Contributing Monkie Boise Thomas
Published on January 24, 2010
Pro Skater Bob Burnquist And His Friends Are Taking The Fitness Business Green. How by focusing on Fitness apparel of course. Fitness makes me think of athletic apparel. Which reminds me of the days I worked at a major athletic shoe licensee here in West L.A. The marketing director at the time always used to say “FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTION.” I never bothered to ask what it meant, although I found myself repeating it when ordering food, dating or getting new pair of pants. That’s why Wikipedia is the greatest thing ever… and the Wiki sez: “form follows function… the basic principle stating the shape of an object should be predicated or based on its intended function or purpose.”
And that got me thinking G Fitness… what would it look like if fitness followed sustainability? (An exhausting intro to an article, I know… welcome to my mind.) In my effort to answer my new question, I found the Action Sports Environmental Coalition (ASEC).
ASEC, supported by action-sports athletes, industry leaders and natural-products companies, aims to answer their own question: “What would happen if the action sports industry became a role model for sustainability?” (Fitness Follows Sustainability?). ASEC founders Frank Scura, Bob Burnquist, Jen O’Brien and Damon Way answered the call in 2001 by creating the organization. ASEC specializes in progressive eco-education and empowers people to adopt a sustainable existence in a way that embraces their current lifestyle and enhances it. Sounds totally “G” to me!
And with Bob’s Birthday a few days before mine (Burnquist 10/10, Boise 10/12), I had to give my Brazilian boarding (Libra) brother a shout.
The Coalition also works to inspire the action-sports industry and its participants to value and take action toward social and environmental responsibility. That goal is achieved through many different programs, each providing an exciting environment in which to learn.
As for Burnquist… a little “G”-did-you-know: he was the first skateboarder to take his board into the 214-year-old U.S. Capitol building. Joined by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) in June of 2007, he was on his way to lunch with fellow members of the ASEC crowd, founder Frank Scura, former pro snowboarder Circe Wallace and Scott A. Murray. They were in Washington not just for a bite to eat, but to support Tom Campion, ASEC member and founder of top retail chain Zumiez, who testified before the full Senate Environment & Public Works Committee.
Campion was invited to discuss the impact of climate change on the winter sports industry and the importance of youth education in solving the problem. “The Action Sports Environmental Coalition is proud to have had the opportunity to brief the Senate on our understanding of how climate change is affecting the outdoor industry,” Campion said. “As athletes, we’re outdoors everyday – in the air, the water, on the snow and under the sun. So we’re intimately aware of the changing conditions of this planet.”
With a focus on testimony from leaders in the outdoor recreation industry, the May 24 committee hearing was attended by several Senate Members, including Chairman Boxer, Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Bernard Sanders (I-VT). Following the hearing, ASEC Members were invited to lunch as honored guests of Senator Boxer in the Senate Dining Room for further discussion of the issues. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) stopped by the lunch to express her support.
ASEC Executive Director Frank Scura said: “I believe this introduction to Capitol Hill was the beginning of long-overdue conversation that our industry should be having with the lawmakers of our nation. I am inspired by Tom’s testimony, and – even more importantly – I am filled with hope.”
Burnquist said his experience was one he won’t forget and would love to have again.
“Going to Washington, DC as a skateboarder and citizen was one of the most powerful experiences I’ve ever had. I was proud to be able to bring awareness to what ASEC is doing and to be behind one of our own, Tom Campion. I was energized by the experience and I hope it’s not the last time that I get to support the cause by making a trip out to Capitol Hill – with or without my skateboard.”
What does this have to do with fitness, you ask?
These fellas from the Action Sports Environmental Coalition were reminding Washington of what matters. In a country of obese children who sit and play video games and eat snacks full of sugar and fat, any reminder that the Earth is our playground and that we need to take care of it is worth a mention. Fitness follows sustainability? Not sure the phrase will make it into the Wiki any time soon… but it’s good to know there are athletes who are committed the preserving the outdoors we all share.
We’ll have Bob Burnquist and ASEC on in the future, so come back and check it out.