Olympian Jeff Galloway for Team Decatur
By James I. Pressley
The City of Decatur hosted an evening full of fun fitness activities on July 24, for the Get Active Atlanta/Team Decatur Kickoff in Oakhurst’s Harmony Park. The “Get Active” program, which includes a free eight-week fitness plan for participants, is being held in preparation for the Kaiser Permanente Corporate Run/Walk 5k race, scheduled for Thursday, September 13. Olympian Jeff Galloway, the official spokesperson for the event, attended to promote Team Decatur’s group of community and business members.
Galloway won the inaugural Peachtree Road Race in 1970 and has been a perennial presence in the world of athletics ever since. After founding Phidippides, the first and now longest-standing specialty running store in the world, Galloway went on to coach more than 200,000 runners and walkers and write numerous publications on fitness and training. The 1972 Munich Olympian in the men’s 10,000-meters run spoke with Sports DeKalb to elaborate on his plans and working with Get Active Atlanta and Team Decatur.
Sports DeKalb: It is officially Olympic season and Team Decatur is getting ready for the 5K run. Could you explain the initiative of the run is and what is the goal?
Galloway: Kaiser Permanente is one of about 50-60 sponsors that I’ve worked with over the past 40 years. I’ve been putting on events and they are the one company that gets it; that when people get active, it changes their lives for the better. They are fully behind sponsoring this event; but not only for individuals, but for corporations. By having team building events like this one today, there are more companies that will sign up, become healthier, reduce their health care costs, and morale is better in the office as far as productivity. It’s a “win, win, win” situation.
The Olympics is one of the very few athletic events in our society where individuals are trying to simply do one thing only and that is be the best that they can be in their sport. – Olympian Jeff Galloway
Sports DeKalb: In regards to the Olympics, what specifically are you looking forward to in this summer’s games?
Galloway: As you already know, I was in the Olympics in 1972 and every four years I feel that excitement in the air. I remember the focus, the camaraderie, and sense of respect that I felt in my Olympic village. The Olympics is one of the very few athletic events in our society where individuals are trying to simply do one thing only and that is be the best that they can be in their sport. There’s no money involved, there’s nothing on the line other than what they can do for themselves. Seeing individuals rise and do something they never thought they could do happens at every Olympic Games, so that’s what I’m most looking forward to.
Sports DeKalb: So, other than being the spokesperson for Team Decatur, what else is Jeff Galloway doing today?
Galloway: I do a lot of health promotion events, mostly around running. My Galloway training programs are now in over 90 cities across the country and a few around the world: Italy, Germany, Israel, and they’re expanding. I also do a lot of coaching and book writing. I’ve written 23 books. But I spend most of my time helping poor fit individuals to get in shape, stay in shape, and I have also helped individually coach over 3,000 athletes. And all that takes about six to eight hours out of my day and I love it!
James I. Pressley, a Sports DeKalb sports marketing intern, is a senior at Morehouse College who takes courses in the school’s Journalism and Sports Program and is a member of the Maroon Tiger tennis team.