It's often pointed out how fit and healthy President Barack Obama is — he plays basketball with a passion, goes to the gym six days a week, and when on vacation chooses to bodysurf over lounging on the beach. It was even reported that during his presidential campaign he hit the gym for 48 days in a row. In light of his struggle to kick a nicotine habit — something he says he is 95 percent cured of — Obama lives a pretty fitness-focused lifestyle.
Last night the first couple was interviewed by Oprah Winfrey for the holiday special, Christmas at the White House, which gave viewers a peek into how the first family spends their holidays together. While watching, I was struck by a few things that the president said on Christmases past and thought to myself that particular gifts he received as a child helped shape him into the health conscious man that he is today.
To find out what the president's favorite childhood gifts were,
When asked what his favorite gifts as a child were, the president fondly remembered receiving a basketball from his father the first time he met him.
"You know, I do remember the one time I met my father he was visiting during Christmas and he gave me a basketball and - the degree to which I came to love basketball — it wasn't until much later in life that I realized, ‘Actually, he gave me that basketball.'"
The president also reminisced on receiving his first "big kid 10 speed bike" as a Christmas gift and how special it was. It's clear that the Obamas believe that many of life's lessons start at home, and I couldn't help but think that these two gifts were motivating factors for the president to be active even as a little one. If you have a special youngster in your life, consider giving them a gift that encourages them to get up and get moving. The smallest gifts we give may leave lasting impressions later, as is illustrated in the president's life — decades later, the basketball he received as a child is still the main focus of his fit lifestyle.