CrossFit Boxes across the country are sweating pink.
Named as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, October is full of events and programs looking to raise money for and impart knowledge about the disease. The world of CrossFit has not been left out.
In Chicago, Illinois, CrossFit Chicago is holding a Barbells for Boobs event — dedicated to raising awareness and money for breast cancer — on Saturday, Oct. 11. From 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Box will be conducting heats of Grace every 15 minutes.
They will not be alone: CrossFit Amplify and CrossFit Carbon, located in the suburbs of Chicago, are co-hosting the event. Meaning, all three Boxes will hold the same event at the same time, pooling their money at the end of the day to give to the charity. “This is actually the first year we’re collaborating with other Boxes,” said Kacey Fuldauer, one of the lead trainers at CrossFit Chicago, who explained this will be the Box’s third event of this kind. “It’s been a great experience to create the event at the same time as two other Boxes and know that everyone’s doing some sort of Grace at the same time on the same day for the same cause.”
Over at CrossFit Stevens Point in Plover, Wisconsin, a Respect the Rack event was held Saturday, Oct. 4. While the Box did not go through Barbells for Boobs, the goal to raise awareness was the same, but with a local twist. “We wanted to think a little bit outside the Box … and do our own thing that could raise money for the local people here,” said Scott Keyser, the owner of CrossFit Stevens Point.
After all was said and done, Keyser said they made about $3,000 in donations to the local Saint Michael’s Foundation’s Angel Fund, with the money going toward mammograms for those who cannot afford them. CrossFit Stevens Point’s donation will pay for about nine mammograms.
The event was run different than that at CrossFit Chicago. Instead of heats, 30 minutes was put on the clock. Eight barbells were set up on racks — hence, the other meaning to respect the rack — ranging from 45 to 225 pounds. Then, as many squats as possible were done by 39 athletes. Local businesses had made pledges, like 5 cents per squat. By the end, 3,743 squats were completed, and through at-the-door donations and admission, Keyser’s expectations were exceeded.
He hopes next year will see the same sort of collaboration from the Boxes in central Wisconsin that was seen by those in Chicago.
The benefit of these events are clear. Fuldauer said with over 400 members at CrossFit Chicago, Barbells for Boobs brings together those who would never have met. “It enhances the community that way, as well as getting to know other athletes and members from other Boxes in the city,” she explained.
The benefits business wise are there as well. Keyser said because the local news station showed up to his Box and aired a story about the event, he had several phone calls and sign ups for his beginners class.
So for him, helping a local charity is beneficial all around. “I encourage everybody to do what’s best for your local community,” said Keyser. “You don’t want to be ostracized because CrossFit does have a bad rap from time to time, that we’re better than others. We’re really not. We’re just a place to workout. We just do it a little bit different than a lot of people do.”