I hate fundraising. I mean, I really really really hate asking for money. Up until last year, I hadn’t done it since grade school. But, this is a cause which is very personal, so last year I decided to participate. Completely unexpectedly, through wildly generous friends and family, I raised $2200! And I set the bar pretty high.
Can you help me reach it again this year?
Megathon encourages personal physical challenges, and the money raised goes to providing people in the community, our neighbours, with positive experiences. Last year, my personal push-up challenge was an acknowledgement of how far I had come on my fitness journey. This year, I'm making it all about turning 40. For various personal reasons, turning forty is an emotional and difficult birthday for me. Rather than make it negative, I decided to celebrate it BIG. There are events all year, and they're all about facing forty by being the strongest I've ever been. The BadAss Dash again in September. Mudderella in July. And Megathon in March.
If you know me at all, you'll know that weight has been - and will continue to be - a lifelong struggle. But it was when I joined the YMCA that I began to get strong. That strength training has led to better health, and even as my weight fluctuates, I can honestly say I am much much healthier now than I had been through most of my 20's and 30's. In fact, when looking back at pictures of my 30th birthday, I can't say with certainty that I would have made it to 40 without making the changes I did. When 80% of adults over 45 live with at least one chronic disease, it seems especially important in my 40's to continue on the path of strength and fitness.
And to ensure that others have every opportunity to, as well. That's why I've answered the YMCA's call to "be a hero" again.
I'll do 4 rounds of 10 reps of 4 power exercises, all designed to challenge my strength and endurance:
- 40 Olympic clean and presses (adding a total of 40 lbs of weight to the 45 lb bar)
- 40 Kettlebell swings with a 40 lb bell
- 40 Deadlifts
- 40 Superman core lifts, to channel my inner superhero
They will also help in conditioning myself to get to an ultimate goal of doing pull-ups/chin-ups in 2015. It's something I've been working on with my personal trainer for awhile, and though it may not happen in the next month, this challenge will certainly get me working towards that goal.
Your donation will help fight childhood inactivity, and chronic disease in adults, by providing assistance to our friends and neighbours. When 1 in 5 people in our Region say that they don't feel like they belong, a welcoming community like the YMCA is in a position to make a profound impact. Trust me: I know, because it did for me.
How has the YMCA impacted my life for the better?
- Weekly classes, like Group Core, TRX, Spin (cycle) are part of my routine, and are non-negotiable (I'm hard pressed to miss them). That's due to the instructors and the friends I've made with other regular participants. They give me a reason to want to continue going. And that helps me to maintain my weight and health, even when my nutrition has its ups and downs.
- My social circle has expanded, and some of the most special friendships I have now were made at the Y. Those friendships extend beyond the gym. And some work colleagues have become workout friends, because of the YMCA memberships we have in common. The snowball effect of fitness and friendship is that they grow together.
- When my mom was diagnosed with diabetes, I told her about the free Wellness classes and she enrolled in Diabetes Fit to learn about exercise and nutrition, specific to her new needs. The Y became a family affair! And the specialists in the Wellness program knew exactly how to handle people at all levels of ability and need.
- Volunteering, and being on the Megathon committee, gives me a way to give back and feel connected even more than on just one day. The Y provides many volunteer opportunities, and it's a great way to gain valuable leadership skills (especially for youth!).
Who does your money help?
Your donations will help anyone who requires support with memberships to the various special programs that the YMCA offers. In our region, the Y is the largest provider of financial assistance, and one individual is helped with every $200 raised. It's that simple.
While there are Wellness programs for adults (like my mom), many of the recipients of support are children. I know the kids this money will impact. I live close to the Y, and I know my community, and there is a high need for support. These are the kids who live in my neighbourhood. They are the kids who run up and down the halls of my building in the winter when it’s too cold to go outside, who kick their soccer ball against the wall outside my window because it’s the only patch of lawn they have, and who make forts out of old mattresses beside the dumpster in the summer. They are the ones I see in my library programs (the lucky ones, whose parents take them to the library). They are the ones I see when I’m doing outreach, in community centres (the ones whose parents don’t know what a library is!). I know the kids this money will directly impact, and it will be immediate and visible. You may not know them, but I do.