Tag Archives: charity

The Next Big Thing: Stair Climbs

We remember back in 2008 when we were on our way to our first Warrior Dash. We really had no idea what to expect since obstacle course racing wasn’t really a thing in the US at that point. We weren’t sure how to explain it our family and friends. Fortunately, it was only $35 or so, so you wouldn’t feel too bad telling people who you were paying to run through mud and fire. 

Fast forward nearly a decade and everyone is on the lookout for new competition. Everything that involves competition, with either yourself or others, is becoming increasingly more popular, especially in the world of fitness and athletics. Obstacle course racing is a hundred-million dollar per year industry. CrossFit has a national level competition to bring their top athletes into a professional sports stadium for their apex event.  Even triathlon is becoming more mainstream as far from elite athletes are willing to shell out ten-thousand dollars on a top bike to compete at their highest level. Still, our attention span can be lacking and as everyone gets bored with the same old thrill, the question is… what is the next big thing?

Now, I’m not going to be so bold to claim that Stair Climbs are going to be anywhere near that level, but they’ll certainly become more popular than they are now. The Los Angeles YMCA has hosted their annual Stair Climb in the US Bank Tower, which is the tallest building west of the Mississippi River, for the past seven years or so. We’ve been fortunate enough to compete in it the last three years, but we really only went for it this year. What do we mean by that?

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Walking Your Dog Might Be Saving Your Life

Today we stopped by No Kill Los Angeles, or NKLA, which is one of our favorite animal shelters. We adopted a 5-month old puppy from here in the past and have attended their super adoption event with the Best Friend’s Animal Society two years in a row. These two work together with other local animal rescues to try to save the lives of as many animals as possible, and we appreciate that effort. We’ve included pets countless times before in our posts for many reasons, including their positive effect on your mental and physical health.

Our precious baby

Our precious baby

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Tough Mudder with the Panda Nation

In October of 2016, I will be competing in a Tough Mudder with the World Wild Fund for Nature’s Panda Nation. I have set a goal to raise a significant amount of money by that event and in the interest of getting right to the point, please read my story below and visit my page. Any gifts would be greatly appreciated, but don’t worry, you’ll be hearing plenty more about this in the next ten months because setting ridiculous goals can help you be accountable on the path of getting hungry & fit!

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Be Thankful for Giving

In one week, you’ll most likely be sitting down with your family or friends enjoying one of your biggest meals of the year. In a warm and safe space, everyone will be feasting on a selection of traditional and non-traditional Thanksgiving fare. Whether you’re religious, spiritual, or none of the above, it’s more than likely that some form of grace will be given before anyone’s fork and knife cuts into a piece of turkey or a more vegan-friendly option. When you’re giving thanks for what you have, do you give thanks for what you give?

Thankful for our smush-face

Thankful for our smush-face

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Thinking about Giving

If we wrote a post for every dog, cat, fish, snake, and other animal in need then we would need a lot more staff. We’d also be publishing posts every second of every day, but we try to take every opportunity we can to be socially responsible and active. Every month, we make donations to two handfuls of non-profit organizations that focus on animals and world hunger. I’d love to add a third hand for the environment but I only have two right now. I won’t name them but if you’re curious, leave a comment and I’ll get back to you. Today, we’re going to direct your attention, and possibly some of the extra change you might have in your wallet or bank account to a handsome, very young man in need. His name is Bronx but before we get to him, let’s talk about giving.

bronx

Source: Facebook

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Give To Charity Just By Staying In Shape

Staying in shape is something that you do for yourself, but wouldn’t it be great if it could help others as well? Well, the good news is that it can. There are lots of different ways that you can give to charity just by exercising – and it won’t cost you a cent. It’s amazing how much more motivated you feel when you know that all that sweat is going to a good cause.

Image source: http://ak6.picdn.net/shutterstock/videos/2289761/preview/stock-footage-young-woman-jogging-in-the-forest-slow-motion.jpg

One incredible place to check out is the Plus 3 Network. This organization has donated over $1 million to charity so far, thanks to fitness buffs who log their exercise on their site. Simply sign up online – which is free – and then record the exercise you do. This can be anything from running and cycling through to weight training and even yoga. Everything you log gets rewarded with kudos and a donation on your behalf to a charity of your choice. Don’t expect to see hundreds of dollars donated every time you take a walk around the block, but over time it all adds up. The site has corporate sponsors that support it – which is why they are able to make the donations, but all you have to worry about is that you are making a difference. In fact, if you can track your exercise using a device such as a Garmin or iPhone, the site will double the donation.

Did you ever think how much you spend on fitness every year? There is the gym membership and all the healthy food you eat, as well as clothing and supplements. Why not pay for all of these on a credit card that makes donations to charity on your behalf? There are lots of charity credit cards out there, and you can also donate your cashback to charity automatically if you have a Discover Card. In fact, Discover makes an additional donation each year to the charity that receives the most donations from its card members– so your favorite charity could benefit twice. While you’re at it, remember to spend your health and fitness dollars at merchants who give to charity – for instance, Stanton Optical helps the Sparrows Nest.

Image source: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_AvCOzxKSFT0/TM2dDA3-iWI/AAAAAAAAHz4/lyuFsXNf2Lo/s1600/Chicago+Marathon+Chinatown.JPG

Finally, there is the big one – getting sponsored for staying fit. Obviously, the best known way of doing this is running in an event such as the New York Marathon – 47,000 people did that last year. However, there is no reason that you shouldn’t participate in local charity sporting events – and if there are no events, why not think about getting together with some people in your community to start one? Obviously, you’ll want to let your friends and family know that you’re participating so that they will sponsor you – and don’t forget your colleagues at work. To make it easy for people to donate, register with a site such as Crowdrise, which specializes in running online charity fundraising campaigns – once you have successfully completed the event, your sponsors can make their donations directly on the site. These are seriously great ways to stay hungry and fit!

BONUS KITTY PIC

Nymeria was NOT pleased to be put in a leopard-print santa hat

Nymeria was NOT pleased to be put in a leopard-print santa hat

No-Shave November: The Unofficial History

This may be entirely true or entirely false but take from it what you will. This is what the month of November means to me. (Besides all the awesomeness of a seasonal Autumn, Thanksgiving, and being the month before the best Holiday season.) In recent years you may have heard of “No Shave November” or “Movember.” This is my take on the two; you, of course, can take what you want from my take!

Probably about six years ago, I heard about an event that was taking place at the University of Maryland and some other large schools. It was a fundraising effort throughout the month of November to raise awareness. As nearly everyone knows October is national breast cancer awareness month, but there is no designated month for male cancers even though it takes the lives of many a men every year. In order to make November the unofficial men’s cancer awareness month, all men were asked to grow all of their hair throughout the month: on their head, on their face, etc.

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Beard as of today…Nymeria is beating me by a lot

Throughout the month, the sudden growth of facial hair on people who typically would not grow it (like myself) drew much attention and allowed those participating to explain the cause. Thus, the awareness for men’s cancers and prevention grew. Knowledge is important and if people are not aware of problems then there is a very small chance anything will ever be changed or improved. The other important part of the month comes December 1st.

On the first of December, all the men that have been growing their hair need to get a shave and a cut and a wax, if necessary. Participating barbers and hair dressers in certain locations agreed to work with a cancer-curing related charity. They would give free shaves and haircuts all day at no cost to their business. All of the men who were serviced by them would pay the same amount they would normally be charged, and perhaps a little extra donation, and that money would go directly to the charity. Let’s say a barber took 3 guys an hour for 8 hours. That would be 24 cuts and shaves. That might normally cost about 25 dollars a person, which would then turn into a $600 or more donation.

Before we got there

A while ago, but some scruff!

 

If you think about how many men and barbers could participate in this, then you could really start to earn a lot of money. And this is something that could be done outside of the United States. It could make millions for cancer research, etc. Obviously not everyone knows about it and a lot of those who do know about it do not participate for various reasons. Here is a briefer explanation of Movember and how it has affected this event.

After a few years, as everything does with men who want to act cool and tough, guys decided to start turning this into a contest. They wanted to increase their ego and feel like the bigger man, so groups of friends and coworkers would say “let’s see who can grow the fullest and biggest beard in a month.” For some time, this was a great way to get more people to participate but eventually, it turned into just a contest. A lot of these groups of guys never knew why no shave November started. They were participating in the contest but not donating or raising money for the charities. What could have been a blessing for the event turned into a curse.

y so sirius

y so sirius

Out of this spirit of competition more recently came Movember.  Disclaimer: I do not like or dislike “hipsters.” It is not a style of life that I would ever support and I find it extremely shallow but if people’s goal is to be hip, then let them be hip… as long as they don’t bother me. So why did I say all that about hipsters? Well, it was the hipsters who took no shave November, knowingly or ignorantly, and turned it into a greater contest. They decided to see who could grow the coolest and most outlandish mustache in one month. This continued to take away from the true meaning of the original effort. It grew in popularity, but not in a good way. Movember has spread to be more popular than no-shave November but a positive force was generated from this birth.

Now, men who are participating in Movember (which I never will) have people sponsor their mustaches and they gain donations throughout the month. I can’t say these donations are going to the right place, but if they do then that is a good cause and there has been some restoration to the true goal. So for anyone who is doing or has done Movember or No Shave November because it is the cool thing to do and you want to be hip and trendy, do it for the right reason and gain some money for cancer research or don’t do it at all. And there you have it, the unofficial history of No Shave November.

BONUS KITTY PIC

But ummm look how cute I am

But ummm look how cute I am