Alan's StoryOf all the success stories surrounding Canadian Men’s Health Week, the transformation of Alan Scholes may best highlight what the fifth-annual event is all about.
Making Small Changes:
Alan Scholes, a dad on the go!
After injuring his knee five years ago, the armoured car driver started spending more and more time off his feet. He put on weight, and his drive to get out of his Kelowna home started slipping away. “Because my hours are all over the map, trying to stay healthy isn’t the easiest thing in the world,” he explains. “And injuring my knee made everything harder.”
The hardest thing of all, however, was watching his three children go on with their lives without him. “I’d just drop the kids off at whatever they were doing” — Alan’s son, for instance, is a rep soccer player — “and just sit in the car and watch them, or play on my phone. I wouldn’t feel up to doing anything with them.”
The Hat Trick
Canadian Men’s Health Foundation president Wayne Hartrick met Alan while checking out a Hat Trick session, and encouraged him to share his experience. The foundation’s Don’t Change Much website proved to be the ideal forum for this, with Alan’s three biggest lifestyle changes — eating healthier snacks, extra walking and doing squats in front of the TV — resonating with regular guys across the country.
Since then, Alan has added several healthy-living habits highlighted by Don’t Change Much:
- Instead of always drinking pop Alan now sticks to water. “Every once in awhile I have juice, but I put a quarter of juice in the glass and the rest is water. Read the ingredients: there’s a lot of sugar in pre-packaged drinks!”
- Alan has turned his home into a gym of sorts by carrying wrist weights up and down the stairs. “I do it while doing chores or just rattling around the place. Go up and down the stairs a bunch of times, and pretty soon it becomes a workout.” Add this to his new squats routine, which Alan describes as “just standing up in front of the TV, lowering your butt so it barely touches the chair, and standing up again,” and this next habit falls right into place.
- Alan’s new appreciation for walking still takes him around the sports fields his kids play on. But it has evolved into something more. Now, time off with the family is about hiking, walking, biking and other active pursuits. “Before it was about going somewhere I didn’t have to do anything,” Alan recalls. “Now, I enjoy being active, especially with my family.”
Indeed, that final change stands out for Alan. “I’m glad my kids are turning into an active bunch, and it’s nice to think I might play role in that. Hopefully it all trickles down the line.”
Photography by Royce Sihlis Photography