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  • Colleen K. Broersma

"The best things in life make you sweaty!"

Bob Seger sings, "…Against the wind, A little something against the wind, I found myself seeking shelter against the wind.”

This past weekend my son and his wife rode the Houston-Austin MS 150. They fought the wind all day on Saturday, endured the 12% grade and 1391 ft. elevation gain of the Bechtal Challenge on Sunday, and finished thankful that they could. Prior to the ride my son said “Let’s Be Honest....This is probably going to be the worst two days of my life, BUT I thought I'd give it a shot to improve my fitness and raise some money for a good cause! I ride to support those who have to live their lives every day battling this awful disease.” At the end of the day’s route they saw families sporting pictures of loved ones on tandems with tag-alongs attached, able bodied riders pulling disabled riders, riders with MS and average riders like themselves crossing the finish line. Collectively they all endured the weather, long hours in the saddle, screaming legs and aching shoulders and backs, because they were all riding for a purpose - to help make someone’s life better.

Having a Purpose Provides Motivation

Opportunities to contribute to something greater than ourselves abound. Charity events provide this opportunity and can be the training stimulus for improving our health and fitness. As I mentioned in my previous blog post, “A Reflection a Day - Keeps the Doctor Away”, when we have a purpose which serves something greater than ourselves we are more likely to find the motivation necessary to stick to our goals. There isn’t a better way to build camaraderie, personal accomplishment and change lives all at once than a charity event. And while charity events offer a chance to engage in a self-transcending purpose, there are many ways to serve a greater purpose: read about the Boston doctors training for this year’s Boston Marathon as a tribute to the patient’s they served last year: Boston doctors: Lifesavers last year, marathoners today. They are gutting it out and getting more fit than they ever dreamed possible, while honoring the struggles of the victims’ of the Boston Marathon bombing.

Many Options Abound for Finding a Greater Purpose

So if you’re struggling to get your fitness routine on track, or just need a little boost to feel better - find a charity event in your area, grab your family, friends and co-workers and get sweating…

Need help choosing an event? The following websites provide a few options in your area:

  • Aids Walk walkers raising money to fight Aids and Love Life

  • Bike MS cyclists riding to create a world free of Multiple Sclerosis

  • Tour de Cure cyclists riding to raise funds to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes

  • Team in Training cyclists, runners and triathloners helping raise money towards cures for blood cancers like leukemia -- the No. 1 disease killer of children -- lymphoma and myeloma

  • Walk Like MADD take steps to end drunk driving

And while training, remember the words of Edgar Allan Poe, “The Best Things in Life Make you Sweaty!”

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