By Carolyn Dean
Could you do 1,000 sit-ups? That’s the challenge on Nov. 15 at the Green Mountain Rock Climbing Gym. The challenge will raise money for Rutland County’s Boys and Girls Club. The idea began last year when owner of Green Mountain Rock Climbing Steve Luleck wanted to honor his departed friend Mark Lapointe who died at age 45 from cancer. Lapointe was an outdoorsman who was greatly dedicated to his family. He left behind his wife and two children, Thomas and Erin.
The first year of the challenge, $6,500 was raised and was given to Lapointe’s family for his children’s college fund. This year the goal is to raise 100,000 for the Boys and Girls club, which donates over 11,000 meals each school year to children in need.
Luleck teaches a leadership class at Castleton State College, and has incorporated the planning, organization and goals into his curriculum teaching the students a variety of skills along the way. Luleck explained the goal, “It’s only 100 individuals or teams raising $1,000 each,” Luleck said, a high goal, but a do-able feat, he thinks.
Most of his college students are participating in the challenge, and he recently took them to the Boys and Girls club to meet with the children that they will be directly helping. “It made this real for them, they were able to connect with the kids” he said.
Luleck describes the challenge as “not self serving.” In a society where our world is based on instant gratification, Luleck hopes that this challenge will teach people that dedication and work ethic are keys to success.
Luleck described his training regime: “I start 11 weeks before the challenge. The first week I do 50 sit ups, three times a week. At 10 weeks I do 100 three times a week, and then add 100 until I reach 500, then I do them twice a week since it can take 35 minutes or so with stretching in between 120-140.”
He explained how goal-setting is an important part of life and winning does not come without hard work. “This takes discipline, you have to commit the time to challenge yourself for a great cause,” said Luleck.
Larry Bayle, executive director of the Rutland Boys and Girls club as well as president for the Vermont Alliance of Boys and Girls Clubs, described how the money raised will help the Rutland and Brandon branches.
“The mission of the Boys and Girls club of Rutland County is to promote the social, educational, health, leadership and character of boys and girls during critical periods of growth,” said Bayle, who will be participating in the challenge himself.
Participants have the option to work on their own or create teams, either of which can get sponsorship so people can donate to the cause in the participant’s name.
Those who are physically unable to participate but still want to help can donate directly to http://www.situpchallenge.myevent.com.