You gotta love Rebecca Ruhlen! She’s a Breastfeeding USA counselor, a mom, and a newcomer to the athletics for a cause scene. Which is why her story about how she became one of the top fundraisers nationally for Team We Got Your Back, Babe! (WGYBB) — the first nationwide fitness challenge to urge America to support breastfeeding and help bring down the Breastfeeding Booby Traps®! — has to be told! In the name of “taking better care of herself, ” Rebecca told would-be donors on her personal fundraising page that for every donation, she would “get out and move” for 30 minutes. Simple. Do-Able. Inspiring. It worked. She blew her first goal out of the water in record time, raising $460 in less than 4 weeks, and kicked that 5k bucket-list item over! She wants to raise another $460, for a total of at least $920 by the event’s close on October 31! Rebecca says, “If I can raise it, I’ll do another local 5K on November 9, the 3-2-1 Dash for Down Syndrome in Charlotte. I will continue to dedicate one thirty minute training session to every donor.”
Participating in Team WGYBB is giving Rebecca and other participants a reason to get off the couch and the motivation to do it! Pushing your physical limits for the breastfeeding cause is exhilerating! And raising that money for Best for Babes and Breastfeeding USA is helping to bring the breastfeeding cause in line with other great charities in whose footsteps we follow. Don’t more moms and babies deserve to get the support they need to succeed at breastfeeding and don’t we as a society deserve to see rates of disease drop dramatically because of it? Yes!
Here’s Rebecca’s story and how she is making it happen with no excuses! Let her example help open the floodgates for people everywhere to step it up for the Mother of All Causes and get out there and sweat for the love of moms and babies!
BFB: Tell me a little about your family and breastfeeding experience.
Rebecca: In my family of origin, breastfeeding is normal. My mother nursed and even wore her babies in small-town Kansas in the 1960s. I grew up seeing my baby nieces, nephews, and cousins being breastfed by their mothers. When I was pregnant, breastfeeding my baby was the default plan, not a decision that I arrived at by weighing pros and cons.
When my son was born, we had some typical getting-started difficulties: sleepy (drugged!) baby, flat nipples, latching struggles. Fortunately he regained his birth weight easily by day 6, so we avoided a lot of common Booby Traps that so often derail breastfeeding before it is really established.
I will always remember the moment when my son was just a few days old and I realized that breastfeeding wasn’t just something good and healthy that I did to him or for him for a prescribed length of time based on studies and expert recommendations. It was a joint project, a relationship, something my baby and I did together. Like teammates or dance partners. It sounds silly, but I was so surprised by how intimate and symbiotic that relationship was. Breastfeeding was a big part of how I fell in love with my baby.
BFB: How did you get involved with Team WGYBB?
Rebecca: I’m an accredited Breastfeeding USA Counselor who volunteers both locally and nationally with that organization. Naturally when the WGYBB event was announced, I wanted to help raise funds to support Breastfeeding USA and Best for Babes.
BFB: What have you set as your fitness goal?
Rebecca: My fitness goal has two parts. The formal event was a local 5K race (which mostly walked) to support literacy in the town where my Breastfeeding USA chapter holds meetings. (BFB note: If your personal fitness goal involves a race of your choosing, then your entry fee will be supporting both the race and any charity it benefits, and Best for Babes and Breastfeeding USA can also benefit from funds you solicit –everybody wins!) But the major portion of my fitness goal is that for every donation I receive, no matter how large or how small, I will complete one training session, at least 30 minutes long.
This has been a lot of fun! When the donations started pouring in one weekend in July, I felt overwhelmed by the love and appreciation they represented. Every time I do a training session now, I use it as a time to think about the person whose donation I’m honoring that day. I listen to music or an audiobook that I think they would like, or I just remember good times we’ve had together. I thank them afterwards on Facebook; it’s been a really neat way to connect with a whole range of people in my life. I would welcome the opportunity to train in honor of folks whom I haven’t had the pleasure of knowing yet, too!
At this point, I’m well on track to completing all my promised training sessions before October 31 when the campaign ends. But I would LOVE to find myself getting more and more donations and scrambling to get all my training sessions completed by then. And if I get enough donations that I have to go past October 31, I will keep that promise and get them done as soon as I can!
BFB: What do you see as your biggest obstacle and how do you hope to knock it down?
Rebecca: My first response to this question was “laziness.” It is true that I’m not someone who really “enjoys” being physically active; my interests my entire life have been largely sedentary. But as I looked a little deeper, I realized that the main thing that gets in my way when it comes to physical fitness is letting myself get distracted by things that seem more important. Like most women during a certain stage of life, I seem to spend most of my time doing things to help or take care of other people; family, paid work, volunteer work, community activities. I’m privileged to be in a position to help others, a lot, and I really enjoy doing it. But my tendency over the years has been to put others first to the point that I’m not taking good enough care of myself.
My plan for working around this self-created obstacle is to put fitness and good nutrition a lot higher on the priority list, to say “no” or “later” to other things instead of to my health, and to use my son’s soccer practices as time to get up and move.
BFB: If you could name a prize that you would definitely win what would it
be? (i.e. Most Likely to Be Singing Out Loud with the Music at the
Gym, Most Likely to Grocery Shop in Sweaty Workout Clothes, etc)
Rebecca: Most Likely to Spend Big Bucks on Workout Bras That I Take Off the Moment I Get Home from Training. Being large-breasted truly is something of an impediment to being regularly and frequently active.
BFB: What do you forego in order to make time for fitness?
Rebecca: I’m foregoing the things I “used” to do during my son’s soccer practices — primarily Face booking, napping, reading novels, or knitting. But for me, making time has never really been the problem, it’s been having the energy necessary to get off my butt and move. I’ve made some dramatic changes to my eating habits this summer, and I’m finding that this is giving me more energy to take care of myself; it’s a positive feedback loop.
To support Rebecca Click HERE.
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