of this. If young people get in the habit of leading active lives, hopefully that will stick with them for the rest of their lives. SOGO understands that people, probably especially teenagers, are more likely to do something if someone else is doing it too, or if someone is counting on them to be there. Back when I started walking every morning with my neighbors, it certainly worked for us. There were mornings every one of us wanted to just go back to sleep, but we knew the others were waiting for us, so we got up, and we walked. We were also a lot more low tech. We turned on our outside lights so the others could see we were up.

So, if you're a Canadian teenager, do yourself a favor. Register at SOGO Active. Get off the couch and do something. Instead of just watching that Olympic torch go by, you could be carrying it. How cool is that? You'll earn entries according to how active you are, and torchbearers are being chosen every month now. So the sooner you get active, the better your chances are. And you'll be having fun and feel better, too.

This program is a Coca-Cola initiative, executed by ParticipACTION.