One Blackfeet Indian’s Spartan effort to battle reservation obes - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

One Blackfeet Indian’s Spartan effort to battle reservation obesity epidemic

Posted: Updated:

Courtesy post

Alger Swingley is on a quest to help his fellow Blackfeet tribal members battle obesity while reconnecting with their roots. “The Blackfeet, we were a running tribe, a nomadic tribe,” he said. “Two hundred years ago, every day living on the plains of Montana was like running an obstacle course. When we live a more healthy lifestyle, we honor our tribal heritage — and we make our own lives better.”

Those beliefs have turned Swingley into an unlikely evangelist for the sport of extreme obstacle racing. At 60, Swingley will stand out among the crowd of gym-trained athletes — most of them half his age — at the starting line of next month’s Montana Spartan Beast race, held annually in Bigfork, Montana. He will be joined by a handful of fellow tribal members, some as young as 16, who are working to change habits on the Blackfeet Reservation, a mostly rural region of north-central Montana.

“It’s horrific to see the impacts of obesity and poor nutrition and lack of exercise in our communities,” Swingley said. “We are trying to set an example to help end this epidemic that is causing so much harm and hardship.”

Swingley used to live much like his fellow tribal members: “eating too much and drinking and sitting around a lot.” After witnessing a tragic auto crash in 2015, he vowed to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Since then, he has lost 45 pounds by eating better, working out five times a week and running his dogs — all while attending paramedic school full-time. His approach was largely inspired by Spartan Race founder Joe De Sena’s book “Spartan Up!” — which Swingley has read several times now.

This year is the third in which the Blackfeet Outfitters Spartan Team will participate in the Montana Beast. Swingley has also upped his personal ante, aiming to join the Spartan Trifecta Tribe by completing a Sprint, Super and Beast race this year. All to honor the heritage of his true tribe.

“The Blackfeet have historically been a very resilient and self-reliant people,” Swingley said. “I see the Spartan approach as emphasizing those same values of reaching deep inside yourself to find your strength.”

  • StatewideMore>>

  • 10 year old missing case in Anaconda remains a mystery

    10 year old missing case in Anaconda remains a mystery

    Tuesday, May 22 2018 11:32 PM EDT2018-05-23 03:32:00 GMT

    There is another missing person's case in the Anaconda area. 

    There is another missing person's case in the Anaconda area. 

  • Many Missoula flood victims say they didn't have flood insurance

    Many Missoula flood victims say they didn't have flood insurance

    Tuesday, May 22 2018 5:06 PM EDT2018-05-22 21:06:59 GMT

    MISSOULA - As the Clark Fork is still running at a minor flood stage, search and rescue teams are wading into evacuated neighborhoods to take a look at the damage left by the 100-year flood. Unfortunately, many homeowners shouldn't expect good news. With running water flooding some homes for weeks now, Missoula County crews are reporting permanent structural damage to many buildings in the Orchard Homes area. About 300 homes are slated to be looked at this week in hopes of learning ...

    MISSOULA - As the Clark Fork is still running at a minor flood stage, search and rescue teams are wading into evacuated neighborhoods to take a look at the damage left by the 100-year flood. Unfortunately, many homeowners shouldn't expect good news. With running water flooding some homes for weeks now, Missoula County crews are reporting permanent structural damage to many buildings in the Orchard Homes area. About 300 homes are slated to be looked at this week in hopes of learning ...

  • Is "Selfie-Itis" coming to Montana?

    Is "Selfie-Itis" coming to Montana?

    Tuesday, May 22 2018 4:41 PM EDT2018-05-22 20:41:10 GMT
    Photo: Ryan McKennaPhoto: Ryan McKenna
    Photo: Ryan McKennaPhoto: Ryan McKenna

    In November 2013, the word "selfie" appeared in the Oxford English Dictionary. These days, selfies are ubiquitous on social media - and Montanans are no exception. On Tuesday night on ABC FOX Montana, we're taking a look at the lengths some people will go to to take the "perfect" selfie. Even Montanans are turning to plastic surgery to keep up with our increasingly image-based world. You don't need plastic surgery to take a great photo, though. We found 12 tips ...

    In November 2013, the word "selfie" appeared in the Oxford English Dictionary. These days, selfies are ubiquitous on social media - and Montanans are no exception. On Tuesday night on ABC FOX Montana, we're taking a look at the lengths some people will go to to take the "perfect" selfie. Even Montanans are turning to plastic surgery to keep up with our increasingly image-based world. You don't need plastic surgery to take a great photo, though. We found 12 tips ...

  • Most Popular

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Four people missing after vehicle overturns in the Selway

    Four people missing after vehicle overturns in the Selway

    Tuesday, May 22 2018 5:32 PM EDT2018-05-22 21:32:03 GMT

    Crews in Montana and Idaho are looking for four people who have not been seen since their vehicle turned over into the Selway River Monday morning.  

    Crews in Montana and Idaho are looking for four people who have not been seen since their vehicle turned over into the Selway River Monday morning.  

  • 19-year-old Missoula man sentenced for raping 5-year-old

    19-year-old Missoula man sentenced for raping 5-year-old

    Tuesday, May 22 2018 6:32 PM EDT2018-05-22 22:32:31 GMT

    A 19-year-old Montana man has been sentenced to 35 years in prison for raping a 5-year-old girl in Helena.

    A 19-year-old Montana man has been sentenced to 35 years in prison for raping a 5-year-old girl in Helena.

  • Libby bear attack victim recovering

    Libby bear attack victim recovering

    Monday, May 21 2018 7:46 PM EDT2018-05-21 23:46:51 GMT

     A woman attacked by a grizzly bear in Northwest Montana is being closely monitored tonight. Amber Kornak now has metal plates and drains in her head and is at risk for swelling induced seizures. Kornak dreamed of working with grizzly bears and finally got a position in Libby, Mont. as a grizzly bear wildlife technician with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 

     A woman attacked by a grizzly bear in Northwest Montana is being closely monitored tonight. Amber Kornak now has metal plates and drains in her head and is at risk for swelling induced seizures. Kornak dreamed of working with grizzly bears and finally got a position in Libby, Mont. as a grizzly bear wildlife technician with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 

  • Plane crash blocks eastbound lanes on I-90 at Lookout Pass

    Plane crash blocks eastbound lanes on I-90 at Lookout Pass

    Tuesday, May 22 2018 7:06 PM EDT2018-05-22 23:06:22 GMT

    An accident is blocking the eastbound lanes on I-90 at Lookout Pass, just half a mile east of the border with Idaho. Authorities reported the accident at 3:16 PM Tuesday. Drivers are warned to expect delays and reduced speeds.

    An accident is blocking the eastbound lanes on I-90 at Lookout Pass, just half a mile east of the border with Idaho. Authorities reported the accident at 3:16 PM Tuesday. Drivers are warned to expect delays and reduced speeds.

  • Montana family's Cancun vacation derailed by serious injury

    Montana family's Cancun vacation derailed by serious injury

    Tuesday, May 22 2018 3:14 PM EDT2018-05-22 19:14:37 GMT
    Tuesday, May 22 2018 3:14 PM EDT2018-05-22 19:14:37 GMT

    A family from Malta on vacation in Cancun has had their dream vacation come to a terrible conclusion after a dive off of a dock resulted in a broken spine.

    A family from Malta on vacation in Cancun has had their dream vacation come to a terrible conclusion after a dive off of a dock resulted in a broken spine.

Powered by Frankly
Copyright - All content © 2001 - 2018. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.