All Hail the Kettlebell

Is it weird to love – like REALLY love – a piece of fitness equipment? Especially one that has caused you so much pain?

Probably, but I’m owning it. I love kettlebells. They’re an incredibly versatile tool, and they’re so darn effective. So when I had the opportunity to pitch the “Belly Shrink” section of Shape, I went straight to the bells. Yes, they’re known for revving your heart rate and strengthening your posterior chain, but they’re also great for the core.

And just when I think there’s no improving the good, old-fashioned kettlebell, they go ahead and make ’em gold and sparkly!

Shape1

To read the full article, check out the April 2017 issue of Shape!

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I’m fundraising for Barbells for Boobs!

barbells

It’s a funny name for a serious and necessary thing. Barbells for Boobs’ mission is to save lives through the early detection of breast cancer, regardless of one’s age, gender or ability to pay. Individuals and groups (mostly CrossFit gyms) hold fundraisers across the country. This year, I’m part of CrossFit 718’s goal of $5,000. I’m aiming to raise at least $500, which would provide 6 mammograms for people in need.

I was trying to think of the last time I personally fund raised for anything. Maybe Girl Scouts via Tag-a-longs and Thin Mints? There were also those boxes of no-name candy bars and rolls of wrapping paper for high school chorus trips. It’s probably safe to say that the last time I was personally collecting charitable donations it involved confections of some sort and my biggest donors were my grandparents.

So, I have to admit I got a little nervous creating my personal fundraising page for Barbells for Boobs. Would I be able to reach my goal, or would my little pink thermometer hover right around the first “anonymous” (ah-hem) $25 donation? Would I be able to break through all the online noise to get peoples’ attention? And, if I did, would people donate? Could they donate? I know times are tough and there are thousands of worthy charities.

So, I was thrilled and relieved when the first few donations came in, bringing me to just around 20% of my goal! I have to think that (besides the kind and generous nature of the people in my life) this is partly due to the widespread effects of breast cancer. Some stats from Cancer.org and Barbellsforboobs.org:

  • Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, exceeded only by lung cancer.
  • 1.3 million women worldwide are diagnosed with breast cancer every year.  And 7% of those women are under the age of 40.
  • The chance that breast cancer will be responsible for a woman’s death is about 1 in 36 (about 3%).

BUT, there’s also some good news:

  • Death rates from breast cancer have been declining since about 1989, with larger decreases in women younger than 50. These decreases are believed to be the result of earlier detection through screening and increased awareness, as well as improved treatment.
  • At this time there are more than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States.

So, all the research and fundraisers and awareness campaigns are paying off. I’m taking this info and running with it. There’s so much out there that feels hopeless at times, but we can actually do something about breast cancer. We can make sure everyone who needs a mammogram gets one.

I need your support! A donation of any amount will help me reach my goal of $500. Please visit:

http://www.stayclassy.org/JenessaConnor718

And, if you’re unable to financially contribute you can share the link to my fundraising page via email or social media.

A million thanks!