HIGH POINT, N.C., March 17, 2010 – Dr. Martie Bell, associate professor of physical education at High Point University, is serious about promoting physical education ? so serious, in fact, that she?s gone out for a run for 3,000 days in a row. And she?s still going.
Bell explains she didn’t really have a plan in mind when she went out for a run with her significant other, Harry Warren. It just happened when they began a discussion about running every day while they were on vacation. So the two began running that day ? Dec. 27, 2001 ? and completed that first week. Then they went a month, which grew to an entire year. Soon enough, they hit 1,000 days, which eventually led them to March 15, 2010 ? when the two officially hit 3,000 days of running.
“Running every day is a goal we set out to accomplish, aside from the many other goals that we accomplish professionally and personally. But running is more important than simply meeting a goal – it helps get oxygen to the brain every morning, and it wakes us up and helps us to focus on the day’s activities,” Bell explains.
The pair logged about four to six miles daily ? meaning they’ve run anywhere from 12,000 to 18,000 miles over the course of nine years. Granted, it hasn’t always been a piece of cake ? “I severely twisted my ankle twice in a week ? each time right before I did my run,? Bell says. ?Both times, I went on and ran anyway, then iced the ankle afterward. ? Research shows that if you don?t break a bone or tear tissue, then keep running, but just reduce the intensity. I think doing this kept my ankle in shape.”
So yes, the pair has run through not only injuries, but also rain, sleet, snow, ice and whatever Mother Nature has thrown their way.
For her, though, running every day isn?t just about accomplishing a seemingly difficult goal ? it’s about helping her to continue to be an effective teacher of physical education.
“I have to be a role model for what I teach,” Bell says. “If we are going to combat the obesity war in this country, then each one of us must make an effort to be physically fit. And I share my philosophy of physical fitness to whoever will listen. ? A person doesn?t have to run every day, but it?s important to do something active. If I can get people’s attention by running 3,000 days, then maybe this will encourage more people to become active.”
As for reaching yet another major milestone, Bell says she?s excited. But that doesn?t mean she?s going to stop running.
“We will keep going,” Bell says. “It makes us feel good.”
At High Point University, every student receives an extraordinary education in an inspiring environment with caring people. HPU, located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina, is a liberal arts institution with 3,700 undergraduate and graduate students from 50 countries and 44 states at campuses in High Point and Winston-Salem. It is ranked by US News and World Report No. 5 among comprehensive universities in the South and No. 1 in its category among up-and-coming schools. Forbes.com ranks HPU in the top 6 percent among “America’s Best Colleges.” HPU was included in The Chronicle of Higher Education’s “Great Colleges to Work For” 2009 listings. The university offers 68 undergraduate majors, 40 undergraduate minors and seven graduate degree programs. It is accredited by the Commission of Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and is a member of the NCAA, Division I and the Big South Conference. Visit High Point University on the Web at www.highpoint.edu or on Twitter at @HighPointU.
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