The 1.2 million global members of Rotary are People of Action. From taking on the mission to eradicate Polio to providing clean drinking water, they see possibilities everywhere. That’s why no one should be surprised when, on October 1st, local Rochester Rotarian Chuck Woolaver takes the first of over 5 million steps in a walk across America.
 
As a tall, slim guy in his 50’s, few would pick Chuck as candidate for heart disease. But in 2015, a severe blockage in his legs suddenly prevented him from walking even 100 yards without severe cramping and pain. After several procedures to restore the bloodflow to his legs and to open a main artery near the heart, Chuck’s doctor advised him to start walking more.
 
“It was a big wakeup call,” Chuck remembered. “Although I was in need of lifestyle improvements regarding fitness and nutrition, I looked and felt healthy.  However, the high cholesterol was taking its toll, and the hidden effects of heart disease almost killed me. It was actually during one of my daily walks, in the middle of a snowstorm, that I got the idea to walk across the country.” 
 
As the Executive Director of Walk for the Beat, Chuck is leading a nationwide campaign to bring attention to heart disease, particularly how it can be avoided by living a more heart healthy lifestyle. “Get moving” is his motto, and simply walking each day can be the first step.
 
After his procedures, Chuck earned his Certified Personal Training certification through the National Academy of Sports Medicine to learn more about fitness as it relates to heart health.  Walk For The Beat has also partnered with a Registered Dietitian, Anne Klauke, to educate people on good eating habits. 
 
During the walk, Chuck will be providing healthy living tips to folks across the country. In addition, his organization, Walk for the Beat, also works with other organizations to help combat the growing problem of childhood obesity.  In Chuck’s words, “America’s overall heart health starts with the younger generation.