There was a time, not too, too long ago, when Paul Pierce couldn’t lay off the twinkies. Or the honey buns. Or the cupcakes.
What would you have done if there was a Hostess bread store right across the street?
Pierce says he was called the “roly-poly kid,” and that he was fat but prefers the word “chubby.” He then rolled a piece of gum into a round ball, to describe his shape as a youngster. “It just took me a while to stretch out,” he said.
Some would say Pierce still hasn’t stretched out enough. Justin Verrier, an assistant editor at ESPN.com, tweeted on Wednesday night, “You know, ‘Sheed gets ripped on for being out of shape, but Pierce never catches flack for being shaped like a potato his entire career.”
It’s true, Pierce is thick. (Pause.) But I saw him without his shirt on (when I covered a game and was in the locker room, sickos), and there isn’t much fat on him. He’s not as cut-up as some guys, but most definitely in good shape. He’s got a barrel chest, and you can easily see why he’s a handful for defending small forwards. (And no, I’m not sexually attracted to him. It only seems like that.)
Pierce, though he still enjoys the occasional bowl of chocolate ice cream, says he wants to help young kids do what he learned later on in life: Staying in shape takes good eating habits and plenty of exercise. His solution to childhood obesity? To start a fitness program for kids, called the FitClub34.
Points accumulate for activity time and can be redeemed for prizes that include Pierce T-shirts, iPods and Flip videocams, a session with the star, or attending a Celtics game in his personal suite. The club is part of Pierce’s charitable foundation, The Truth Fund. Like the federal government, Pierce’s program encourages 60 minutes of exercise daily. [...]
“I struggled with my own weight as a young man and I have seen my family, friends, and community struggle with not having enough opportunities to eat well and engage in physical activity,’’ said Pierce, 32. “Staying active and eating well has been a huge part of my success and I think it’s critical that kids understand how important exercise and nutrition are to a happy, successful life.’’
Keeping kids away from obesity is admirable. Paul Pierce is doing a great deed. He really is.
But he should probably work on predicting the NCAA Tournament first.