Endurance Nation KickStart Program Update: January 2011

Endurance Nation LogoIt’s that time again, when we get to report on the data that really matters. Forget about w/kg, vDOT, or your LTHR…let’s talk about giving real money to organizations that are making a difference in the lives of others and improving the quality of life for us all.

Every month in 20111, Endurance Nation has pledged to award $250 to up to eight (8) member or training plan athletes who are racing to raise money for a particular charity. Our 2011 annual commitment is $24,000 — a lot in some ways, but not enough in others.

Please review the list of organizations below and the amazing athletes that support them. If you have the time and the means, we’d appreciate you continuing what these folks have started by adding a contribution via their individual donation pages.

January 2011 KickStart Recipients

Zach Copeland, Epilepsy Foundation. (Help Zach make a difference here.)

I thought it would be cool to race for a cause this year. I picked the Epilepsy Foundation to help my wife Kristen and my Step-Sister Delacey who struggles with Epilepsy everyday. By donating to my cause you are giving me motivation to go out there everyday and Swim-Bike-Run.

I will be doing my first Half Ironman® this year at Oklahoma City OK, and by donating money to my cause you are helping me get to that finish line.
Justin Weiler, Back on My Feet. (Help Justin make a difference here.)
Back on My Feet (BOMF) is a nonprofit organization that uses running as a vehicle for moving homeless individuals out of need and toward independence.  Members learn self-respect, discipline, and teamwork through a culture of encouragement, goal setting, and personal accomplishment.  While basic needs (e.g. food, shelter, clothing) are important to the health and survival of the homeless, they do little to support progress and combat the underlying causes of homelessness (e.g. mental illness, addiction, poverty).  Any helping hand is a generous gift, but individuals must have the desire and internal momentum to move forward on their own accord.  BOMF provides a support structure with tangible goals that has demonstrated succes in motivating capable individuals to pursue independent, sustainable living.  The sense of personal accomplishment further enhances their success, and reduces the likelihood that they will fall back into poverty.

From a personal perspective, I have struggled with my own mental health challenges for years.  At several points in time, the only thing that distinguished me from the majority of the homeless population was the good fortune of a broad, supportive network of friends and family, and access to mental health care.  Absent of those two things, I would very likely be living a life of isolated destitution.  Back on My Feet restores the confidence that most leave behind when their personal situation deteriorates.  The tools for progress are supplied, but on the conditions of commitment and dedication.  The BOMF solution is not universally effective for the entire homeless population.  No single solution is.  However, it does serve as a shining example of the type of work that can (and should) be done in an effort to correct and prevent the fundamental causes of homelessness.

Carrie Chavez, Blazeman Foundation (Help Carrie make a difference here.)

“Hi friends and family, One of my dear friends and teammate from FMRC was diagnosed with ALS in 2010. He is a husband, father of 2 boys, an amazing athlete and a sweet friend. Our team had begun raising funds for ALS years before this diagnoses for Pete. This year our ALS team event takes on a whole new meaning for me. Please consider making a donation to fight ALS. We will be hosting a Spin a Thon from 5:30AM-10 PM on 2/5/11, at Club Sport in San Ramon. 16.5 hours. The same amount of time it took Jon Blais to complete the IM in Hawaii in 2005 while battling ALS. Jon lost his battle with ALS 2 years later. A minimum $60 donation will reserve you a bike in any of the classes, you just pick. Sign up soon as the classes are filling up. Steve and I are teaching 2 of the 90 minute classes. 7-8:30am and 8:30-10 am. Please help us find a cure.”

Todd Manning, World Vision (Help Todd make a difference here.)

“Quite simply it is about giving back and being a blessing to others because I have been blessed by God. This is about helping those in parts of the world (this year Africa) who are in desperate need of the basics in life. While I’m fortunate to be able to think about the latest race wheels for my tri bike these people are just looking to have clean water and nutritious food. World Vision helps make that happen and that is why I’m partnering with them and my local church (Canyon Hills) to make a difference.”

Mark Baumli, San Francisco AIDS Foundation (Help Mark make a difference here.)

“I am riding to end AIDS.  I have had numerous friends who have died from this terrible disease and riding 545 miles over 7 days is one small thing I can do to help.”

Scott Davis, National Multiple Sclerosis Society (Help Scott make a difference here.)

“I originally started riding this event because a good friend wanted me to ride with him, but being that this is my 7th year, I have become very involved in helping find a cure for this debilitating disease.

I ride in honor of my wife’s Aunt who has MS, several friends, and as I found out last year, a former classmate from my High School, who is just 42 yrs old, and has MS in its final stages.

I never thought I would be as involved as I am now with this cause, but If we don’t raise the money to support our local chapters, and the national research nobody will.”

Olivia Spytak, Team Sweat Equity/LiveWell Colorado (Help Olivia make a difference here.)

Team Sweat Equity allows athletes raise money for a number of local charities. My running partner (Monica) and I have chosen to focus our support on LiveWell Colorado.

While there are other worthy charities supporting children’s education and enrichment programs, as we see it, LiveWell’s charter of developing healthy eating habits and active life styles helps ensure a sound nutritional foundation for kids. If kids are well fueled and are getting the physical and emotional benefits of physical activity, they are set up to be more happy and successful in learning, play, and even those enrichment activities supported by other organizations.

By delivering its healthy eating programs and activity initiatives in schools and communities, LiveWell has the potential to have significant impact on the culture and behavior across Colorado which could help slow obesity among our children.

Monica and I are thrilled to have this chance to build awareness for this great organization and bring in solid financial support for the cause. Please help us with your support!”

Martin Whist, Challenged Athletes Foundation (Help Martin make a difference here.)

I am truly inspired by these people who not only overcome the challenges of living an everyday life with disabilities, but go one step further and take on the rigors of training and athletics.  Their desire to be active and overcome obstacles is awe inspiring. We all know how hard it is to get to the pool at 5 am, but imagine with no legs!! I personally can not. To me they are super human, extra-abled, not disabled! If I can help that child who has to sit and watch from the sidelines get out there a play I want to. Now I can through CAF. CAF is a great organization of which I am excited and honored to be a part of.

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If you want to join Endurance Nation and apply for your $250 fundraising “kickstart”, please visit our Join Page here. If the Team is closed you can buy a training plan or join the WaitList for the next available opening.

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Coach P

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