Martinez: No reason not to get in shape this prep season

By Tim Martinez, Columbian Assistant Sports Editor



So I was reading about the obesity rate in the United States today.

Did you know that more than one-third of U.S. adults — 35.7 percent — are considered obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention?


It got me thinking: What could a person like me do to help solve this problem?

I mean, apart from eating fewer donuts.

You can talk about diets all day long — counting calories, points, carbs, whatever — but no real change can happen without a physical activity regimen.

But who has time for that?

Here I spend this space each week to tell you about different high school sporting events that you can attend … as a spectator … watching younger, healthier athletes plying their trade.

How can you attend these events and still find time to get in shape.

Well, I’m here to offer you some suggestions that will help kill two birds with one stone.

• Attend a cross country meet.

When I ran high school cross country, my mom would show up to a meet and ask where was the best place to sit. I would tell her: “At home.”

You can’t sit and watch a cross country meet. You have to get up and move around.

So attend a meet, watch the race start. Then move to another spot where you can watch the entire field run by. Then find four more spots on the course where you can do the same thing.

Class 4A and 3A Greater St. Helens League teams race their first league meets on Tuesday, so there are plenty of opportunities to join the races.

• Attend a boys golf match.

Find one golfer and follow him all the way through the match. All nine holes. No golf cart. Walk. If you can find an 18-hole tournament — like the Prairie Invitational next week — or a 36-hole tournament — like the district meets next month — even better.

Even better than that, ask if you can serve as a caddie, if they’ll allow it.

The Titan Cup, a four-team Ryder Cup-style tournament, will be held today at Camas Meadows, featuring Columbia River, Union, Mountain View and Hockinson. So there’s plenty of golf to watch on a sunny September day.

• Learn how to become a soccer referee.

I’ve always thought that soccer referees are the hardest-working officials in prep sports, running up and down the field with the players for 80 minutes. In fact, I’ve often wondered if some referees issue late-game yellow cards to players simply so he or she can take a breather.

• Attend a girls swimming meet.

Instead of watching from the bleachers or pool deck, ask if you can watch from inside the pool, treading water the entire time from an outside lane (no water wings, please.)

nWhen attending your favorite team’s next road match, plan on traveling to the match by bicycle. For fans of Trico League teams, be sure to plan ahead for road trips to Ilwaco or White Salmon.

• Attend a high school football game.

If one team goes up by 40 points or more and the running-clock rule is put into effect, run in place until the end of the game.

• Attend a Heritage football game.

Every time a touchdown is scored, do one push-up for every point that is on the scoreboard, kind of like how college cheerleaders often do. In the Timberwolves’ three games this season, the average number of total points scored is 86.

That’s a lot of push-ups.

• You don’t even need to attend a high school event to get active. You can get in shape while listening to a game on the radio or computer.

Tune into KKOV 1550 AM — or — and listen to Ron Soanka call the action from the football doubleheader at 5 p.m. Friday.

Every time you here Ron say that a player was “hit and dropped,” do five jumping jacks. If he adds “… like a bad habit,” do five more jumping jacks. Every time you hear Soanka or his broadcast partner Rodney Lawrence do an in-game promo of another program on KKOV or its sister station, do five sit-ups. If Soanka growls out a player name after he scores a touchdown, do 10 push-ups.

It’s a guaranteed 3,000-calorie workout — 5,000 if Heritage is playing.

Tim Martinez is the assistant sports editor/prep coordinator for The Columbian. He can be reached at by phone at (360) 735-4538 or email at