Luis Leonardo, personal trainer and owner of Edina-based Tres Sports, is embarking on a physical and mental journey this Saturday, May 26. He will be performing a 30-minute plank in an attempt to raise $3,000 to help end sex trafficking. We asked Leonardo about his motivation, the cause and how people can support him in this endeavor.
What motivated you to host this fundraiser?
The idea of sex trafficking simply breaks my heart. No human should have the right to own another human. I am a father of two, and I hope that the world becomes a safer place for my kids. People tend to think of sex trafficking as a problem that only takes place in developing countries, but in reality, it happens right here in our own backyard. Educating people is a great way to fight this monster. Every 30 seconds, someone becomes a victim of sex trafficking; that statistic is enough motivation to try to do something to help.
What organization does it benefit?
It benefits 30 For Freedom, and all the money raised goes directly to fight sex trafficking. Brent Silkey, who started 30 For Freedom a few years ago, is a dear friend and client, and this is my way of supporting his massive fight against sex trafficking.
Have you done an extreme physical feat like this before?
How are you preparing, both physically and mentally?
Physically, I started my preparation on May 1 by doing a 12-minute plank, and I have been building my time every week since.
Mentally, I have found that I need to put pressure on myself, so announcing this publicly helps me tremendously. It is extremely mentally challenging to hold a plank position for a long period of time, so I try to stay mentally distracted. I also go in with the attitude “I am going to do this” rather than just “I am going to attempt this.”
A big motivator for me is thinking about the victims of sex trafficking and trying to help put an end to their pain and misery. I have to understand that my misery will have an end, and I like to use the suffering of the plank to try to connect with what the victims are dealing with every day.
How can others get involved?
People can make a donation to my plank fundraiser. They can also become affiliated with 30 For Freedom. Lastly, they can come out and support me during my plank and even join me [location to be announced]. I plan to ask people to join me that day for 30 seconds of plank time then 30 seconds of rest for the entire duration of my plank.