A few weeks ago, I hosted my first official BrittFit beach bootcamp and clean up. And despite being a bit nervous about how everything would turn out… The event was a conservation and fitness success to say the least!
Most bootcamps that I have held in the past do have a fundraising component; however, I have recently felt the growing need to do more than just raise money. I crave the ability to make a tangible difference, to provide an opportunity for others to do the same, and to have a great time while doing so.
And while there is no question that working out is good for both the mind and body, adding the beach clean up component seemed to bring everything to a new and exciting level. Not only for myself, but for the other 22 bootcamp participants as well!
Our beaches and coastlines are home to many different marine and terrestrial species. From waterbirds such as the snowy plover, least terns, and the brown pelican – to dolphins, seals, and many other fish species. Not only do the coasts provide wildlife with habitat, but they also protect our state from the damaging effects of many storms, provide numerous forms of employment, and are an important natural resource for food.
As beach pollution continues, we not only jeopardize the immediate well-being of fish, birds, and other forms of wildlife, we also jeopardize our own futures. And when marine ecosystems begin to suffer due to our actions, we too will feel the long-term effects; whether now or in the future. Without healthy marine and coastal habitats, we risk degrading one of our most important food sources, causing trophic cascades amongst other important ecosystems, and polluting otherwise clean waters as plastics and litters degrade over many years.
However, what I personally found most saddening was the number of cigarette buds and the remains of food packaging that were carelessly disposed of along the sand. I just can’t wrap my head around how we can pride ourselves on our intelligence and independence as a species – and yet act so selfishly.
But back to the bootcamp….
Together, we ended up sweating our butts off during an amazing workout and later filled up 15 buckets with trash from the beach. I truly was touched by the amount of people that came out to Sweat to Protect and was shocked at the amount of litter we collected during just a short 15 minute beach patrol. Not to mention, we raised over $200.00 to be donated to the Surfrider Foundation – an amazing organization that diligently works to protect our California coasts and marine habitats!
I am blessed to be able to combine fitness and conservation in a way that not only burns calories, but that also ignites the desire in others to make a difference. I look forward to holding many more beach fundraiser bootcamps in the future and towards continuing to make small, but valuable differences for people, for wildlife and for this beautiful planet!
I hope to see you at the next one!!