Gamified obstacle course race announces 2020 stop at Sun Devil Stadium

Stadium Blitz delivers fun for fitness enthusiasts of all ages and abilities


November 12, 2019

After a successful pilot year, the ASU 365 Community Union is excited to announce that the obstacle course race Stadium Blitz is coming to Sun Devil Stadium this February. 

Presented by former New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and his youth fitness foundation Gronk Nation, Stadium Blitz ushered in a new style of gamified obstacle course race to major stadiums earlier this year. Today, organizers announced a 2020 tour that will travel throughout the U.S. in the coming year. So far, tour stops have been announced for Tallahassee, Florida; Tempe, Arizona; Dallas; Columbus, Ohio; Lawrence, Kansas; and Piscataway, New Jersey.  people running through an obstacle course in a stadium Stadium Blitz, presented by Rob Gronkowski and Gronk Nation, ushered in a new style of gamified obstacle course race to major stadiums earlier this year and is now bringing the course to Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe. Photo courtesy Stadium Blitz Download Full Image

The course will make its stop in Tempe and take over Sun Devil Stadium on Feb. 29, 2020.

“Sun Devil Stadium is one of the top stadiums in the country, and as we move toward year-round programming within the stadium, we’re excited to have Stadium Blitz coming to ASU,” said Vice President for cultural affairs Colleen Jennings-Roggensack.

“When we launched Stadium Blitz in October 2019 in Buffalo and Tampa, we quickly knew it was a competitive experience unlike any other for fitness enthusiasts of all levels,” said Chris Gronkowski, brother to Rob and former National Football League fullback. “The opportunity to chart your own course allows competitive racers, aspiring athletes and even families with children to all compete side-by-side in some of America’s favorite stadiums.” 

Stadium Blitz is designed to make the fun and empowering experience of obstacle course racing available to fitness enthusiasts of any level and children as young as 7 years old. One of the only obstacle course races that allows participants to determine how hard they want to be tested, Stadium Blitz allows racers to challenge themselves without intimidation or the threat of punishment through a gamified, choose-your-own-adventure race course. 

Designed to test different areas of fitness from strength to agility, Stadium Blitz features three levels of obstacles, each increasing in difficulty but intermixed throughout the course. A racer who completes an obstacle is rewarded with points — the harder the obstacle, the bigger the point potential. Racers can decide to skip an obstacle and forfeit the reward. Points are earned and tracked via special RFID-connected wristbands. Participants can compete as an individual or as a team. 

Early bird registration for a Stadium Blitz obstacle course race starts at just $40 for adults. Special pricing is offered for children, students and members of the military. Fans and supporters are also invited to join in the fun by cheering participants on from special seating areas in the stands. 

For more information or to register, visit StadiumBlitz.com. Follow the race series on social media @StadiumBlitz and via the hashtag #AreYouGame.

Marketing Coordinator, ASU Cultural Affairs

 
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Kindness can be a cure-all

November 12, 2019

ASU Center for Mindfulness, Compassion and Resilience embraces the tenets of World Kindness Day on Nov. 13

A smile, an encouraging word, a warm greeting, a small note of thanks — all solid examples of kindness.

For years, the world of science has researched if altruistic behaviors can have a positive impact on physical and mental health: specifically, if they can lead to reductions in stress, anxiety, blood pressure and cholesterol.

ASU’s Center for Mindfulness, Compassion and Resilience believes kindness is not only good for our health but is wired into our DNA. The center heavily promotes kindness and encourages it as a daily practice. A good day to start might be World Kindness Day on Nov. 13.

Center Manager Tiara Cash spoke to ASU Now about the impact of kindness and how mindfulness can improve our lives.

Woman in a creme colored jacket

Tiara Cash

Question: Does showing kindness have an impact on our physical or mental health? Does science back this up?

Answer: The short answer is yes! Have you ever noticed that doing something good for someone else gives you joy and makes you feel good, too? Well, studies have shown that being kind has an actual effect on our brains and bodies. Acts of kindness are linked to increased serotonin, which promotes calmness and happiness, and increased oxytocin, commonly referred to as the “love hormone,” which promotes social bonds and is linked to improving heart health and blood pressure. Kindness and compassion toward others has also been linked to decreased anxiety and stress. Decreased stress means a lower chance of overall illness, blood pressure and cholesterol.

There has also been research done in the fields of psychology, neuroscience and economics on the science of giving and acts of kindness, exploring our thoughts, reactions and behaviors around being kind and giving to others. It is important to remember that giving for selfish reasons does not have the same long-term effects that altruistic behaviors like acts of kindness and compassion do. Although giving selfishly may have temporary benefits, researchers have found that the extrinsic motivations of actions like these crowd our intrinsic motivations, which keep us innovative, autonomous and self-sustained. Be kind and give from the heart.

Q: What about those on the receiving end of kindness? Do they experience any health benefits?

A: Have you ever heard the phrase kindness is contagious? Well, this folklore phrase is actually based in some truth. Those who witness kindness — either through receiving kindness or watching someone else be kind — are actually inspired to act kind, and in some cases without even having to be in contact with the person that is being kind in the first place. In a collection of studies, behavioral scientists found that participants of interventions who believed that other individuals were being kind were likely to be more generous themselves. In simple terms, this is what’s called kindness contagion. If we think back to the health benefits outlined, this means that those who are on the receiving end of kindness or even witness kindness are more likely to have the health benefits of lowered stress, lowered anxiety and increased “feel good” hormones.

Q: Is this along the lines of what is being taught at ASU’s Center for Mindfulness, Compassion and Resilience?

A: We are biologically wired to show kindness and compassion. However, so often we forget how important this is to our well-being that we practice these skills. Here at the center, we work on further developing these traits through the skills of mindfulness and compassion to create habits of kindness. Mindfulness is one of the ways that we invoke kindness by repeating phrases or mantras and affirmations to assist the brain in creating pathways for positive thoughts of ourselves and acting through prosocial behaviors for others. The wonderful thing about kindness and positive emotion is that it’s on a feedback loop in our brains, meaning that we experience the joy of kindness and compassion and our brains store that positive emotion alerting us again to receive that positive emotion when we act kindly in the future. In this way, the more we practice acts of kindness, the more we create habits of kindness and feelings of positive emotion.

Q: What suggestions would you give someone looking to create habits of kindness and compassion?

A: The good news is there are plenty of ways to help boost your acts of kindness daily. A quick way to begin is to start with yourself. Self-compassion or self-kindness is a great way to boost healthy self-esteem and resilience while also igniting that kindness feedback loop I mentioned earlier. Practice loving-kindness meditation as one of your daily rituals as you begin to create a habit of kindness. You can find a version of this on our website under resources. Other ways to promote kindness of self and others: Start a gratitude journal and create a habit of writing down two things you are grateful for each day; intentionally smile more at people who you see walking the halls at work or on campus; and compliment a co-worker or give someone you appreciate a thank you note one day this week.

Finally, in any circumstance or situation that could use reframing to help you get through frustration or anger, remember we are all human and make mistakes. Sometimes just softening your perception of someone else is also an act of kindness and if we can remember that kindness is contagious, we can begin to see changes in our communities and cultures.

Reporter , ASU Now

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