Last week, through a series of fortunate events, I spent the afternoon with a guy who was just introduced to me as ‘Jamie who runs a non-profit’.
Later on I worked out that he was actually the founder of the charity To Write Love On Her Arms. I was familiar with the charity from Amy Clover’s 30×30 tour we supported last year.
Why am I telling you this? Because Jamie told us the story of how his charity started and I wanted to share with you.
Back in 2006, Jamie was working his dream job in a high up position at Hurley (as in the clothing brand). While he was working his dream job, he shared a house with a friend who was a long time recovered drug addict.
One day his housemate asked him if a friend could come stay with them for a few days. She was trying to seek help for her own serious addiction and had been denied entry to a recovery centre. She needed to detox before they would accept her.
Her name was Renee and she was just 19 years old.
As he sat on the couch in my friends living living room, Jamie recalled those few life changing days spent with Renee. To keep her busy, they did different things each night; concerts, shows, basketball games and Church. He was struck by how someone so full of life could also be so depressed.
To help raise money for Renee’s treatment, he and some friends started selling tshirts. But things only really started happening after Jamie wrote his experience down on Myspace. The story went viral.
It was called ‘To Write Love On Her Arms‘. The title inspired by the scars on Renee’s arms from self-harm.
People started emailing him saying ‘I struggle with that too’ or ‘I have a brother who…’ and finally ‘How can I get help?’.
And so the charity known in short as TWLOHA was born.
Which brings me back to how I was introduced to the charity through Amy Clover. Speaking to Amy you would never guess about her past. She has one of those bubbly personalities that you just can’t help smiling while talking to her. However, in 2005 after years of struggle Amy considered taking her own life. A path she thankfully never went down because she called a suicide hotline like TWLOHA.
Watch Amy’s story (link):
Depression affects many of us in different stages of our life. I have not been immune to it myself, but maybe that’s another story.
Amy is running her project again, touring around the US to run empowering workouts and she would like the Bootcamp Ideas community to be a part of it.
Hey Trainers! Amy Clover here again to inspire hope and strength through movement, and I want you to join me.
If you missed it last year, I launched The 30×30 Project. To celebrate my 30th birthday that I almost gave up due to a suicide attempt, I taught 30 fitness classes in 30 cities throughout The US and Canada to raise awareness and funds for suicide prevention charity, To Write Love On Her Arms. The Bootcamp Ideas community was so supportive, offering up space to host us and donating to the cause.
This year, we’re doing it all over again, but I consider it more like 30×30 all grown up. 🙂
We’re hitting major cities throughout the US this Summer and Fall to put on huge fitness and wellness events, and giving 50% of our proceeds to To Write Love On Her Arms. Our mission with these events is to empower participants to rise out of struggle–inside and outside of the gym–with the help of fitness.
I teach intention-driven, HIIT-inspired bodyweight classes that root people in their motivation to push through the pain and start creating strong bodies, lives and mindsets that follow them into everyday life. With mantra incorporation and motivational guidance, I encourage people to experience the pain of a hard workout, and use it to grow stronger.
I created this movement because this is the process I personally used to overcome my clinical depression and obsessive compulsive disorder. After finding discovering fitness as my empowerment tool, I am better able to cope with the emotions when they arise. I truly believe that they won’t swallow me whole and most importantly, I can continue to live an empowered life in spite of pain and struggle.
Many of you out there know exactly what I mean. Maybe you’ve used fitness to let out pent-up stress or emotions. Maybe you feel a little down if you skip a few workouts in a row. Maybe you train clients who struggle with depression or mental illness, and you see their potential even if they don’t see it themselves.
We can open their eyes. We can show them that there’s hope in sweat.
Physical strength has a lot more to do with mental strength than we give it credit for. Empowerment can start from the outside just as it can from within. The harder we push our limits physically, the more resilient we become mentally and emotionally.
My goal is to convince people out there who might be on the verge of giving up, that they are stronger than they know. I want to teach people how to fight and that they are worth fighting for.
If you believe in this movement and you want to fight on the front lines with me, I ask you to join me in amplifying it.
If you want to help, here are the ways you can do it (pick one or all of them if you wish):
- Visit the indiegogo (like kickstarter) and donate and/or share.
- Share the indiegogo with your clients, friends and family across social media with #siotour and in email (after donating, you’re prompted with easy ways to do this, but there are also click-to-tweets and Facebook share copy in the updates of the indiegogo here)
- Bring your bootcamp as a team to the event near you! We’ve officially announced the first 4 cities (Portland (OR), San Francisco, Milwaukee & Denver) with more to come soon. Come as a team and we’ll sweat out the struggle together. Click here to see the list of all the cities we’re going to and working on setting up.
Thank you for your time today, and for all the work you do inspiring strength in those around you. I hope to see you out on the tour route!
The other day a trainer commented that one of her clients stated ‘You never train with us!’. Well if you never get to train with your clients, drag them along to one of Amy’s workouts. You are not only supporting a great cause but also building a stronger relationship with your clients.
I will be at the Portland and San Francisco workouts so if you come, we can train together too!
P.S. This still isn’t the secret thing I was telling you about, more info coming tomorrow.
Kyle Wood created Bootcamp Ideas in 2010 when he was hunting around on the internet for workout ideas. He ran a successful bootcamp in Victoria, Australia and spends his spare time managing this site, adventuring (or lazying) with his wife and find new ways to make bootcamps even better.
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