My Heart Challenges YOUR Heart: The 28 Day TEAM Fitness Challenge

January 31, 2015

“In the United States, someone has a heart attack every 34 seconds. Every 60 seconds, someone in the United States dies from a heart disease-related event.”

At first this information seems staggeringly high to me, but then I remember that sadly, my father is part of this statistic. It is hard to even type that…because sometimes I think I just let the truth float over me and not admit to myself that my father’s sudden and early death has had a profound effect on me. I also like to pretend that I don’t think about my dad everyday, but that is false. I think about my dad daily, and I miss him. There are tiny little pieces and memories of him in everything I do, and everything that I see. I know that I am not the only person who misses my dad. He was an incredible man who made a positive impact on everyone he came into contact with.

When my dad learned of his heart disease, angina, he took action. He exercised more, ate sparingly and quite healthfully, tried to reduce the stress in his life, and even took medication, but sadly it was not enough. On April 25th, 1995 my father passed away at age 52 of a heart attack driving home from an evening hockey game.  At times it feels like such a unique and individualized moment, that experience of loosing someone you love, but when I read those statistics again, I am reminded that so many of us have lost loved ones in some way, many to heart disease.

Despite my abilities to corral a crowd of people into synchronized burpees, I consider myself a fairly private person, and often keep personal things on the inside.  February happens every year, and every year I am keenly aware that it is “Heart Month.”  I quietly thinking a tiny bit more about my dad, but keep my experience to myself.  This  year, for whatever the reason, I do not feel like being quiet about my experience with heart disease. For some reason I do not want to try and forget the statistics, or the reality, but instead I want to utilize the experience I have had and the power of the internet to bring about positive change.

February is in fact American Heart Month and I am nervous, but proud to step forward, share my story and try and make a change by launching  a nationwide 28-Day Heart-to-Heart TEAM Fitness Challenge.

The goal of the challenge is simple: connect people through movement.

The follow through is a bit more…shall we say…sweaty! The challenge consists of pairing up friends, co-workers, parents, and children and completing a 4-minute mini-workout video accessed by a daily email or the Portland TEAM Fitness Facebook page. The TEAM Fitness trainers have already created the 28 small video clips and we are pretty darn excited to share them with people. No equipment is needed, the movements are appropriate for all levels and ages, and the workouts are creative, simple and fun. Since the goal of the Heart-to-Heart Challenge is to create change through connection and movement each mini workout MUST be completed with a partner. At the end of 28 days, each participant will have 28 mini workouts, which can be pieced together in a variety of different ways for endless fitness fun! It is important to me to show people that exercise doesn’t have to be boring or expensive, and that by coming together we help each other be our best far beyond the concept of fitness.

So, from the bottom of my heart, I truly thank you AND I challenge you to reach out to your friends, family and whomever you think needs a little bit of extra love (and sweat) this February, to come together and move. Let’s do this, and make it count!

Here is how to get involved:

The Challenge: To participate in the 28-Day Heart-to-Heart TEAM Fitness Challenge, please e-mail me, Alayne, at: alayne@portlandteamfitness.com, send me a message on Facebook, or “LIKE” Portland TEAM Fitness on Facebook for daily access to the 28 Day challenge videos.

The Change: At the end of the challenge Portland TEAM Fitness will make a $10 donation to the American Heart Association per person who completes all 28 days. I would like to think that we could get at least 100 people participating, because we know A LOT of people….BUT they do need to do the videos for 28 days straight. To make the donations, we need proof of your daily participation in one of the three following ways:
1. Post your action pictures on your own Facebook page, and tag Portland TEAM Fitness as your location.
2. Post your action pictures to the Portland TEAM Fitness Facebook
3. Post your action pictures to the Portland TEAM Fitness Instagram page using  #TFchallenge

The first video will be posted on Sunday February 1st. I hope you are eagerly awaiting it! If the Big Game gets in the way, you better double up on Monday Feb 2nd!