129 A Day – Fitness Challenge in August

2015-06-05-at-070744_18459458286_oAs many of you know I was crushed with the loss of Amber. She was wonderful and caring person who I loved like my own child. Spending time with her always filled my heart with joy. My children thought of her as a big sister.

My friend Alan suggested a fitness challenge to raise awareness to addiction, recovery and accidental overdose. We have an epidemic in our country right now. This year is expected to have more overdoes that last year which was a horrible year for overdoes. It is estimated that 129 people lose their battle each and every day to an overdose in the United States.

The challenge will begin on August 1st and end on August 31st, International Overdose Awareness Day. I am honored to be collaborating with Alan, Laurie, The Gym Pittsburgh and 129aDay on this challenge.

Please join the challenge by registering at YinzersGetFit.com/129aDay and receive daily challenges beginning August 1st along with a profile from 129aDay.org of a person who lost their battle.

Together we can raise awareness and money to help people suffering from addiction and celebrate people who are in recovery.

I Am Coffee

I received this from http://www.addictionpolicy.org/

I wanted to share a short story, which I’m sure many of you have seen or heard online.

The story goes…

A young woman went to her grandmother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling.

Her grandmother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to a boil. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She then pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her granddaughter, she asked, “Tell me, what do you see?”
“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.

She brought her granddaughter closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she held the hard-boiled egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The granddaughter then asked, “What does it mean, Grandmother?”

Her grandmother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity — boiling water — but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.

The coffee beans were unique, however. Faced with the boiling water, it changed the hot water, the very circumstance that brought it pain. For the coffee, when things are at their worst, it changes the situation around it. When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest, it elevates to another level.

“Which are you?” she asked her granddaughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?’”

This story reminds me of you, of all of the amazing families that are working to change how we handle addiction in our country —  changing the world even through the hardest circumstances. #YouAreCoffee

– Jess

P.S. Please feel free to share this story and graphic with friends and family.