Saturday, 2 January 2010

Fitness Forward

Last year, we started a thing at Christmas where each of us would forego a gift and instead give to a non-profit organization which did work which we found important. Mine was SOME, a DC-based charity focusing on eradicating hunger in the area. It's a good organization, not necessarily an administrative standout, but it has a mission which strikes a chord.

We had a long discussion among the GamJams team about possible beneficiaries when we decided to donate all of our (hopefully massive) race winnings from 2010 to charity. Mostly, we supported childhood health issues and green type of initiatives. As it turned out, we decided that it would be better to reinforce whatever causes each race was working with by having the promoter add whatever we'd won to their contribution to the race's beneficiary issue. We still need to pick one for the cases when a race has no beneficiary, and for our own races.

This year, I'm changing my personal one to Fitness Forward, which is dedicated to helping kids create healthier lifestyles for themselves. Issues of childhood obesity, poor nutrition and physical complacency strike me for a couple of reasons. First, for our country to be viable going forward, we need our kids to grow up healthy and active. The cost of caring for successively sicker and less vibrant generations will be a burden we can't bear. Plus, I'm getting old and all these kids have to put down the Happy Meals (tm) so they can be healthy and pay taxes so that I can retire some time. Maybe. I also subscribe to that old Yankee bit about mens sano on corpore sane. It's also an issue of market fundamentals. The economy that thrives when kids grow up eating crap from drive-throughs and spend their entire lives inside, increasing the onset of Type 2 and other substantially preventable diseases, doesn't do a lot for me or the type of kids I hope to raise.

Beyond the issue itself, I wanted to get behind an organization that had broad geographic scope, and in the big picture I want to support prevention rather than cure.

I'd like to increase my contribution to Fitness Forward throughout the year, and through this page have a chance to do a bit more than that. There's a link on the right column, hopefully some of you will want to investigate their work and if you support it, add them to your list of potential beneficiaries for this year. Maybe I will try to put one of those fundraising dinkydoo things on like some people have for Livestrong or whatever but I don't want to turn it into an ego gratification thing for myself. It'd be 50 times cooler if someone stroked them a check for $1k without me ever knowing about it than if some meter on this page got to the $500 mark, you know. And admit it, Saving The Ta-Tas is a magnificent mission, and Livestrong obviously makes a lot of hay with cyclists, but you were looking for something new to get behind, weren't you?

That is all. Off to play squash. Got to get those fast twitch muscles working somehow, right? BTW - J, you're a freaking dumbass it's like 6 degrees out.


layzeesusan said...

I got wise and skipped it. But I appreciate the sound advice.

Tomorrow, though, I will be out there. It has been too, too long.

Squash? I played a ton in college and would love to find a place around here to play. It's why my tush is toit like a toiger.

Jim said...

Funny. Starting last year, I began a tradition of giving myself gifts, instead of other people.

I can't even begin to tell you the joy this has brought me... I highly recommend it.

TerribleTerry said...

My wife's family lived through the collapse of Soviet Russia. On a visit here I took them to the mall thinking it'd be neat for them to see all the consumer crap....instead they just walked around in awe of all the fat people.