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, read more.
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.