Gallagher: Break a sweat, fill a belly |

Gallagher: Break a sweat, fill a belly

“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body; it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.” — John F. Kennedy

There are only good ideas and great ideas on how to give back to your community. This one happens to be one of the great ones.

In a place where we pride ourselves on living healthy lifestyles and where physical fitness is a daily way of life, the inaugural Hi2T for Hunger event at the Aspen Club is a no-brainer.

This is a great opportunity to flex your philanthropy muscles, strengthen the cupboards at the Western Slope Food Bank of the Rockies, and help kick the Hi2T out of childhood hunger in the United States. I love the line, “kick the Hi2T out of childhood hunger.” I wish I had coined it, but I must give credit where credit is due and recognize Carlie Umbarger, the director of marketing and sales at the Aspen Club and Spa for that one.

Dirk Schultz, Hi2T program director and creator of Hi2T for Hunger, developed this community event to challenge participants with a series of high-intensity interval challenges. The challenge involves teams of three, including three divisions consisting of men, women and coed teams.

As Schultz puts it, “Together, as a community, we can do more than just get and stay fit but create an event that will really help impact the 160,000 children who live and deal with hunger in our area. Giving them hope, so they too can grow up strong and thrive.”

The Hi2T for Hunger event will kick off with the Foundation Class overview. Participants must attend the pre-event Foundation Class. The foundation class is a basic overview where participants will review some of the movements, exercises and proper form to prevent injury.

For each competing division, the teams will begin to see what they are made of with the performance, impact, and blast into the event challenges. Five Hi2T Pits (high-intensity interval fitness arenas), at the Aspen Club & Spa, will be used, consisting of four to six teams per Hi2T Pit. One lead Hi2T Pit master will conduct the competition, giving a 10-minute game plan before the challenge.

Equipment and activities will consist of challenges using the Rip Trainer, kettlebells, ViPRs, body weights, sand bags, battle ropes, free weights and TRX. These are all challenges that will test your strength, endurance, core and teamwork. Did you get all of that? Me neither, but that is why you and your team need to attend the introduction to the foundation class at 8:15 a.m. Saturdays at the Aspen Club.

Just in case you were wondering what kind of an issue hunger is in our neighborhoods, on a daily basis, one in seven Coloradans worry where they will find their next meal, and nearly half of those are children. You can run the numbers for yourself, but the most recent census shows that there are 5,187,582 folks living in colorful Colorado. That means approximately 750,000 family members, neighbors, friends, relatives and business associates are scrambling for their daily eggs. And if Schultz is correct, 160,000 of those in need in our area are children.

Last year, the Western Slope Food Bank of the Rockies distributed 3.3 million pounds of food and essentials to hungry men, women and children through its programs and partner agencies serving people in need in western Colorado. That’s a lot of mouths to feed and a ton of motivation to make a difference.

The entry fee for a team of three is $100. Canned food is welcome as a donation. There also will be a silent auction the day of the event, so if you can’t join in on the high-intensity interval challenge, you can donate auction items or place bids at the silent auction. For more information or to register for this event, please contact Carlie Umbarger at, or call her at 970-920-5849.

For more information on the Western Slope Food Bank of the Rockies, contact Betty Heath at 970-464-1138 ext. 201, or email

The Hi2T for Hunger event from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5. Start organizing, start stretching and start training. Challenge everyone you can to form a team. Consider it a part of your ski conditioning, because opening day is just a few months away. I’ll see you there.

“Philantopia” is a monthly column of The Aspen Times focused on philanthropy and community involvement. R.J. Gallagher Jr. is a three-decade resident of the Roaring Fork Valley. He has served on numerous nonprofit boards, including those of the Aspen Com-munity Foundation and Komen Aspen. His firm, Forte International, is a supporter of local philanthropy that makes a difference on a global level. R.J.’s always open for ideas. His email address

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