Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Giving, made easy

Giving to charity has been a big part of my life in the past few years.  Last year, I raised $300 for Bike MS, I periodically volunteer a local men's shelter, and at each one of our birthdays, my family dedicates either money or items to be given to a local charity.  In the last few months, Katie and I have gotten our financial outlook organized and include contributing money to the charity of our choosing, including our church, another local food pantry, my cousin's basketball team, and our friend's Bike MS goal.

We give to these charities for many reasons.  First, it makes us feel good to contribute to important causes in our community and in the world at large.  Second, we hope it teaches our children that we are very blessed to have the things that we have (our health, our home, and our family), and it is important to help out the people of this world whose lives may be lacking some of these necessities.

Why am I going on and on about giving to charity, when I am supposed to be writing about health and fitness?  Well, I would argue that the two can often go hand-in-hand when you run or race on a team in support of a charity, such as the Bike MS ride.   I have even heard of sorority girls panhandling on the streets while jumping on trampolines (who would not want to see this?!).  The problem with these efforts is just that; they require a ton of effort.  One must harass their friends and family in order to obtain the donations they need, or be forced to pay the balance of the commitment themselves.  Either way the task can be daunting.  I wish there was an easier way I could coordinate my fitness goals with my value for charity.

Oh, wait...there is!  Fatcyclist.com has made the act of charity about as easy as a cheerleader on prom night.  I can never explain all of the details here, but go check his post for thoroughly entertaining instructions.  Basically, you sign up to this website (don't worry, they don't ask for your credit card), join "Team Fatty", and start recording all of your workouts.  The workouts you record earn you credit which translates into dollars donated by SRAM (a Chicago company) to World_Bicycle_Relief, which gives bikes to kids in Africa so they can safely get access to schools and health care.  That is it!  You don't have to pony up any money, you don't have to harass your friends and family, and you don't have to go door to door soliciting your neighbors and being chased by guard dogs.  How much more simple could it be?

If you already spend time working out, then you can make that work count towards more than just calories burned.  If you are not working out, what the hell are you waiting for?!  If you were waiting for the chance to have your workouts count towards a charity, then your prayers have been answered!  Either way, I think everyone should sign up and get to work donating a few bikes to help the kids of Africa.


  1. First of all, thank you Brian and Katie for your donation! Secondly, I read Katie's father's day post and those pictures without your shirt on tell me that you DO have body dysmorphia, you look GREAT! Miss you both, especially this weekend!

  2. Have a great ride this weekend! I hope the weather is better than last year. "dysmorphia" is an awesome word! I am going to use that 5 times this week.