Whitmire community supports idea of wellness

By Elyssa Parnell

April 7, 2014

WHITMIRE — Todd Johnson explained just how parallel scripture was when it came to keeping our physical and spiritual bodies in shape Saturday at Whitmire’s first Wellness Walk.

“I wanted to talk about just how important taking care of our body and spiritual life are,” Johnson said. “It’s all about discipline.”

Johnson, who was the motivational speaker before the wellness event kicked off Saturday morning, told participants about his own struggle with keeping his physical body fit.

“I used to be 317 pounds,” Johnson said. “I tried about 1,000 diets before I surrendered to Christ and saw a transformation take place.”

Having run three half marathons this year, Johnson encouraged participants to use their bodies as the temples God created them to be. “We need to glorify God with our physical body,” Johnson said.

Whitmire’s first wellness walk was put on by the members of the Economic Development Board as a part of National Walk Day, which was April 2.

“Our goal was to get people to walk and into better health,” said board member Kim Wallace.

The group’s next two events will include something for Mother’s Day on May 10 and the 49 mile yard sale in June.

Before the walk began, participants had the opportunity to visit several vendors such as Thomas’ Grill which provided samples of healthy foods to show how to eat healthy. Newberry County Memorial Hospital provided free blood pressure checks.

Angie Faulkenburg from the hospital provided a time for warm up exercises to get everyone loose and ready for the walk/run event. Three options of different distances were available.

Whitmire native Haskell Walker led the first group from the Whitmire Community Center to begin their walk. Walker currently lives in Melbourne, Fla., and made the journey to Whitmire to help. Walker said he enjoys running and hopes events such as the wellness walk will create more of an interest in Whitmire.

“It’s great to come back here where I grew up,” Walker said. “I like to help out when I can.”

Community coming together

Wendy Green along with children Addie, Kingston and Raegan also participated. Green said she considers herself a “new” runner, having competed in her first half marathon in Newberry just a few weeks ago.

The Green family lives in Union, although she said her husband is originally from the Whitmire area and her children attend school in Whitmire.

Addie, 7, and Raegan, 9, have participated in several 5Ks and were hoping to do more than walk Saturday morning.

“Do we have to walk the whole thing?,” both girls said as they hoped to run.

Green is a fit buddy at Whitmire Community School. She has spoken to third through fifth grades there about the importance of reading food labels, eating colorful foods and living healthy lifestyles.

Upon completing the wellness walk, children received a certificate.

“The community really all pulled together to make this a successful event,” said Maria Mcmurtury, chairman and executive director of the board.