I've always had a sense of caring for our world and each other. I want to leave the world a better place than I found it. No easy task, but I figure the things we do along the way to care for each other and our world count.
I've been lucky in life to have had two amazing careers involving environment. The first for a dozen years, using my Huxley environmental science degree, as a waste reduction and recycling planner. Yes, it involved dumpster diving - and that is a whole 'nother story. I did help write some of the very first plans for curbside recycling collection in a few states across the nation and organized Seattle's first household hazardous waste collection day. It felt so good to help make our environment a little better.
My second career - the one I'm still in - as the manager and owner of the Bellingham Tennis Club and Fairhaven Fitness, gives me the opportunity to make significant and real changes in one's "internal" environment through better health. And I've always thought that if you feel healthy and fit, you'll also have more energy to do good in the world.
And now with this great business at the club, we can use our energy for even more good! I feel blessed to have good health and fitness, to continually challenge myself (and others), and to share all of this through my business. I wanted to create the opportunity to help our community (and the world) through the club.
That brings me to our upcoming fundraiser called "SPIN-Raiser" on Jan. 20. It's an indoor cycling (or spinning) fundraiser to benefit two charities that literally change lives through bicycles. You'll have fun at this event whether it is your first time on a bike or you are an expert. We have a different theme every hour to suit your needs with prizes donated by Jacks, Fairhaven, Fanatik, and Kulshan bike stores. You can see the full schedule of events at spinraiser.com.
Benficiaries are The Bike Shop and World Bicycle Relief.
The Bike Shop in Bellingham provides bikes to kids from low-income families. Not only do they teach kids how to work on and maintain bikes, but they give kids so much more with building confidence, teaching responsibility and giving the freedom and power that a bike allows.
World Bicycle Relief provides bikes in several countries in Africa. When faced with walking 10 miles per day to go to school, get your wares to market or take a sick child to the doctor, a bicycle is a life-changing event. World Bicycle Relief trains field mechanics to build and repair bikes and works with microfinance programs to get bikes to those who need them most.
We come up with crazy ideas and sometimes it just seems to be the right thing to create them to benefit others. Also on our list for this year:
WWU Showdown Jan. 11-12 for the WWU tennis team and Boys and Girls Club free tennis clinic;
Smash Kawasaki Disease Tennis Tournament Feb. 17 for Children's Hospital research;
Pooch Scoot 5K Run/Walk April 14 benefiting Animals as Natural Therapy;
Racquet Rally for the Cure May 10 for Susan G.Komen Foundation;
Learn the Thriller Dance - October - the fifth year! This benefits Blue Skies for Children and Thriller performances.
I am passionate about exercise and love to see each person's joy of success in growth in confidence, power and stamina through improved fitness and better help. I truly believe in the saying "You are stronger than you think you are, you can do more than you think you can" from Ken Chlouber, the founder of Leadville 100 race series.
Besides, my own knees, after eight knee surgeries, do not allow me to do any impact sports - like running or (ironically) tennis - and so cycling has been my savior. I love, love, love riding my bike - road bike, mountain bike, commuting, I've even dabbled in racing and was the 2009 Washington State Masters "B" BARR (Best All Around Road Rider) Champion. I am a certified personal trainer and USA Cycling Coach, level 2, and love to share my enthusiasm for fitness and cycling with everyone.
I am so pleased to offer the SPIN-Raiser and hope you will join me!
ABOUT WINDOW ON MY WORLD
Window On My World is an occasional essay in Monday's Bellingham Herald that allows Whatcom County residents to share their passion for what they do, an idea or cause they support. Send your Window On My World, which must be no more than 700 words, to Julie.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Robin Robertson is owner and manager of Bellingham Tennis Club and Fairhaven Fitness, at 800 McKenzie Ave.