Mike's Story: Turning Challenges into Opportunities

I joined Get Fit a year ago with mixed emotions based on my past. I was once a very active athlete playing multiple sports and had a strong dedication to the gym & health. I was also training for my first body building competition that would actually never come to fruition due to an injury sustained while training. 9 years ago I had a major back surgery (fusion to L4-L5 & S1) that actually turned into two surgeries after the first one resulted in me losing function in the lower half of my body. It was a long road to recovery physically and mentally! Here I was an active 20 year old one day and the next I was undergoing 10+ hours of surgery, bedridden for a month, developing atrophy, out of work for 4 months and mentally unstable from it all.

Not being self-sufficient and independent took its toll and depression kicked in as I developed this “sorry for me” mentality. It was at this stage when I realized that so many individuals, children to adults, local & worldwide have more severe issues in their lives than what I was dealing with. I was inspired to turn this challenge into an opportunity and give back to our local community. I have since served on a number of boards, committees and participated in many philanthropic projects. That same thought process of turning a challenge into an opportunity is what I and a few other community members had in mind when we successfully formed the Boys & Girls Clubs of Stanislaus County. Since inception just three years ago we are now providing much needed services to over 700 children from 24 schools within Modesto. The demand is greater than our pace of growth so these numbers will continue to increase year over year.

Getting back to my personal health and growth: I have wanted to get back into shape for years (8+) however could not find that sustainable resource that met my needs until I joined Get Fit. RBBC 13 was just a step to help solidify this relationship between myself and whole health. It’s not about losing a few pounds or putting on a few pounds of lean muscle. I simply wanted to feel good again, both physically and mentally and RBBC has given me the kick start I need.

I was recently thrilled to receive a call from Jonathan and Tara of Get Fit to discuss the fundraising opportunity through “The Change Up, Get Strong to Give Back” Boot Camp. Get Fit and BGCStan obviously have two very different business models, however, our goal to serve the community and improve lives align perfectly which will make for a great partnership. Here are some quick national and local stats of the Boys & Girls Clubs:

• 3 in 10 kids will not graduate on time – With the B&GC support 90% of the alumni graduated on time

• Juvenile crimes escalate from 3-7 from unsupervised children – these are the specific times our clubs are open servicing the children

• 3 out of 10 kids are obese or overweight – 80% of club alumni said the club had a positive impact on their attitude toward fitness and health.

• 89% of parents reported that B&GCStan has a positive impact on their child’s academics

• 92% of parents and teachers felt that the children are completing their homework on a regular basis.

• 45% of teens surveyed reported volunteering in their school, neighborhood or community.

• 73% of parents say that their child’s behavior has improved since becoming a member of the B&GCStan

• 71% of Club Members engaged in exercise, dance or sports for at least 1 hour a day, 5 or more days a week.

The “Change Up” will make for an exciting 4 weeks culminating with a Amrap-A-Thon giving members an opportunity to collect pledges per round or flat rate donations. The funds raised will go directly to BGCStan that will directly impact our clubs in Modesto. I am looking forward to seeing the success of members improving their health while giving back to our great community.

Again, thank you all for the support in achieving my personal goal. I now have a brighter outlook on the future as I tackle the next.

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-Mike Garcia