My Birthday Sweat at Barry’s Bootcamp for Planned Parenthood

I usually hate birthdays, and not because of the typical fear of aging. With a history of eating disordered, I had a few really difficult birthdays that made me wish I could skip over the day. Last year, I finally had a great birthday once I was recovered, but I still don’t like all the attention on me.

This year, I decided to not make it about me, but still take advantage of forcing all of my friends together, especially since I have been anti-social and haven’t seen the majority of my friends since before I studied abroad in Asia. That’s a long time.

Thus, I came up with the idea of a charity birthday sweat. I’ve taught charity classes before, which are on a volunteer-basis, unless you’re SoulCycle (just kidding, I love you SoulCycle but really, have a heart).They’re a fun way to connect the #fitfam for a greater good. One of my fave workouts right now is Barry’s Bootcamp, and I saw that Planned Parenthood would be holding demonstrations throughout the country on my birthday. I suggest the idea to Kate Lemere, my kickass friend and the Marketing Manager of Barry’s, and she fell in love with the idea. A quick Eventbrite and Facebook event later, it was a go. $40 for a ticket (hey, Barry’s is normally $30!) and 100% of proceeds benefit the funding of Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood provides affordable, reproductive healthcare to women all over the country. I may be relatively liberal, but being raised by conservative Republicans, I firmly believe in easily accessible reproductive healthcare. I’ve been on birth control since I was 15 years old to help with my acne. My mom and my dermatologist both recommended it. At the time, I was taking a cocktail of pills everyday for my other health conditions, so it was just another to add to the mix and didn’t mean much to me other than clearer skin.

My hometown of Jacksonville has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the state of Illinois. I had classmates in junior high who were pregnant. Not only is this dangerous and creating potential issues for these parents, their parents, and their children, but the world is already on its way to overpopulation. Aside from the multitude of other services that Planned Parenthood provides, the world needs reproductive healthcare.

If you can’t attend the demonstrations or don’t want to, I encourage you to come sweat it out with me for my birthday, or consider donating to the cause as a gift to me. : )

++ Mary K

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