|By Rob Schuette, Public Affairs Staff
who engage in a faith-centered fitness program find themselves better
positioned to deal with the many twists and turns life inevitably
presents to them, said Kimberly Mathews, the guest speaker at a March 11
Suicide Awareness event at Fort McCoy.
Kimberly Mathews speaks about
faith-centered fitness to members of the Fort McCoy community
during a Suicide Awareness luncheon event March 11.
Photo by Theresa Fitzgerald
Maj. Mike Sharp, the commander of Headquarters and Headquarters
Company, U.S. Army Garrison, Fort McCoy, said the Suicide Awareness
program — based on the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Program — addresses
different aspects of the issue and is being offered on a quarterly
The Suicide Awareness program began last year with mandated
communitywide events to address the Army’s rising suicide rate, he said.
The Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Program addresses the issues of
well-being in people’s emotional, social, spiritual, Family, and
physical realms to help them deal with the factors that may contribute
to suicide, he said.
“We need to remind Soldiers they are valued by the Army, their Family,
their friends and their nation,” Sharp said. “We need to remind Soldiers
that their Army remains committed to help support and assist them to
meet hardships head-on.”
Mathews, a former Olympic marathon hopeful, told the audience how faith
and fitness helped turn around her life and overcome alcoholism.
“Faith and fitness is my passion,” Mathews said. “It has really helped
me become well.”
Even though she had a Family, she still found herself lonely much of
the time. Finally, she told the Lord she couldn’t make it on her own
“You’re only lonely when you don’t like who you are alone with,” Mathews
said. “The first secret is to ‘love yourself’ and say nice things to and
Members of the Fort McCoy
community enjoy lunch while listening to Kimberly Mathews
present a faith-centered fitness seminar during a Suicide
Awareness event held at Fort McCoy March 11.
Photo by Theresa Fitzgerald
“I was riddled with guilt and shame and not breaking out of the
cycle,” she added.
Mathews said she finally broke out of the cycle by keeping the Lord
front and center in her life.
That included forgiving herself when she wasn’t perfect and sharing her
fellowship with other people.
Nurturing the seven areas of life — body, mind, soul, relationships,
home, work and finance — helps keep everyone in a healthy balance and a
positive state of mind to face the things that come up, she said.
Getting a good night’s sleep, taking time for recreation and exercise
and practicing good nutrition are a few of the measures people can take
to fight disease and reduce stress, Mathews said.
“If you take care of yourself physically, you have a better shot at
feeling good in all other areas of your life,” she said.
“What’s the best kind of exercise you can do?” she asked members of the
audience. “The kind you will do. It has to be fun so you will do it.”
Following good, solid nutrition plans, such as including fruits,
vegetables and whole grains in your diet, can help you take better care
of your body, she said. All of these improvements can be felt and are
transferred to Family, friends and co-workers.
“We have to identify what we can do better in life,” Mathews said. “And
make sure our values match up with our actions.”
For more information about Suicide Awareness in the Fort McCoy
community, call Scott Zaehler, Suicide Prevention Program manager at
More information about the Comprehensive Soldier Master Fitness program
is available at the Web site