Hi friends! I hope everyone’s week is going well!
A bit of follow up on Pumbaa from last week, he is doing great! One trip to the ER followed by a visit to the regular vet (and $1100 later) we found out he had a UTI and an infection from dust particles. He’s been on antibiotics for the past week and is back to normal. Thank you for your prayers!
We are smack dab in the middle of our 4 week nutrition journey. How is it going so far?! Week one we looked at ways we can save money while eating healthy and week two we explored how to make healthy quick meals, for those of us on the go. Have you used any of the tips so far?
This week we were going to explore basic cooking tips and tricks which would make cooking more enjoyable for those who may dread having to cook. However, I have some big news that I couldn’t hold in for two more weeks so without further ado, I will now interrupt your regularly scheduled programming to bring you a special announcement and also, I will need your help!!
You might be asking yourself, what the heck is a ‘Goal-pportunity’? A goal-pportunity is a word I created which means a combination of a goal and an opportunity. We all set goals for ourselves and typically, each goal will open up new opportunities. For example, if your goal is to eat healthier, you open up opportunities for yourself to try new recipes that help you achieve that goal.
In the beginning of the year, I wrote down a lot of goals, aka 2016 New Year’s Resolutions, as did many of you. (Speaking of resolutions and goals, how are yours coming along?) A lot of my goals have changed, due to a variety of factors that this year presented to me. Through the whirlwind of things happening, I’ve managed to stay laser focused on fitness and wellness.
Over the past 10 months I’ve gotten more involved in the fitness scene in Chicago. I’ve checked out a variety of classes including Nike+, Shred 415, Aerial Fitness, Yoga and more. By taking these classes I’ve become stronger, faster, more flexible and more confident. I found that working out is something I passionately enjoy and I am pretty good at it. Lifting heavy weights or running 8 miles gives me the reality check that even if not everything is going right, I am a strong woman who, thanks to Jesus, is healthy and able-bodied and who, through my experience, can inspire others towards making healthier choices in life.
In addition to the classes I attend, I started running more. I went to Nike Run Club for the first time about a month ago and I loved it. Running alone is great, but running with a large group of awesome people motivates me beyond belief. I decided that I liked running so much that I would sign up for the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle this past weekend. It was my first timed race and it was amazing. Running through the streets of Chicago with 25,000 other people, all fighting for the same thing (to finish 🙂 ) was an incredible feeling. I was so high on adrenaline that I finished the race in personal record time, 7:46 per mile.
Having completed this race, I have been thinking a lot about Girls on the Run (GOTR) which is a charity I volunteered with this past summer. This organization came to mind because they help girls have confidence in themselves, despite all of the negative influences that impact them each day. GOTR helps with confidence and self-esteem through a fitness training plan where the girls prepare to run a 5K. It is such an amazing concept.
Check out this short video about GOTR here: The Finish Line is Just the Beginning
This year Girls on the Run-Chicago is on track to serve more than 11,000 girls, which is absolutely amazing! But my hope one day is that every girl will grow up possessing the confidence to do whatever she sets her mind to. You can learn even more about Girls on the Run here.
Since completing the Shamrock Shuffle, attending classes and run club and meeting an entire community of fitness-minded people, who are now some of my best friends, I’ve gained a confidence in myself that I CAN do anything I put my mind to. This is what GOTR helps 3rd – 8th grade girls discover at a much earlier age; confidence, community and the importance of health and fitness. It is truly powerful what this program is accomplishing!
With my 2016 resolutions in mind, my new-found confidence in my fitness abilities, my passion for health, fitness and helping others, I made a big decision and deemed it a ‘Goal-pportunity’.
My goal-pportunity is to run the 2016 Chicago Marathon on behalf of Girls on the Run! I officially signed up yesterday and am so excited about my decision. There are really two goals for this goal-pportunity and countless opportunities to come. One goal, I can complete on my own and with my team of runners. But, to complete the second goal, I will need your help!
Goal #1 To complete the marathon without walking.
Goal #2 To raise $1,000 for the Girls on the Run charity.
Endless opportunities will come from the $1,000 donation that we contribute to the GOTR foundation.
My Plan of Action to reach my goals is as follows:
In order to reach my goal of running all 26.2 miles, I will train 4-5 days per week, running a variety of miles, all leading up to the 26.2. I plan to run with Nike Run Club and CARA, as well as on my own. I started my training this morning with a 7.5 mile run and it felt SO good!
In order to reach my goal of raising $1,000, I need your help!
I created a fundraising page where you can donate here: https://www.crowdrise.com/gotrchicagomarathon2016/fundraiser/leahbates
Any and every amount will help me get closer to my goal!
Approximately 85% of all girls request and receive financial assistance to participate in the program which is why all funds that I raise will go to underwrite program scholarships, ensuring that every girl can participate regardless of her family’s financial situation.
Every donation has a huge impact!
- $10 will cover the cost of one girl’s healthy snacks for a season
- $25: Covers the cost of 150 bananas for the 5k finish line
- $44: Covers the cost of 50 tiaras for girls to decorate at the activities tent at the 5k
- $157: Covers the cost for one girl to participate in GOTRC for one season
- $260: Covers the cost of water bottles for 400 girls
- $525: Covers the cost of all curriculum materials and supplies for 6 teams
- $988: Covers the cost of finisher medals for 650 girls
- $2,283: Covers the cost to implement the program at one new low-income site
The 26.2 mile marathon is Sunday October 9, 2016. We have until October 2 to turn in our donations. I encourage you, for all of the young women you know who could benefit from a program like this, please donate! Your donations can make such a difference in the lives of these young girls. With so many negative influences impacting young girls, let’s band together and help teach them their worth and the importance of confidence, community and health.
Thank you in advance for your support! Again, you can find my donation page by clicking here.
Next week, we will pick up where we left off on our nutrition journey with Part 3, learning cooking tips and tricks to make it more enjoyable. Also, I will continue to keep you updated on my training and donation progress. Until then, stay well my friends!
Until next time..