Serving as Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana’s ambassador for health and wellness, Blue Bear plays a major part in sharing our message of healthy living, staying safe, and giving back to the community. It is a role that Blue Bear takes seriously. So much so that he took it upon himself to become healthier.
Everyone knows the golden rule with mascots – they can’t speak. However, Blue Bear is quite adept at technology and the blue bruin took some time to answer some questions on his fitness journey.
Blue Bear, thanks for taking the time to chat with us. How have you been?
BLUE BEAR: U;n ginr. Kufr ud hiif. Oof. Sorry about that. Need to trim my claws. Being a bear in a human world can be daunting. Things as simple as typing on a keyboard is a challenge with these big mitts. But, yeah, I’m doing well. Been working out. I got fit. I made a new friend, who is TOTALLY MONTE FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF MONTANA! And yes, I’m shout typing that because it was so cool meeting him!
This past year you made it a point to get a little slimmer, become more active, and get healthier. Was it hard to get started, and what kept you going?
BLUE BEAR: Oh sure, it was hard at first. But it was harder being so big and floofy. Have you tried giving out like a million high-fives at the Governor’s Cup Kids Marathon? It’s hard enough being in front of all those kids, but it’s an extra workout keeping up with running children everywhere.
My primal instincts kicked in. Sure, I’m domesticated, but I’m still a bear. I need to ROAR! That’s rude in human company, though. So I scratch my itch a different way: I hit the gym, I do some running. I also cut my picnic basket intake, and don’t forage through those delicious unprotected garbage cans as much. It’s all about balance.
I am sure Monte provided a lot of motivation and guidance, and the training montage video of you two is fantastic. How much fun was it working out with one of the most famous bears in Montana, and what pointers did he give you?
BLUE BEAR: Monte was great and he gave wonderful advice. The most important was to make fitness fun. I initially saw it as a chore, which was the biggest hurdle for me. But nobody said being fit has to be boring. Once I started enjoying my routine, it just became part of my life. I made some small changes, a little bit at a time, and eventually noticed all those small changes added up to something measurable. I eventually would have reached my fitness goals on my own. Having Monte, though, that was something else!
How important is it to have a healthy diet, including not only eating the right foods, but also the right portions?
BLUE BEAR: It is so important. Probably the most important part of being healthy. And oh boy, this is hard. I am a bear after all. Imagine a crabapple, carrion, and cheese pizza. The old Blue Bear would have scarfed that thing down and then polished it off with another pizza. Now, I’ll have a few slices and then go play bearsketball – which is quite challenging with these monster claws I’ve got going. I flattened three balls just last week.
Do you have any fitness tips to share?
BLUE BEAR: Do something you enjoy. Find an activity that doesn’t seem like a chore. For me, it’s running. It started with the Governor’s Cup. I saw how much the children enjoyed the Kids Marathon, and thought to myself, “That looks fun.” And it was! I never tried running for enjoyment, but I gave it a shot and it just clicked. Whatever it is that clicks for you, be willing to find something.
You’re known for high fives and handing out hugs. What is the best part of being Blue Bear?
BLUE BEAR: You just answered your own question. High fives and hugs are the best part of being Blue Bear.
You are always out and about at events. What is the best way for people to reach out and schedule you to take part in their event?
BLUE BEAR: One of my best friends is my BCBSMT pal Randi Heigh. She keeps me on track and handles my schedule. If you need more information or would like to schedule a Blue Bear appearance, you can reach her at (406) 437-5304 or you can email her at Randi_Heigh@bcbsmt.com.
Watch Blue Bears journey below!
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