2011-07-29 / Community

Wave Columnist Publishes Book

By Daniel Solomon

Steve McCartney is the co-founder and coordinator of Rockaway Walks, a Wave columnist, and the author of a new book. Steve McCartney is the co-founder and coordinator of Rockaway Walks, a Wave columnist, and the author of a new book. If you’re a fan of early morning jogs on the boardwalk, chances are you’ve run into Steve McCartney before. McCartney, along with Councilman James Sanders Jr., founded Rockaway Walks in 2007 to fight obesity on the east end.

The highly successful fitness program, which has seen participation triple since its inception, combines weekly strolls on the boardwalk, bi-monthly weigh-ins, and education to help youths shed pounds and improve their health.

You might also recognize McCartney’s name from the pages of The Wave, in which he has written his “Rockaway Walks Fitness Column” sporadically for the past few years.

Now, he’s out with a book, “‘The Stay Fit’ Portfolio,” a compilation of those articles. Published by Healthy Lifestyles Inc. and available for purchase through The Wave, it lays out a roadmap to wellness that provides advice on topics ranging from pain management to sleep cycles and eating patterns.

McCartney is a certified physical trainer and is currently earning a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology after receiving a B.A. in communications and a master’s degree in exercise physiology.

He got his start in the health-promotion profession training seniors on how to deal with arthritis, giving workshops at the World Congress on Disabilities on the subject and producing a documentary, “Up Close and Personal,” about those experiences, a movie that won an award at a film festival in 2006.

After Rockaway Walks started up four years ago, McCartney spent countless hours signing up sponsors for the program, designing its structure, and taking care of most of the logistics involved. He continued to work with arthritis sufferers and, just recently, became a certified physical education teacher following several semesters of student teaching and substitute teaching.

He wrote the book for two reasons. He says that the first reason is to allow all of the Rockaway Walks participants “to go back and look at what we’ve discussed and keep progressing in their fitness and well-being.”

The other is to have “a great teaching tool” on hand for when he gets into a public school gymnasium facing a large group of his own students.

The portfolio, he said, will benefit his pupils because of its wide scope and the way in which it “integrates math, science, and reading into physical education.”

It brings it all together, he says of his program.

Because of the city school’s hiring freeze, getting a teaching job can be a daunting task, albeit one that doesn’t seem to faze McCartney, who has lined up interviews at a few places already.

September, though, is a long way away. In the meantime, McCartney will still be hitting the boards every Saturday, running a program that he credits with “making [him] more connected to the community in a way that allows [him] to contribute.”

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