Almost Time for “If Girls Ran The World” Virtual Run – Join Team TheFitFork!

Did you see my post in late August about my partnership as a Role Model  in the upcoming If Girls Ran the World (IGRTW) virtual running event? I case not, I wanted to share more info and provide a gentle nudge to join me in this important female-focused cause that runs the entire month of October 2016.

If Girls Ran the Word virtual running event October 1 - 31, 2016.

It’s going to be starting in just a few weeks, don’t miss out! Here are some questions you may have:

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What is IGRTW? IGRTW is a non-profit that supports girls and women around the world by providing tools, skills and opportunities they need to rightfully pursue a safe, happy, healthy and abundant life. The virtual running event is happening the entire month of October with a special day dedicated on October 11th. Participants around the country join virtual teams and will be each logging miles, supporting each other and the cause, and raising funds for charities that support women and girls.

What charity does IGRTW benefit? Well, as a Role Model and team captain, I was allowed to choose the charity that was the closest to my heart. I chose the The Hunger Project, a strategic non-profit dedicated to the sustainable end of world hunger. Their vision is a world where every woman, man and child leads a healthy, fulfilling life of self-reliance and dignity and they rely on native women as the major change agents within communities receiving aid.

Is The Hunger Project the only charity? No, there are many others – Girls in Tech, Susan G. Komen and Every Mother Counts are examples of others. Check out the others here.

What’s in it for participants? First, you get to help empower women at the grassroots level and have the opportunity to donate or raise funds yourself to maximize the impact (but this is optional). Second, you will be motivated to exercise every day from Oct 1 to Oct 31 to help keep the movement going. Third, there is registration swag, the opportunity to win cool fitness-related prizes and more.

Do I have to actually run? Of course not, but if you can great! You can also ride a bike, row, walk or do something else to log miles – and YOU set the mile goal so that it remains totally attainable, whether 1 mile or 1000 miles. We want this to be a win-win for everyone! If you aren’t physically able to exercise, your support (financially, cheerleader-wise or any other way you see fit) is completely welcomed!

I hate to beg, but I’d be honored and humbled to have you join my team. Please register for the If Girls Ran the World virtual running event and join my team. I hate to hit you up, but nce you read through mission of If Girls Ran The World and The Hunger Project, I’m pretty sure you’ll want to chip to the cause a bit. It doesn’t have to be a lot – even $5 or $10 would help me get to my goal of raising $500. But, please note, you don’t have to donate to join my team – just join for the running support if you like!

Is there a discount code? Yes, use code BFF at REGISTRATION to save 50% — which makes the event only $12.50.

How do I join your specific team? After you register, go to Team Jennifer – TheFitFork.Com and join, that’s it! Drop me an email if you have questions or troubles at jennifer@thefitfork.comb

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 Thank you so much for reading all the way through and for your consideration of this important cause!  If you have troubles signing up or joining my team, please send me a message at jennifer@thefitfork.com  Love ya! XOXO – Jennifer

My World Record Wall Sit Attempt and #FFWallSit Challenge

wall sit guinness square

Okay, it was awkward and humiliating enough to be in sixth grade let alone be denied the glory of one the most significant demonstrations of mental and physical strength I have accomplished to date. I’m talking about “sitting on the wall” or as some people used to call it back in the day, “Sampson’s Chair” – and I was a champion. If you look beyond the clumsy legs that were at the time too long for my body and the bookworm personality (and also ignore the 70s style angel-sleeve shirt and Tony Tennille haircut), what lurked inside my heart was a 12 year old girl who wasn’t going to give up – NO MATTER WHAT!

Lots of letters to Guinness Book of World Records

Lots of letters to Guinness Book of World Records

My elementary school had an annual Olympics for the 6th graders and I was out to win the wall sit – gymnastics had made my legs pretty strong and I didn’t have any reason to think I couldn’t match the previous year’s record of 25 minutes. Well, I hung in there for 1 hour and 36 minutes until the school nurse made me quit (apparently worried about the Arizona heat and all) . . . . I got my picture in the Tempe Daily News and, more importantly, got out of math and social studies class!

The event was so epic (notice the two boys feeling inferior in the background) that my teacher decided to submit it Guinness Book of World Records (notice the old fashioned typing and air-mail envelopes circa 1978). Anyway, although the record was “impressive,” Guinness did not choose to publish my notarized and media-confirmed “claim” because in 1978 the publisher decided that “wall sitting” didn’t have enough “widespread and preferably international” appeal to warrant creating such an inaugural entry. Well, fast-forward 11 years, I was casually flipping through the famous record book and came across a world record entry for Sampson’s Chair (wall sit) that had made it into print– some guy held the title for about 5 or so minutes LESS than me!

I still have the Wall Sit Winner trophy from 6th grade!

I still have the Wall Sit Winner trophy from 6th grade!

I was robbed and a flurry of air mail letters flew back and forth in protest (this was still before email)!  In the end, because my head wasn’t in “exactly the same position” (uh, because I was posing for a picture, duh) my claim couldn’t compare to the record holder’s accomplishment – so they said.  Apples to apples, I agree – but, I just think they didn’t want the tough looking dude with a snazzy uniform and digital clock overhead being upstaged by a little girl at recess. Oh well, I’m over it. REALLY – I’m over it, because apparently now the world record for “static wall sit” is over 11 hours!!!!  Plus, I still have my trophy –  and, it’s a true treasure because it’s from back in the day when kids didn’t get a trophy every time they showed up to be on a team or “participated” in an event. This one was EARNED with burning, quivering quads!

wall sit demo with med ball

I still like to do this isometric exercise as a way to keep my legs strong for running, CrossFit and our ski trips in the winter. There are a ton of different variations – two of my favorites are Marching Wall Sits and Medicine Ball Wall Sits (above).  For this med ball version, pick a ball that you can comfortably handle – probably somewhere between 6 to 12 pounds, depending on your arm strength. Keeping your back straight against the wall and legs bent into a 90 degree angle at the knee (with knees about 2 feet apart), grasp ball and lift straight in front of you with arms straight. Alternate rotating arms from left wall, back to center, and then to right wall. Do as many of these at an even pace as you can while holding the wall sit for 1 minute; repeat for three sets total. As you increase your strength extend the time of your sets – eg. 90 seconds, 120 seconds, etc.

fitfluential wall sit challengeSo, are you ready for more? Fitfluential in conjunction with Reebok are having a Wall Sit Challenge for September – it’s not too late to get in on the action! Join the challenge on a special Facebook page and invite your friends – accountability is a huge part of getting through any challenge! There is also a giveaway for a pair of Reebok Nano 4.0s (I review them here) and a Reebok top or shorts.  Use hashtag #FFWallSit on Twitter and Instagram to share your hard work and make new fitness friends!

Is this exercise in your repertoire, if not – what is your favorite leg exercise? Have you ever been unjustly treated in a sporting event? Would you just rather sit than wall sit? Let me know in the comments below: