Do you believe “fun run” is an oxymoron?

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Katie (left), me and Anna Batz, celebrating our first-ever 5K. Colored powder rains on you at the end of The Color Run.

Sunday, July 15: For the first time in my life, I found a way to put “fun” and “run” in the same sentence. Without sarcasm.

The Color Run is a perfect way for beginners to experience the adrenaline rush of an organized “fun run.”

Thanks to an invitation from my 21-year old daughter Katie, we formed the “Carpe Diem” team: Katie, Anna and me, along with Katie’s college friend, Lydia Benge Briggs.

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Carpe Diem team girls, jumping for Color Run joy!

The Color Run is a national organization that coaxes wannabees of all shapes, ages and sizes into a musical, whimsical, color-powdered 3.1 mile fun run. They stage similar races all over the country. It’s growing by leaps and bounds, and they are sharing a portion of their profits with charity.  No one worries about having a good time; because everyone is there to have a good time. Seven Fs everywhere.  Carpe Diem!

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Our team with The Color Run tattoos at the starting line. Katie (right) was our instigator.

A mere 18,000 runners joined us along the route through the Minnesota State Fair grounds (at $50 each, that’s not a bad business model). We saw grandmas and grandpas, infants in strollers, a college Cross Country team (go figure), a couple thousand walkers, but mostly bouncing young girls who think running is cool. That’s a good sign for society, don’t you think?

Where did I fit in?  I’m just working on blending my Seven Fs. In January I posted a picture of “Fat Paul” on the internet via this blog as my own self-inflicted peer pressure to get into better shape.  The Color Run was my mid-year check-up.  Since the Fat Paul picture my weight is down a little and my fitness is up significantly.

The day was a super-blend of faith, family, fitness, fun, friends and future. I know my fitness has improved because none of my 50 year old bones ache today.  I couldn’t say that a year ago. And, since I ran at Katie’s beginner pace, I could have easily gone 10K today.

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So proud of Katie, she claims she's "not sporty" but she ran the full 5K race today.

Several times during the run, the national statistics about the state of America’s fitness crossed my mind: only 3 out of 10 Americans exercise enough once a month to break a sweat.  As a result, obesity, diabetes and depression are still on the rise. We all share in financial costs of caring for these problems. Now that I’m buying my own health care on the open market, it’s rewarding to know I’m actually saving both my money and my life by finding the “fun” in run.

Good leaders look in the mirror and make changes in their personal and professional lives.  And they set an example other people want to follow.  Read my latest article in Faith and Fitness Magazine: Celebrate Your Workout.

Drop me a note and share how you blend ‘fitness’ in your Seven Fs journey.

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