Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Charity Begins At The Gym: Physical and Mental Preparation For Charity Sporting Events.

September 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Health & Wellness, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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(ThySistas.comIn an age where we have unprecedented connectivity to the rest of the world it’s harder than ever to close our lives to the suffering of others less fortunate than ourselves. Whether plagued by illness, infirmity or injury or blighted by famine, starvation, war or political persecution there are literally millions all over the world who depend on the charitable giving of strangers. Whether at home or overseas, you don’t have to look too far to find a cause worthy of your time and attention. So many in fact, that it can be hard to choose one that best suits you. Whatever cause you choose, however, there’s no denying that hosting or participating in a charitable sporting event is a great way to do good while bringing yourself closer to your health and fitness goals than you ever thought possible.

That said, once committed, it can be a heavy burden getting yourself in shape and being physically and mentally prepared for the task at hand. Many people struggle in not only sticking to their physical routine but in raising the money and awareness necessary to do your chosen cause justice.

But why not just give?

Those who already have a cause that’s near and dear to their hearts may be content just to give to the cause, and may not understand the benefits of a sporting event such as a run or an assault course like Tough Mudder. While charitable giving alone is a wonderful thing there are many reasons why these events are such popular and effective forms of fundraising. Not only do they save charities money on marketing (so that they can spend more money on giving aid where it’s needed), but they capture the imaginations of friends, family and co-workers, generating awareness on a scale that cannot be accomplished by giving alone.

Starting out

When you’ve chosen a charity, it’s time to start approaching potential donors. You can find the only sponsorship letter you will need from, and as you gather sponsors be sure to get their contact information (particularly their email address) as you will need to stay in contact with them in order to keep them engaged with the cause and your own journey in preparing for the event. You’ll likely be buzzing with excitement, so by all means throw yourself into the gym, but in your zeal you should beware of the dangers of overtraining. You should leave yourself a few months to get fit enough for the event so that you’re not frantically working away at the gym trying to accomplish too much too quickly.  

Staying Motivated

After a few days, weeks or months your motivation will begin to wane. This is to be expected and it’s important not to beat yourself up about it. There will come the odd day where you’d rather stay in bed than go to the gym and there will be the odd night where you opt for a takeout rather than the kind of nutritious meals that will help you reach your goals.

The best way to stay motivated is to create an infrastructure that will make you more accountable to your training, the event and your sponsors. A great way to do this is by setting up a blog in which sponsors can follow your journey. Fill it with links to information about the charity you’re allied with and the people that you’re trying to help. Be candid with your experiences in training, sharing your hopes and anxieties as well as celebrating your successes.

Setting goals at regular interviews is also a great way of staying motivated. Establish goals for 3 months, a month, two weeks and a week away from the event. Share your goals with your followers and remember if you come up short it’s not the end of the world. Explain the situation to your followers and how you’ll lay the foundation for hitting your target next time.

Coping with obstacles

As when achieving any goal, it’s inevitable that you will come across obstacles. You may be temporarily grounded by injury, your work schedule may prohibit you from training or your journey might be derailed by unforeseen personal circumstances. In these instances it’s important to give your body and mind enough time to recover before you resume training.  

And finally… The big day

By the time the event arrives you’ll be physically and mentally prepared (even if you don’t feel that way). The most important thing you can do is embrace and enjoy the day. Remember that in terms of raising awareness and funds your job is already done. Have fun and show the world what you’re made of safe in the knowledge that you’re doing some real good!

Staff Writer; Leslie Jones

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