Dr. Shin Miyagi, a family physician at the Guam Seventh-day Adventist Clinic, kicked off the new year by entering a month-long F5 Challenge. What is F5? It is a California-based group of activity-enthusiasts who value Faith, Fellowship, Fitness, Fortitude, and Fun.
After learning of this F5 group through Facebook, he and Physician Assistant Bethany Helm took on their Facebook challenge to live more active lives... while winning bragging rights in the process! The next month, they convinced a dozen more people to join and, before February was up, Dr. Miyagi could see the event’s potential.
He introduced the idea to the clinic as a way to create new friendships while having fun, getting fit, and promoting health. Co-sponsored by the Guam SDA Clinic, GMM Health Ministries, and the F5 Challenge organization, the March event encouraged clinic employees to be more intentional about their physical exercise. Through the exceptional organizational skills of Tommy Imazu, 25 teams were formed and given their instructions. Count your physical activities such as walking, lunges, or chin-ups to earn points – both for your team and individual scores. To level the playing field, daily point maximums were instituted so all team members were encouraged to contribute to their team's success.
Going beyond the physical challenge, participants were offered "awesome points" for improving mental and spiritual health: by listening to F5 podcasts, watching Joy FM's Total Health on Facebook, and signing up for the clinic Wellness Center's NEWSTART program. Weekly prizes fostered excitement and teamwork. One such competition had teams, wearing the iconic red F5 t-shirts, show off their enthusiasm in creative posters.
Some employees at the clinic had preexisting weekly fitness events: a snorkeling group, hiking group, and paddling group. Participants were welcome to join these free activities for group fun and fitness.
The large majority of employees at the clinic are not Adventist. With 100 participants, this challenge provided opportunities to build relationships through friendly competition and teamwork. In some cases, through both! Dr. Miyagi and Medical Assistant Kimwell Dimatactac could be seen one-upping each other so often, it seemed they forgot they were on the same team. Yet, Kimwell admitted that seeing what Dr. Miyagi could do pushed him to do even more.
“I honestly think it was a great activity,” said Kimwell. “I saw a lot of my coworkers really putting in effort to do their part for their team and for their health. On another note, it was really tiring because work is very busy and I really have to push myself to work out and to be able to help my team and earn individual points.” He also pointed out, “Running seven and nine miles was my recent achievement. I’d never done that before! And I really enjoyed listening to Joy FM, especially Doctor Arnott’s voice.”
“Overall, my take on this is... if you know that something is good for your health, then you should work hard for it.” Kimwell definitely knows what’s good for him, as he garnered the highest individual points and took home the cash prize for “Guam SDA Clinic F5 Challenge King”. Mrs. Ruth Camat, Medical practice Manager, was crowned “Guam SDA Clinic F5 Challenge Queen”. A big congratulations to all the F5 participants for their hard work!
Dr. Miyagi and the Clinic F5 Challenge have also inspired the GMM Health Ministries department to bring F5 to the islands. Churches in GMM can plan on joining the mission-wide challenge in May and then Zooming in for a special series with F5 coach Shion Shironishi in June.