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South Padre Island Marathon, Jailbreak SPI: Could These Be the Events that Change the Mindset of the RGV

by Roger DavilaApril 30, 2015



SPI_jailbreak_poster_V8 Jailbreak-Media Gallery images (1)On November 14, 2015 the Rio Grande Valley and South Padre Island will host what is to be the first annual South Padre Island Marathon. This is the first of its kind for South Padre Island and the Rio Grande Valley. This type of run is what will bring out the pure dedication and determination in a runner. One simply cannot quit after committing to something like this. It is either I do it, or I don’t. I had the privilege of speaking to the founder of the Jailbreak obstacle course, Tim Scrivner, and he sees a vision for the Rio Grande Valley that most would not welcome so easily. The Rio Grande Valley is probably in last place, in the United States, when it comes living a healthy lifestyle. That stems from the culture that we grew up in. I get to see the amount of restaurants that open up in the RGV and most of those restaurants are Taco Stands or Restaurants specializing in fatty foods loaded with high cholesterol causing ingredients. We are accustomed to that type of diet in this region of the United States. Unfortunately, as a society, people have gotten used to the “Super Size” or the “add another piece” sort of mentality that has turned us into the “FATTEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD.” We attribute these facts strictly on the way that society has gotten used to it being that way. Tim says “no!” it is time to change the mentality of the RGV. I, myself, fall into the category of making it “Whata-sized” or “Large”. Why? Because that is the norm nowadays. Mr. Scrivner believes that he knows a way to plant the seed into healthy living to the Rio Grande Valley. If someone knows that in 180 days he or she will be running a 26.2-mile race, they will not only train hard but also begin to eat healthier altogether. Working out is contagious. I walk my neighborhood streets in the afternoon as I walk my dogs and let me tell you. The number of people that are out running, walking, and biking as increased just in the couple of months I have been doing it. People are going to the organic sections of their neighborhood grocery stores at an alarming weight. People are becoming more and more aware of eating healthier and exercising more. As a kid, you couldn’t keep me inside. I ran, played football, basketball, baseball even did gymnastics as part of a routine that I had. After sitting behind a desk for many years I developed a belly that many would say was developed by drinking too much beer. That is not the case. I love food as do many other people living in the RGV. Tortillas, carne guisada, Mexican fried rice and many other food traditions that we were raised with are the cause of the Rio Grande Valley as having the highest obesity rate in the country. Why? Because our culture is used to having the Sunday dinners, the backyard barbeques and the endless parrilladas. Food, food, food. That is all you see. The fastest growing businesses in the United States are restaurants. People love to eat. Moderation is the key. Eat what you want but increase your daily exercise regimen. Eat healthier if you possibly can. Stay away from carbonated sodas loaded with sugar. We all know what we should do but why don’t we do it? Laziness is my answer. We blame our jobs, our kids, society, and many other things as to why we cannot eat the right way or exercise more.

Mr. Scrivner sees a society that is dependent on working out and eating healthier. A society that is outside more and inside less. Where children are outside playing in the parks again instead of sitting in front of a television set, an ipad, or a smartphone. Mr. Scrivner wants to see more bike and running trails, more outdoor organized activities and more grocery stores that specialize in healthier organic foods such as Whole Foods and Sprouts to name a few. He believes that if we have healthier activities in the RGV that focus on fitness instead of chili cook offs that it will spread like a wildfire. He envisions people working out, eating healthy and living longer lives.


Hopefully, his vision comes true. I believe that he is doing all that he can to make that vision a reality.


Sign up for the South Padre Island Marathon begin a training program and get healthy. Encourage your family, friends and neighbors to go for a walk, a run or a bike ride. Google some different recipes on healthier foods to cook for your family. It all begins at home. Get involved with local events; take your kids outside to play. I am not saying that it is easy, because believe me if anyone knows it is me. What I do know is that it is worth it.



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