In a world of shake weights, electrode belts and gym memberships, Michelle Collier wants individuals eager to lose weight or get in shape to recognize they posses the perfect tool for accomplishing their fitness goals: Their bodies.
To kill two birds with stone, Collier, owner and trainer of the mobile fitness studio Performance Fitness, is spreading the word about the power of body weight exercise, while simultaneously raising money for wounded men and women of the armed forces through the third annual Pushups for Charity Challenge.
The challenge, which takes place Saturday, May 19, at the All Saints Church in Wynnewood, is one Performance Fitness' many ways in which it promotes not only exercise, but also charity.
"It's a great way to get fit, have fun and make a difference," Collier said in a news release. "Everyone is welcomed to participate regardless of current fitness level."
The event and its organization, co-founded by Collier, features participants doing as many push ups as possible in 90 seconds. Participants raise money by having family, friends and coworkers donate as much as they per each push up.
In the past two years, Pushups for Charity has raised over $500,000 nationally, of which Performance Fitness has contributed about $10,000.
The proceeds from these year's challenge will benefit the Boot Campaign, a non-profit that donates to charities that work with soldiers healing from various physical and emotional wounds from combat. The campaign's slogan is "When They Come Back, We Give Back."
"Our goal is to accomplish the dual purpose of not only raising funds for veterans causes, but raising the public's awareness of our military and those who serve and have severed so we 'never forget,'" Collier added in the release.
To further promote the challenge, Pushups for Charity's website features Captain Chad Fleming who was wounded in combat three times after six deployments to Iraq, and has undergone 20 surgeries, including the amputation of his left leg below the knee. Fleming still participates in fitness events, including 5k-runs, triathlons and marathons while using his prosthetic leg.