Staying Fit for a Cause
Participating in fitness inspired charities is a great way to help local and global communities plus stay in good physical health. In fact, if the fitness inspired charity you choose to support furthers a cause that is personal to yourself, a friend or family member, you are more likely to work harder at staying in shape to participate in it. Therefore, although there are several charities to choose from, I always recommend choosing one that is personal. I only started running for charities one year ago and decided that I will run the remaining four world marathon majors for charities that work toward furthering causes that I believe in. The awesome thing about staying fit for a charity is that there is one out there for every fitness level.
For example, last year for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, I raised funds to run with the Girls on the Run Charity. Girls on the Run is a non-profit organization that coordinates various fitness and leadership inspired school programs for pre-teenage girls. The program teaches the girls character-development, confidence, and competence-building skills, and ends with a 5k race at the end of each season. I selected this charity because of how close its mission is to my purpose- to motivate, support and inspire. I also firmly support and believe in “Girl Power” and think that the pre-teenage years is the best time for girls to start developing their purpose.
This year for the Virgin Money London Marathon, I will run with the Leukemia Care Running Team Charity. Leukemia is a cancer that usually starts in the bone marrow. It leads to over-production of abnormal white blood cells, which are the cells that defend the body against infection. Leukemia Care provides support services for patients, care-givers and families who are undergoing the emotional and physical stress of a Leukemia diagnosis. I’m supporting this charity because it is consistent with my advocacy for mental health support and wellness. Also, I don’t believe there is enough of this type of support for people who are faced with a life-threatening medical diagnosis so this is my way of furthering efforts being made to fill that gap.
Sometimes there is an opportunity to participate in a charity that is not necessarily personal to you, but it is personal to friend who asks for your support. For example, this past weekend, I had the pleasure of supporting a friend’s charity with the Best Buddies Friendship Walk at the Museum Park in Miami. This was an event that someone at any fitness level could participate in. The mission of Best Buddies is to end the physical, social and economic isolation of the over 200 million people living with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Specifically, the program empowers these people by helping them to form meaningful relationships with peers and secure jobs, live independently, improve public speaking skills and equally important, feel valued in society.
After participating in numerous fitness-focused charity events, I can conclude that they have several features in common. They are all usually inspiring, fun, motivating, and most importantly you will leave the event feeling really awesome for helping out a great cause. These events are also excellent for networking and creating friendships with like-minded individuals. I hope that you will consider staying fit for a cause by participating in one of these types of events.