Friday, February 11, 2011

Excercise and Giving a Win - Win Situation

I mentioned in my first blog post that we are following the baby steps of the Dave Ramsey plan and in a later post we had gotten down to step 7, which is to build wealth and GIVE!

Towards the end of last year I had come up with a plan to try and motivate my wife and I to do more cardio. I came up with a cash for miles plan. For every mile we do walking/jogging, we'd get $2.50. Around that same time we were approaching baby step 7 and thinking more about giving, with it being around the holiday season and I came up with a plan to up that amount to $3 per mile, with half to use on yourself and the other half to donate.

That sounded like a much better idea to me, not only were we helping ourselves physically by doing more exercise, but the more you did the more you could help others as well. As I said then, I figured that generally since we usually don't purchase all that much stuff for ourselves and when we do we talk it over and order it up, that probably the whole $3 per mile would most likely go towards whatever cause we wanted to contribute to individually.

I'm at about a 14 minute per mile pace right now with a 1 minute warm up, so instead of walking/jogging we could instead do weights or some other workout at roughly a $3/15 min rate. Generally I shoot for a minimum of 2 miles or 30 minutes per workout, which is right around 300 calories and $6 for the cause.

I use Runkeeper to track my miles whether I use it on the phone to GPS track how far I go on outdoor walks or just enter the info online for inside stuff. It works great and you can generate a quick report with the click of a button and all for free.

I racked up 34.8 miles in Dec and January and came across a cause one night just after finishing up a late night blog post. It was called Jhaysonn's Cure and the story was featured on our local news with a special 30 minute report. I didn't catch the news story, but read the related article. It was about Jhaysonn Pathak who has a rare form of non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. Shortly after graduating college and going to South Korea to pursue a career as an English teacher, he was diagnosed. He has undergone 22 grueling cancer treatments and his immune system is so fried from the chemo, that he's down to his last possible chemo treatment and the cancer has not gone away. His only hope now is a stem cell transplant.

Luckily his brother is a perfect match and they were all set to have the procedure done at Shands Gainesville hospital and then..."A week before Christmas, they hear from Medicaid...(saying) you don't have enough in-patient days to do the transplant. They are saying there are only 30 days a year available through Medicaid." Could you imagine? You're down to the only possible treatment currently available to try and save your life after undergoing 22 terribly draining chemo treatments, only to be denied due to running out of in-patient days?!

In the end, the family got some welcome news that a FL State Senator John Thrasher, that was a cancer survivor himself was able to pull some strings and get Medicaid to approve the additional in-patient days necessary and Jhaysson is currently undergoing stem cell replacement therapy this week, so send positive thoughts his way!

Their main goal is helping their son right now, but the family's secondary goal is to raise awareness of this issue, where we have some of the best medical technology/treatment centers in the world and people either are denied due to issues such as this, not having the insurance/funds available to receive the treatment you need, etc. The senator is also working to get Medicaid to help out 10 other folks waiting to get the same treatment at the same hospital. The family is advocating to get the health care system changed, so things like this do not have to be so difficult for others. They were taking donations to help not only with the medical costs above and beyond what insurance was providing for their son, but also any funds above and beyond would go to the 10 other patients awaiting treatment as well.

I decided to donate $100, of the $104.40 that I had earn so far, to their cause. It felt good to help out in a small way to hopefully alleviate at least a tiny portion of their financial stress and know that others are out there supporting them in this difficult time. I also plan to contact our local leaders via the links they provided to support change so others don't have to have such a difficult time receiving much needed care.

And as soon as I made the donation I wanted to get right back on the treadmill to collect more $ for whatever cause I decide to help out with next. I think it was 1:30 in the morning, so I couldn't do that immediately, but it has motivated me to get on the treadmill even more and I'm about to stop this post now so that I can that right now!

I'm grateful for being exposed to the Dave Ramsey plan by my sisters, not only for my own financial freedom and well being, but also because it's inspired me to be more giving and caring to others in need as well. I'm looking forward to the next cause and also looking forward to coming up with more unique and fun ways to give and make a difference in the lives of others. This is just one small way we've come up with to increase our giving beyond what we normally do throughout the year.

What ways do you utilize to inspire yourself to give more, whether it be your time, money or both?


Ginny said...


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