I’m sitting in a hotel room in Atlanta right now, fresh off a full day of educational sessions at the Healthy Trucking Association of America’s Health Trucking Summit. It’s been a long day, so forgive me if my thoughts are a little, well, all over the place. But I did want to share a few personal reflections from the day.
The most frequently recurring thought today has been the impression that there really are people who care about the truckers out there on the roads. Sure, there is a push for better safety on the roads, and that often takes the forefront. But I’ve met fleet HR personnel and recruiters here who are excited to take back ideas they’ve heard and share them with their drivers. I have heard speakers who took great pleasure in sharing the ways they had seen drivers benefit from wellness programs. Bob Perry, president of Roadside Medical, is one person who immediately comes to mind. He shared at least two stories of drivers whose lives were basically changed because they were able to lose weight using one of his programs. Sometimes these people who truly care about the drivers get overshadowed, but they are definitely out there.
I guess the other thing that has really impressed me is that health is a big deal and not just for drivers. The number of Americans who are obese or who have high blood pressure is somewhat overwhelming. One of today’s speakers, Chelle Pfiffner, put it best when she said we have to “lead by example.” I definitely feel like I will leave this summit with greater motivation to get my own health in order. I’d much rather be part of the solution than part of the problem.