Stories of Impact: Freedom Wright
The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation and PGA TOUR Superstore recently hosted a reception for The First Tee of Atlanta as part of The First Tee Atlanta Charity Golf Classic. During the auction event, high school Senior Freedom Wright shared her story of personal transformation. Using a Polar Active watch, a high-tech activity meter donated by the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation, Freedom has adopted an active lifestyle, losing pounds and improving her health along the way.
November 11, 2012 - Freedom Wright Speech during The First Tee of Atlanta Reception:
"I am a senior at HIES. I have been captain of the golf team for the past two years and I have been playing the violin in the orchestra for the past nine years. I am also on the Integrity Council and I have been a Girl Scout for the past ten years.
I have been apart of the First Tee program since 5th grade. During those years, the nine core values have given me an opportunity to be successful on and off the golf course. Of The First Tee Nine Core Values, I can say that integrity is important. I was elected to my school’s integrity council. I can say sportsmanship is important. Last year, I led my team to an undefeated season.
But, the core value that means the most to me is honesty because I have come to learn that I have to be honest with myself about my health.
I first started being concerned about my weight when the First Tee Chapter of Atlanta had a meeting about the dangers of being overweight at a young age. I learned signs that could lead to type two diabetes, such as lack of exercise, unhealthy eating habits, or lack of sleep. The sign of type two diabetes that stood out to me were dark circles around the neck and under the arms. That’s when I realized that I was at risk for type two diabetes.
On the same day, my First Tee chapter also introduced a new product it was endorsing, the Polar Active Watch. The watches have meters that track physical activity every day. The more physical activity you do, the quicker the meters fill up each day. Knowing that I needed to get on track for weight loss and more physical activity, I was one of the first members to sign up for a Polar Active Watch.
With my Polar Active Watch, I was motivated to not only increase my physical activity, but also watch what I ate. I understood that a weight loss goal would be successful with physical activity and healthy eating. Of course, losing weight and increasing my physical activity was a lot easier said than done. Being a senior in high school, I am constantly working, studying, and writing college and scholarship essays. The ups and downs of weight loss have been both exciting and challenging.
I knew that if I wanted to see results, I needed to work for them. Using the motivation from the Polar Active watch, I made it a priority to exercise at least four times a week for nine weeks. I did cardio, weights, and even endurance exercises. Needless to say, my polar active watch filled up pretty quickly those days. I also made sure I worked out immediately after school because I knew that once I got home, I would put on my pajamas and come up with some excuse as to why I didn’t have time to work out. Along with working out, I focused on portion control and healthier food choices. I drank a lot of water and did my best to stay away from unhealthy food. I’m not going to lie though... it was hard!
Especially being in high school, there are sweets and unhealthy food everywhere. When under the pressure, I thought of my goal of losing twenty pounds by the time I get my license and my goal of feeling great about myself with my weight loss.
Losing weight has definitely been a challenge, but it has been rewarding. My rewards comes from fitting into a smaller size pair of jeans or even having someone asks me, “Have you been losing weight?”. Weight loss is a journey, and I am proud to say the First Tee has kept me motivated and supported.
I am happy to report that I am now twenty pounds lighter than I was one year ago."
Freedom Wright shares in this video taken at John A. White Golf Course how the Polar Active watch and The First Tee of Atlanta helped her shed pounds and give her a new confidence.
The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation is committed to helping increase the time kids spend in physical activity. Teaming up with Polar, which supplies the Atlanta Falcons football club with sophisticated heart-rate monitors and advanced smart coaching tools, the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation (AFYF) donated 1,000 Polar Active monitors to area youth through partnerships with the Blank YMCA, Atlanta Track Club, Moving in the Spirit, The First Tee of Atlanta and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.