(Update: Much has changed and it’s exciting. To keep up with prizes, incentives, and how you can learn about HOPE please Sign up for our newsletter! )

I was a fitness professional for eight years before my writing became intensive. Over the past year, I’ve concentrated my writing for the wonderful organizations I work for, speaking, and sharing about United, and have finished my second book. But fitness remains an important aspect of my life, and I’m excited to share it with you.

Caring for our bodies can be a way to honor God. He created us not to lay waste to our bodies through abusing them, but so we might use them for His glory and His purposes. And though godliness is of supreme value, we know that physical training is of some value to the Lord. Paul helps us see the false dichotomy when he writes, “For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come” (1 Timothy 4:8). But I don’t want to train just to train; I would like to train for others, too.

So, I want to train my body to the glory of God, and bring you along with me—all while raising awareness and funds for charity organizations and initiatives.

Swim, Bike, or Run for a cause.

Over the next year, I will swim, bike, and/or run to raise awareness and funds for HOPE International and the Psalm 139 Project. These organizations are special to me, and I can’t wait to share what they do with you. Throughout the year, I’ll write articles about the organizations, highlight key initiatives and programs, as well as share posts related to fitness, theology of fitness, and general fitness training. Because I will be training, I’ll update you with how I’m doing as well. I hope to post on these topics at least twice a month.

The first half of the season will be devoted to HOPE International. The fundraiser for HOPE will run from now until May 15, 2015 (the date of my first triathlon), with a goal of raising $3,500. After May 15, I’ll begin featuring the Psalm 139 Project until October 2015 (more information about the 139 fundraiser will begin in the spring). My goal is to end the fundraising year with an IronMan 70.5 triathlon in Augusta, Georgia (more about that coming too).

What is HOPE International?

Let me start by saying, I’ve always been a bit skeptical of organizations that work and give to impoverished countries. I simply lacked trust and faith that the money was going to the right people. After meeting and interacting with Peter Greer, President and CEO and, Chris Horst, VP of Development, I knew that not only what they were doing was legitimate, they were working with the utmost integrity.

So what do they do?

From their website, HOPE’s mission is to invest in the dreams of the poor as they proclaim and live the Gospel in the world’s underserved communities. They do this by: Sharing the hope of Christ as they provide biblically based training, savings services, and loans that restore dignity and break the cycle of poverty. The love of Jesus Christ motivates them to identify with those living in poverty and be His hands and feet as they strive to glorify God.

How it works:

In a few short weeks, I will share with you the dates of my races and ask you to consider partnering with me by pledging per mile or giving a flat dollar amount. You don’t have to wait for me to give! If you are intrigued and ready to give now, feel free to donate to HOPE now.

But I’d also love for you to join me in a race on your own!

You can Tri for Others, too!

If you’d like to join me, receive a few fitness tips (but not coaching), have a fun group of friends to cheer you on, and raise awareness for these organizations, please join me by:

1)      Sign up by joining my Tri for Others club (this is not an organization and you DO NOT have to do a triathlon). 

Sign up by joining the Tri for Other Facebook group, or if you do not have a Facebook account, or do not wish to be public, you may sign up through a newsletter.  Click here to sign up for the newsletter. (NOTE: If you sign up for your race with Team-Magic events, you can sign up under my team “Tri for Others” and receive 10% off your race fee! I will hand out the special code after the club is developed)

2) Commit to one race (or as many as you’d like, and it does not have to be a triathlon). Sign up for a road race of any kind (run or bike) or/and a tri/duoathlon, etc., anywhere in the United States or beyond. I’m doing a few triathlons, cycling events, and road races. Once I know who’s “in”, I’ll provide more info about what I’m doing, and I’ll also give you tools to help you get started. If you are in the Nashville or Knoxville area, you can join me at a few events. Otherwise, the Facebook page will be designed to cheer each of us on, in our races, wherever we are doing them.

3) Fundraise with little effort. The idea of fundraising can be daunting, and I don’t want you to feel any pressure. Even having a team will make this extremely special. I will be doing a series on fitness and highlighting these ministries on my website/blog. I’ll also have direct links to fundraising pages so people may give directly to the organizations. If you’d like, you could simply share the link with your friends so that they might give as the Tri for Others team raises money.

Now what?

Here are some quick and easy (and clickable) reminders:

  1. Interested in participating, join Tri for Others through Facebook and/or via the Newsletter.
  2. You do NOT have to do a triathlon. You can do a 5K, 10K, half Marathon, etc. All fitness levels are welcome.
  3. Much more information about the organizations is forthcoming, but feel free to click on these links to learn more about the organizations now: HOPE and Psalm 139

**Tri for Others is a club, not an organization, dedicated to bringing awareness to charity organizations. It is not a training facility or group. I will not be doing one-on-one coaching or training. I am happy to be a part of X3 Endurance, who does provide coaching, if that is what you desire. Please consult a physician before trying any physical activity.