Twelve hours. Twelve WODs. And all for charity.
CrossFit Lake Mary in Lake Mary, Florida, has been hosting its 12 WODs of Christmas event since opening six years ago. Jennifer Sheppard, the general manager and co-owner of the Box, said it started with a desire to help children during the season of giving.
This year, the event took place on December 3 at the Box. Starting at 6 a.m. and going until 6 p.m., every hour there was a new workout. Sheppard explained they keep the WODs short, sweet and typically traditional. Most participants use little to no weight during the marathon of workouts.
Here’s an example of a few of the WODs during the 12-hour event:
All proceeds from the event go to IMPOWER, a non-profit organization benefiting at-risk children. Sheppard explained a member who works for the organization started that connection. “We obviously wanted to give back to the community and we knew that money would go directly to the foundation, so we chose [the member] and we’ve been working with [our member] ever since,” said Sheppard.
For 2016, the 12 WODs of Christmas raised $3,000 for IMPOWER. Sheppard said over the years they’ve raised about $20,000 for the organization, and CrossFit Lake Mary was recently named “Fundraiser of the Year” by IMPOWER.
Sheppard said about 100 people came out this year, with 21 athletes doing all 12 workouts. The incentive for doing the dozen WODs that day is a T-shirt you can only get if you accomplish the feat.
The event itself isn’t hard to plan, added Sheppard. She explained if you are an owner thinking of hosting a charity event to just do it. It’s usually very laid back, people simply looking to enjoy the time together. But, she did say to have an abundance of staff on hand willing to help.
Much of the day during the 12 WODs of Christmas, however, is spent resting and hanging out. Sheppard said entire families will come, bringing tents and sleeping bags. They’ll spend time chatting, throwing around footballs and simply just being together. “I think that’s one of the best parts of the event is just having time together all day as a community. Getting to know people that maybe you don’t see at other class times and things like that. Really getting to sit back with your Coaches and chill out. I think people enjoy sitting down, talking to their Coaches and so forth, and other people in the community that they maybe didn’t know,” said Sheppard. “It’s kind of like Christmas, like Christmas Day. Everybody comes in. It’s like a big family.”