Mayor challenges town to get fit

By Aubrey Turner
For the Prosper Press

Mayor Ray Smith challenged Prosper residents to a 90-day Fitness Challenge.  This annual event encourages fitness and runs from January 18 to April 18.  Participants are encouraged to walk, run, or job 100 miles or to bike a total of 300 miles.  Forms for the challenge are available on the Town of Prosper website or in the Parks and Recreation department.  

“I am a big health nut,” Smith said.  “I had heart surgery and I have had a stroke.  I think fitness saved my life.  This is important to me.  I want you to run, walk, crawl a hundred miles in a three month period.  If you are a biker, I challenge you to go three hundred miles.  You are sitting down, you should go longer.  People make so many resolutions to pursue fitness but this is the time of year that the resolutions start to falter.  This gives you a reason and an excuse to crank it back up.  I look forward to the completed documents that get sent in to the Parks Department.”  

“This is a fun way to encourage people to get moving,” Parks and RecreationDirector Dudley Raymond said.  “We had people email us last year and say that the challenge helped them change some health habits for the better.  Sometimes a little motivation, like logging the miles helps people get out there and keep moving.  We had over sixty people complete the challenge last year and we have already seen a lot of interest this year.”  

Upon completion of the Mayor’s Fitness Challenge, residents will receive a tshirt and are entered into a raffle for a Fitbit.  As an extra incentive to explore the bike and hike trails in Prosper, each time a person posts a picture to the Prosper event page next to a trail sign and tags the town, they will receive an extra entry into the drawing. 

“I encourage people to get out and use the different trail systems,” Raymond said.  “There are so many out there and it is a good way to see what is available in our town.  This is a fun way for families to explore together and to get some exercise while they are doing it.” 

Smith has a history of staying active.  He was a standout athlete, who played Division I college football and is the son of a former NFL football player. 

“There is nothing more important than your health,” he said. “When I was asked about lending my name to the Mayor’s Fitness Challenge several years ago, I jumped at it. It’s a tremendous idea, and I am in full support of anyone and everyone who wants to participate.”

Prosper playgrounds and facilities are cleaned regularly and guidelines are followed which exceed health and safety recommendations, according to Raymond. 

“Prosper parks and facilities became increasingly important last year, as residents looked to outdoor options for both exercise and leisure,” said Raymond. “We encourage everyone to continue to enjoy the parks and trails as you log miles throughout the Mayor’s Fitness Challenge.”