By Jeff Jefcoat, F118344
As I write this column, I have been grounded by my doctor for a few days. One of the four arteries involved in a bypass operation that I underwent in January of 1983 developed a 90 percent blockage. I needed a stint installed in that artery so that it could continue doing its job properly.
One disadvantage to the RV lifestyle is that much of the activity we normally get in a stationary home does not translate to the motorhome. To me, this means I need to make sure that my body does not remain in one position for too long without some stretching, walking, and resting. A brisk walk around the outside of the motorhome helps. Knowing that the coach’s systems look okay, too, helps the brain.
Most of us think of exercise as a formal period of walking, bicycling, and so forth, and this is good. I find that simply doing activities that vary in exertion level, position, and duration also can be a great help. Long periods of driving need to be monitored with this in mind.
David Garvin, founder of Camping World, recently wrote, “One of the advantages of RVing is that you don’t have to rely on eating out all the time. You can make you own meals and cater, if you will, to your tastes and preferences. So if you’re in the mood for a salad, just open the refrigerator and take out what you like.”
Sorry, David, but I disagree. My wife, Jean, taught me early on that eating in and camping out do not work well together. Sometimes when I open the RV refrigerator, I find it so empty that a whisper will send back an echo. I sometimes make the remark that Jean did a great job of rearing four children, but once the nest was empty, she made the kitchen “off limits,” and now I accuse her of having the rustiest stove in Little Mountain, South Carolina. In fact, I often use the oven as a safe place to hide Christmas presents. That statement doesn’t do anything but get me in trouble. Of course, I am slightly stretching the truth.
At any FMCA function, whether it’s a chapter rally, area rally, international extravaganza, or a committee meeting in Cincinnati, we find ourselves planning the next meal while eating the present one. Basically, then, we meet to eat and plan the next meal!
The answer is plain to see. We eat too much of the wrong things. Execution and discipline are the difficult parts of maintaining a healthful diet. Daily discipline is required to properly manage the quantity and quality of the food we eat.
Personally, I have been blessed to have had the bypass surgery I received in 1983 last nearly 20 years. I hope the stint that they installed will do its job, too. But I realize that I must put forth my own effort to become more active and improve my diet, particularly when I’m traveling in the motorhome.
If you need some inspiration to get started, may I draw your attention to the health and fitness seminars that are offered at FMCA extravaganzas. For example, at the Hutchinson, Kansas, get-together, we’ll offer a Group Fitness seminar; a Fun & Fitness Walk that will benefit Habitat for Humanity; and seminars that deal with arthritis, diabetes, and prostate cancer.
FMCA is fortunate to have fitness experts Wayne and Dahelia Hunt, F235156, as members. They will lead the Group Fitness seminar, which focuses on low-impact aerobics, rubberized resistance training, and stretching exercises. They also lead the fun Habitat for Humanity walk, and offer three “TravelFit” seminars, each focusing on a different common ailment — back pain, knee pain, and shoulder pain.
An article about the Hunts that will help motivate you to stay fit as you travel can be found at our Web site, www.fmca.com. It’s titled “Motorhomers Can Travel Fit.” In that article, Wayne is quoted as saying, “It’s really easy in a motorhome not to exercise.” The Hunts understand the RV lifestyle, as they live in their motorhome. Yet, while traveling, they make a point of stopping to get out of the coach and walk. Wayne also commented that he’d like to see many more people show up for the Fun & Fitness Walk during the Hutchinson extravaganza.
In addition, I’m pleased to note that an article written by the Hunts appears in this issue of Family Motor Coaching, on page 90. Their article should help convince you to take better control of your health — during your motorhome travels and at other times — and provides some tips on how to make doing so a daily commitment.
So, let’s get busy taking care of ourselves, and not take our health for granted. Take care of your body, so it will take care of you.
40th Anniversary Member Recruitment Contest
To commemorate FMCA’s 40th anniversary in 2003, the association has launched the FMCA 40th Anniversary Member Recruitment Contest. For each new paid member you recruit to join FMCA from August 15, 2002, through June 30, 2003, you’ll receive a $5 coupon good for FMCA or Camping World merchandise, and a chance to win one of 10 prizes: grand prize — a 2003 Chrysler PT Cruiser; three second-place prizes — $1,000 cash; and six third-place prizes –14-karat-gold motorhome charms.
New members who join FMCA from August 15, 2002, to June 30, 2003, also have a chance to win. Creative World Rallies and Caravans, C1350, is donating two new-member prizes: a 41-day Alaska caravan for two in 2004 and a post-Mardi Gras Caribbean cruise for two in 2004.
The prize drawings will be held on July 20, 2003, at FMCA’s 70th Premier International Motorhome Extravaganza in Buffalo, New York. For more details, see page 113 of this issue.
Help Us Update Our Records
Although FMCA members’ phone numbers are for FMCA business use and not for publication, please remember to notify the FMCA Membership Department if your area code or phone number has changed. Similarly, if any other information has changed — your address, zip code, e-mail address, etc. — please let us know.
Changes may be reported in several ways. Contact the Membership Department by calling (800) 543-3622 or via e-mail: [email protected] You also can make changes to your membership records via FMCA’s Web site — www.fmca.com — by logging in to the “For Members Only” area.
We are adding e-mail addresses to our membership records. These addresses will be maintained for FMCA business use only. If your e-mail address is not currently on file with us, please be sure to provide it. It is preferred that members submit their e-mail addresses by logging in to the “For Members Only” area of www.fmca.com. However, members without Internet access can e-mail the address in the following way:
In addition, please check the Stoppin’ Spots listing that last appeared in the January 2002 issue of FMC (page 1021). This listing includes FMCA members who have volunteered in the categories of Stop Over, Come Visit, Mechanics Helper, and Pinch Hit Driver. It will next be published in the January 2003 issue. If you would like to be added to or deleted from the list, or if you have changes to make to your contact information, please contact the Membership Department as noted above. The deadline for making changes to this listing for the January 2003 issue is October 31, 2002.