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One million hours of exercise? Truth be told, Bostonís got to lead the charge

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff  November 28, 2011 05:46 PM

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Man it feels good to be back home. After 13 years with the Celts, Boston will always be home, and being back in the city for a little makes me really get that itch to start playing some real games again.

You probably heard that I linked up with Rajon for his charity game over at Harvard last weekend, and while it was great to get out on the court with the guys, the main reason I was here was to join with The Boston Foundation over at the Salvation Army Kroc Center to launch our Million Hour Challenge.

Itís a cool new initiative of my Truth on Health Campaign that essentially throws the gauntlet down and challenges kids from all over the state to commit to doing one hour of physical activity a day. Our goal is to reach a combined 1 million hours of exercise in 2012, and after seeing the CHAMPS coaches and Playworks staff working the kids at our tip-off event at the Kroc, and knowing that CHAMPS is lining up close to 4,000 kids to participate, I have no doubt that weíll get this done. But Iím gonna need the help of all you kids out there in Boston if weíre gonna make it happen.

Those guys over at The Boston Foundation are no joke. When they commit to something they are all in. It was great to get to see them in action and hang out with their President and CEO Paul Grogan and Robert Lewis Jr., their Vice President for Program. Robert is one of the best speakers Iíve ever heard. By the time he was done talking to the kids, I was ready to try to tackle the million hours of exercise myself.

We had over 300 kids come out to the Kroc on Saturday morning for a fun day of fitness, with tons of cool activities like crab walk tag, obstacle courses and of course yaíll know my favorite -- the hula hoop. They were haviní so much fun, they didnít even realize they were exercising. And thatís what itís all about -- making fitness fun. They completed the hour so quick they couldnít even believe it! Those guys over at Playworks know how to do it. And make no mistake; I was right there in the thick of it. It was a great excuse for me to jump in and join them and do stuff I havenít done in years, so I was all about it. We gave all the kids a Paul Pierce Activity watch so they could log their first hour of activity and start entering the info into my Truth on Health site so they can get points and help their teams in the Million Hour Challenge.

And you know Iím always ready to roll when it comes to the competition, and it doesnít matter to me whether youíre 8 or 80, you better bring it when you challenge me. And thatís just what those kids did when we invited them up on stage for a little friendly hula hoop competition. Now, you might not think that hula hooping is one of my strong suits, but with two little girls I actually get more hula reps in than you would imagine. So it started pretty smoothly and I was undefeated until the last girl came up to challenge my title. But this girl had skills. She came on stage with her game face on. And she ended up beating meÖ Like a drum! She was pretty good though, so I have to give her credit.

Then the Beantown Jumpers showed us some of their Double Dutch talents. Jump roping is another great way to stay in shape that I even use for the basketball season, but I canít jump rope like them! They were great. Then our junior Celtics dance team ďLil PhunkĒ performed. I know yíall know how good they are, but seeing it up close was amazing! They perform at the Garden during our games a lot, but Iím usually listening to Doc on the sidelines or in the locker-room at half-time so I donít get to see them. They can really move and did a great job of showing everyone how much fun you can have doing it.

After we finished up at the Salvation Army Kroc Center, I headed over to Harvard to get ready for the game. A lot of my old and current teammates came out to support Rondo and it was great that the crowd got to see a lot of our guys back together in Boston. Perk, Leon, Marquis Daniels, Jeff Green and Nate were all in the house, and other guys like Rudy Gay, Josh Smith, Kyle Lowry, JaJuan Johnson and Jeremy Lin came out as well. Kind of cool playing over at Harvard. Between Perk running the point and Leon shooting threes, you could tell the crowd was into it! I had a lot of fun. We're excited to get some real basketball soon.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
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About the author

Paul Pierce is the captain of the Boston Celtics. Pierce has spent his entire career with the Celtics since being drafted in 1998 out of Kansas, and led them to their 17th NBA Championship in 2008, when he was the NBA Finals MVP. More »

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