13 Feb The Breaking a Myth — The 6 Movements Mission
This photo is of myself (Renee Reed, Founder of 6 Movements) with my husband Ralph and my Dad, Patrick Reed. It was taken a few months before Dad was diagnosed with cancer and passed shortly after. Born on Valentine’s Day 1926, had he lived, my Dad would be 91. He would also have been 6M’s most enthusiastic member.
I owe my love of physicality to my Dad who taught me to be committed to a purpose, to believe in myself, and to work for what I wanted. He instilled a love of physical accomplishment and the necessary determination to push through tough times. These traits have helped me be successful in several competitive sports and to accomplish many goals, especially those fitness related.
Dad’s life was cut short by cancer, at 88 years’ young. Until the last few months, he remained incredibly strong and physically active. He lived every day to the fullest and believed that to live long, one needed to move. He rarely stopped moving and when he did, it was usually to sit only long enough to read the paper, eat dinner, or go to bed for his six hours of sleep. When not at his job, which often involved lifting heavy boxes of produce, he would be working around the house building, cleaning, upholstering furniture, mowing the lawn (or shoveling snow) and often helping neighbors. After retiring, he walked miles every day and went to the gym where he would work his way through all the machines, as fast as he could. He trained for months and on his 75th birthday, he completed 75 pull-ups. I rarely saw him walk up a stair case. He preferred to jog them. His vision failed in his sixties and he was legally blind, though most folk didn’t know by the way he moved. In his 80s he helped Ralph build a two-story garage, doing a lot of physical labor. At 88, with cancer riddling his body, he got up using a walker, as much as he could, and despite great pain, walked until the last few days of his life.
Dad brought forward in life a determination and love of physical accomplishment, learned as a young ski jumper. He grew up in Iron Mountain, Upper Peninsula of Michigan. At fourteen y.o. he began jumping at the largest man-made ski jump in the world. He would walk several miles through deep snow and up a mountain, then climb a 156-foot-high wooden scaffold, carrying skis longer then he was tall. Pointing his body down a thin snow track and gliding rapidly until there was nothing but air underneath, soaring for many feet at 60 mph, landing hard and traveling fast to a stop. What a thrill that must have been! Sadly, I never saw my Dad jump and it wasn’t until I was an adult and visited Pine Mountain in person, that I understood the immensity of the challenge the sport of ski jumping presented.
Fortunate to have had a parent who was such a great model of health and fitness, as well as simply being a wonderful person, I witnessed first-hand the breaking of the myth that growing old means becoming decrepit. My dad was living proof that the number of years we live is not what limits us, but rather whether we are physically active. He never gave up trying to stay active and neither will I. Dad’s legacy will encourage me to keep moving, keep challenging myself, and keep learning, for as long as I live.
My dad possessed a deep passion for life and a commitment to helping others and it is in his memory that 6 Movements Fitness Studio is dedicated to helping people become stronger, healthier and happier and remain active, for as long as they live.