Dentist uses fitness drills on city kids
Dr. Charles Moser of Meyerland may called himself "an exercise fanatic," but it was his children who inspired the local dentist to bring Achieve, a national, six-week program, to Houston to train about 35 inner-city children, ages 9-14, for a kids' triathlon.
The training camp begins June 25 this year; it will challenge kids to complete a 100-meter swim, 5K bike ride and 2K run Aug. 4 at the Weekley Family YMCA, 7101 Stella Link.
This summer will mark the fifth year Moser will lead Achieve Houston.
At first, it was all in the family, as Moser organized short races for his children, then 7 or 8 years old. In 2007, he expanded to include about nine kids.
After reading about Achieve in USA Triathlon magazine, Moser convinced Charles Brodsky, the program's founder, that he "wanted to do what you did in D.C."
Brodsky insisted that the two men meet face to face. "I guess that means in D.C, right?" Moser recalls telling Brodsky. "I called his bluff and headed to D.C."
In 2008 the Houston Achieve program officially started in Houston. A typical day starts with breakfast, followed by warm-up exercises, a training session, cool-down, instruction, journaling and lunch. At first, the nonprofit was supported by the Houston Parks and Recreation program, but budget cuts meant the program had to find a new home. Achieve is now under the umbrella of the Weekley Family YMCA. "It's a really great fit," Moser said.
But Moser stressed that it's the sponsors that allow Achieve Houston to remain an active organization. The largest is South Texas Dental, where Moser is a dentist, and Sun and Ski Sports.
"It's pretty well established here; it's morphed significantly in the last five years," Moser said.
Last year, 35 kids participated. Of those, 32 crossed the finish line.
"We use the kids as a conduit to get to the parents (about the benefits of exercise)," Moser said.
But he feels "the reach and scope" of Achieve Houston can't be measured because it's impossible to see how many people are affected from the child who participates, down to family members and friends.
"I'm pretty proud of that," Moser said.
Dr. Charles Moser
Community Connection: Runs the nonprofit Achieve Houston, a free program that trains local, inner-city youths to complete a triathlon in six weeks.
Fast fact: Moser sold real estate before he realized his childhood dream of becoming a dentist.
Ann C. Fisher is a freelance writer. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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