Health: 2014: The Year of No Excuses |

Health: 2014: The Year of No Excuses

Angela Wetzel
Free Press Health Columnist

Where did 2013 go? It seems like just yesterday we were welcoming in the New Year and now it’s just a few days from being over.

With a new year typically come those pesky resolutions. Many people will make the resolution and within a month will have forgotten about it. That’s why I challenge you to make a goal, not a resolution, for the entire year and make 2014 the year of “No Excuses.”

I can’t claim that this idea is mine; it actually came from the company I work for. They challenged us to not make excuses for things we “couldn’t” do and make them happen. They weren’t just talking professionally; they were talking mostly about personal goals and this all stemmed from Team Hoyt.

If you’ve never heard of Team Hoyt, Google them; it’s an inspirational story for all.

The story goes like this: Rick Hoyt was born with his umbilical cord around his neck, which resulted in him having cerebral palsy and being a quadriplegic. When Rick was younger, his friend who was recently wheelchair bound, was having a fundraiser race and Rick told his father, Dick, that he wanted to race. Dick agreed to push Rick in his wheelchair through the race, but Dick had never run more than just a few blocks. They did the race, and another, and another and to this day they have finished Iron Man Competitions (a triathlon where you swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles and run 26.2 miles) as well as marathons and many other races. Dick does all of this with his son: pushing him in the wheelchair, pulling him in a raft and biking with him. Oh, and by the way, they have come in a half-hour short of a marathon record.

No excuses. Dick just gets out there and does it because his son loves it. Dick didn’t know how to swim and learned to swim. He hadn’t been on a bike in years and got back on a bike. He couldn’t run any distance and got out there and did it.

So, make this your year of no excuses.

What is something you’ve always wanted to do but couldn’t? What is something that you didn’t have time for? What is something you’ve been scared to do because it was new? Take the words “can’t,” “couldn’t,” “don’t have time” and other negatives out of your vocabulary.

Make 2014 a year where you can say “I did all of these new things and I’m a better person for it.”

Happy New Year!

Free Press health columnist Angela Wetzel has celiac disease and is president of Gluten Free Grand Valley, a support group for those with celiac disease and wheat allergies. Contact her at or visit Gluten Free Grand Valley on Facebook.

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