A couple weeks ago, in support of Jason Keeling's
West Virginia Day project at A Better West Virginia,
I put forth this fragment of an idea. I postulated that we could shift the perception--and even influence the behaviors--related to fitness in WV, simply (yet purposefully) by elevating the level of conversation. As the title suggests, this is all based on Malcolm Gladwell's tipping point theories
Well, guess what ... it's working! Thanks to a core group of "Mavens" - (ref. Gladwell), this initiative (now dubbed #fitwv - read on for explanation) is taking off.
Here's what I offered for those who wanted to get on board. You too can begin, simply by doing one or more of the following:
- Tweeting your workouts on Twitter ("Just had a great run along the boulevard!")
- Utilizing your Facebook status update to note your fitness activities ("Heading to the gym!")
- Used fitness topics as a conversation starter ("Hey, have you been to the new zip line course in the New River Gorge?")
- Support fitness-minded leaders - search and follow Twitter leaders who are into fitness and health; subscribe to blogs and RSS feeds from bloggers who write about exercise, nutrition and wellness. ("Check out this great new yoga blog I found.")
- Make it a personal priority--if not already--and begin advocating for fitness as a healthy lifestyle. Talking about it. Encouraging others. Inviting others to engage. ("Hey, do you play tennis. Wanna play sometime this week?")
Now, as for the #fitwv thing, I absently mindedly added a "hash tag" to my first post on Twitter about this idea. Following is my Tweet from June 20th:
Happy WV Day! Let's make a Fitter West Virginia using tipping point tactics to overcome obesity. http://tinyurl.com/nxj7y8 #abetterwv7:53 AM Jun 20th
It caught on. Folks began using it. The neat thing about hash tags in Twitter is that they can be "sticky" - short and memorable. If you want to appreciate the power of the #fitwv hash tag, just go to search.twitter.com and type #fitwv in the search box.
Following Gladwell's theoretical model, what we need now are some fitness-minded connectors to come on board and tell a couple dozen of their friends. Once that happens, we'll shoot from 30 to 300 advocates of #fitwv lickety-split.
Frankly, I am amused and excited to see where this goes. The payoff, of course, is when this movement really causes some movement ... and that's when our little project inspires a few more West Virginians to adopt the fitness mentality and lifestyle.
Before you go, please take a minute to check out the wonderfully written related blog post by my good friend Elizabeth Damewood Gaucher over at her Esse Diem blog
Labels: #fitwv, A Better West Virginia, fitness and health, Malcolm Gladwell, shifting perception, Tipping Point, Twitter, West Virginia