KCA. - Keep a Child Alive

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The Power of a ‘Burpee’


Fear. It can stop us in our tracks. But Josh, my dear friend and personal trainer, inspires me to break through my greatest fears and past my mental boundaries. Just one more rep. One more minute. One more mile. It’s always a challenge, but the reward for pushing yourself is so worth it.

Josh is putting this philosophy to work with his Burpees for Change campaign, benefiting Keep a Child Alive. Every single penny you donate will go directly toward community-based organizations in Africa and India serving children and families affected by HIV. As parents, this cause touches Josh and I deep in our hearts. The families that we serve will be ever present in his mind as he pushes himself to complete 10,000 chest-to-ground burpees.

I’d love to share with you more about Josh in his own words and I ask you to join me in supporting him as he attempts 10,000 burpees on Saturday, September 12th at the Spartan Race in Vernon, NJ.  You can donate right now by clicking here. Remember, every penny counts! Even if all you have is loose change, it’s enough to help raise funds to support the children and families we serve!


Josh Zitomer 3-sized

Alicia Keys: Josh, tell us a little about yourself.

Josh Zitomer: So often we tell ourselves “no” or “I can’t.” I am committed toward shifting that attitude and the boundaries of our perceived physical limitations. From the age of 12, I knew I wanted to be a Navy SEAL. But everything changed at 22 when I suffered a serious eye injury—in a fraction of a second my dream was shattered. This devastating incident led me on a new path… one I now realize, was for the better. I moved on to sports medicine and spent 3 years on the sidelines watching the New York Jets compete. But the desire within myself to compete (or suffering as I like to call it) was too strong. In 1998 I left the NFL and have been competing ever since.   

AK: Why did you choose to fundraise for KCA?

JZ: Each September 11th, I flip a tractor tire once in memory of each life lost. Last year as I flipped my 250 pound tractor tire alone in the dark, I realized it wasn’t enough. Then and there, I became determined to use my physical drive and mental stamina to raise money for a charity. Immediately, I thought of children, and then Keep a Child Alive. As you know, the organization helps vulnerable children affected by HIV receive the treatment and loving care they need to live a healthy life and reach their full potential. This I knew was something I could proudly stand behind.

AK: Why 10,000 chest-to-ground burpees?

JZ: Simply put, I chose to take on this challenge because nobody has ever done it before. It’s an opportunity for me to show people what this amazing machine aka the human body is capable of. Too many of us are shackled by perceived limitations. At one point a marathon was only for crazy people. Now it’s commonplace. In order to successfully complete 10,000 chest-to-ground burpees I will have to force myself to throw out any notion of limitations.


AK: What words of advice do you have for others who want to challenge themselves but are afraid?

JZ: One of my favorite mantras is: “If you don’t fear your dreams, they aren’t dreams.” It’s human nature to live our lives within our comfort zone. My question is why can’t we expand that comfort zone? Every time you stray outside of your comfort zone, your perception of fear will change – so stray outside as often as possible. Am I scared of 10,000 chest-to-ground burpees? YES! Of course I am. When I started training, I was scared of 1,000 chest-to–ground burpees. Now it’s a normal training session for me. Remember, always strive toward creating the life YOU want to live and not just how society thinks you should be living.


What will your challenge be? You can take action by spreading the word, starting your own fundraiser or simply making a donation. Click here to join us.

  • SJ C

    I love this! I’ve recently become an avid runner and event participant (Spartan, Tough Mudder, etc), so this is such a great story and opportunity – best of luck Josh!!

  • Samia

    I donated without knowing what a burpee was(I am french that’s why) and now that I know I have 2 words for you Josh “Bonne Chance” you’ll need it cause that sounds like a hell of an sport activity!Thank you too!

  • Évelym Santos (Eve)

    This reminds me that nothing is impossible, we can do anything as long as we’re determined to. Go Josh! Burpees for change.


    i have been reading a lot on KCA since 2006 and this inspired me to start a community based organization to help children affected and infected by HIV/aids and also drug addicts. al this i do ith the little we get from our small farm with my wife. it is very difficult sometimes but we have to move on. here in Kenya getting funds is a hell and we are trying very much to sustain our own project. we know that by God’s grace we shall one day find a helping hand so my dear friends and donors of KCA keep it up help those you don’t know and you ill be blessed.