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Pedaling for a Purpose Through Charity

Pedaling for a Purpose Through Charity

By Colleen K. Broersma, BS, CPT, Spinning® MI

 As thunder boomed -lightning struck and passing semi-trucks pelted me with water, sand and gravel, I pedaled on. Terrified and singing at the top of my lungs, “Snow is cold, rain is wet, chills my soul right to the marrow –sometimes  I wonder if I’m ever gonna make it home again…”, I was truly riding the ride of my life as I pedaled up Colorado’s Loveland Pass, 11,990 feet in elevation, on a wet July afternoon.  I was riding the century option of the Courage Classic, a 3-day cycling fundraiser dedicated to helping improve and save the lives of Children’s Hospital’s Colorado patients.  As I neared the summit, volunteers were grabbing riders off their bikes and helping them into a make shift shelter in the food truck used to carry aid station supplies. We stood huddled in blankets, shivering and thankful we had made it unharmed. Unfortunately, some hypothermic riders were transported down via ambulance; the rest of us warmed up, dried off and descended once the storm had passed. At the end of the day’s route we saw families sporting pictures of loved ones on tandems, with tag-alongs attached, able bodied riders pulling disabled riders, and average riders like ourselves crossing the finish line. Collectively we endured the weather, long hours in the saddle, screaming legs, aching shoulders and backs, because we were all riding for a purpose –to help make someone’s life better.

Having a Purpose Provides Motivation

Opportunities to contribute to something greater than ourselves abound.  Charity events provide this opportunity and can be the training stimulus for improving our fitness or the fitness of our Spinning® students. When we have a purpose which serves something greater than ourselves we are more likely to find the motivation necessary to stick to our goals.  There isn’t a better way to build camaraderie, personal accomplishment and change lives all at once than a charity event.  And while charity events offer  a chance to engage in a self-transcending purpose,  there are many ways to serve a greater purpose: read about the Boston doctors training for this year’s Boston Marathon as a tribute to the patient’s they served last year: Boston doctors: Lifesavers last year, marathoners today. They are gutting it out, and getting more fit than they ever dreamed possible while honoring the struggles of the victims’ of the Boston Marathon bombing.

Spinning® Instructors Are In a Perfect Position to Provide Purpose

As a Spinning® Instructor you are in a perfect position to design periodized training programs to assist your students with successfully completing charity rides. You can read about periodization and the Spinning Energy Zones, take the online periodization course or check out a live course Spintensity™: Periodization to help you acquire the knowledge needed to effectively train your students.

Need help choosing a ride? The following websites provide options in your area:

Bike MS cyclists riding to create a world free of Multiple Sclerosis

Tour de Cure cyclists riding to raise funds to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes

Team in Training  cyclists helping raise money towards cures for blood cancers like leukemia — the No. 1 disease killer of children — lymphoma and myeloma

So, do pedal for a purpose so others can “…be home again and feeling right”. And remember the words of Edgar Allen Poe; “The best things in life make you sweaty.”

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