Trina Justman Reichert
Recently, Blue Zones Project ran a contest where the public was encouraged to submit a story about how Blue Zones Project impacted their lives. Five inspiring stories were submitted. Voting was open to the public via our Facebook page. Please enjoy the winning entry below from Frank Ferree. His prize was a $100 gift card for Rechek’s Food Pride which he has, in return, donated to a local family in need.
“Being a part of the Blue Zones movement has been very exciting. I am one of the lucky ones who gets to see it from the inside out so to speak. I’ve been involved for a couple of years, working hard to understand it from both a John Deere [employee] and Chamber of Commerce point of view, while also supporting Blue Zones as a Steering Committee member. Seeing all the hard work of the many employees, citizens, friends and anyone passionate about making heathy choices easier and readily available, suddenly made a lot of sense to me.
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This past summer, I had a great realization with my family. We realized, that even with our big yard, and all our time together after work and on the weekends, that we never seemed to really enjoy or maximize our walks outside where we lived! We could only walk safely during the daytime, and we had a limited route to the end of our street and back available to avoid any highway traffic. We saw the same houses and scenery continually, and the walks never really changed. We found ourselves walking less and less! My wife was preparing for her exciting new job in downtown Beaver Dam, and had the mind to ask, what if we moved? As we thought more about the option, we realized, even though we are 2 miles out of town, we are 10 minutes from anything and everything! We were doing a lot of driving for even simple errands, or to go places we enjoyed. The more and more we thought about this or that future neighborhood, we realized that if we picked the right location, we could possibly walk to a lot of places we enjoy, and start to squeeze in some exercise, just because.
Eventually we found a house we loved in a great neighborhood! In late November, we moved to a location only a few blocks from downtown, but also only a few blocks from a lot of great places. We walked as much as the winter weather allowed to almost everywhere. We have walked to school, church, the library, the grocery store, the movie theatre, the furniture store, several restaurants, a new brewery and even to buy a Christmas tree! We have been amazed that it has been super easy to get out and get moving! Everyone enjoys our walking time together, even our dog Honey! We even took advantage of our time on vacation in Arizona and walked almost every day! I love how this makes our entire family feel and keep us doing something together! I really like the feeling of doing our part to be active and our time out walking around town being a part of Blue Zones.
Frank Ferree & Family (Sarah, Owen, Addie and Honey!)”
Blue Zones Project is a community-led well-being initiative designed to make healthy choices easier through improvements to a city’s environment, policies, and social networks. Blue Zones Project is brought to Dodge County through sponsorship by Beaver Dam Community Hospitals a member of Marshfield Clinic Health Systems, in collaboration with Sharecare, Inc. and Blue Zones, LLC. Dodge County is the first Blue Zones Project demonstration site in the state. To For more information, call 920-392-9408, email email@example.com or visit bluezonesproject.com.