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Strength Community Helps One of its Own
If you were faced with a financial hardship, chances are you only have your family to rely on. What if that burden was just too much to handle? This was the case for Mike Vitale. His father is a Vietnam vet that has been battling illness as a result of his service, for quite some time. The astronomical hospital bills for Mr. Vitale’s prolonged hospitalization has created an added burden of stress for the family. Fortunately for Mr. Vitale, Rebell Conditioning decided to lend a helping hand to their client Mike. Using one of their favorite exercises, the Turkish Get Up (TGU), owners Mike Connelly and Ryan Steenrod each took on the task of doing as many as they could in an hour with a 24 kg kettlebell. Appropriately, their fundraiser was called “TGUs For the ICU”.
For those of you not familiar with the Turkish Get Up, it is one of the best full body exercises incorporating many challenges in one sequence. Not only is it a strength-based exercise, but it also improves stability, flexibility, balance, and coordination, as you are holding a load above your head from a supine position (lying on your back) to standing. The toughest challenge to the TGU is maintaining proper form and stability as you move your body around and under the weight. Having said that, just imagine doing as many as you could in an hour. Not an easy task. Pledges were taken for each TGU completed in the hour as well as flat donations. To involve spectators for the event, Rebell organized a squares board, with prizes such as a kettlebell from Chicago Kettlebell Company and yoga classes from me.
With the music cranked up, water bottles filled, chalk bucket ready, and kettlebells in hand, Mike and Ryan started the first TGU when the timer went off. As one of the talliers, it was amazing to watch them in action, but especially everyone cheering them on - family, friends, clients. With 5 minutes left, everyone rallied for them and they went for it, even though it was clear they were in a world of hurt. To illustrate their amazing efforts, here are some fun facts (courtesy Rebell Conditioning):
1. Mike and Ryan completed 335 Get Ups in one hour, which means they averaged 5.6 Get Ups per minute.
2. Dollars pledged per Get Up came to $5.85 for a total of $1,959.75 in pledge money.
3. Our flat donations came to $5,160.
4. Squares brought in $582.00
5. Total money raised so far = $7,701.75
6. Total weight lifted = 17,775 lbs.
7. Number of knees with skin left on them = 0
Seeing the strength community come together, both near and far, for the Vitale family was simply amazing. Mike and Ryan said they probably would not have done as many TGUs, if it was not for everyone there cheering them on. Proving once again that Aristotle was right - “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”