Ty Holbrook was lying in bed one night, dreaming of terrible workouts, when one hit him.
He and one of his Coaches, Brian, regularly challenge themselves both mentally and physically. That night, he was thinking of what they could do that week when the lightbulb went off. What if they took a 44-mile journey from Holbrook’s gym, CrossFit Cimmeria, up to Skibowl, a small ski resort on Mount Hood in Gresham, Oregon?
“It was like 1 a.m. I came up with this idea,” recalled Holbrook. “I texted [Brian]. Immediately he wrote back, ‘You’re crazy, but yeah let’s do it.’” They hoped to finish in 20 hours.
The entire gym soon got involved. “Over the course of the week as we were finalizing the plan for it, the members of the gym got excited, and it turned into a fundraiser where members started putting down dollar amounts for every mile that they thought we would make it. Nobody thought we would finish it,” said Holbrook. “It ended up being we raised over $3,000 in four days without any advertising. We didn’t do anything; it was just completely through the gym.”
The support didn’t stop at money. During the course of what would be a 24-hour trek, members drove to Mount Hood in the middle of the night to deliver Snickers and Cokes to the Box owner and Coach. “We are just blown away by the amount of support and the interest,” said Holbrook.
Last year, the funds raised went to buying more equipment for the gym. But that wasn’t the end. “We thought if we did this well in four days with no advertising, I wonder what we could do if we really tried,” he said.
On November 4, 2017, Holbrook and Brian will traverse the 44-miles up to Skibowl again, but this time with a 100-pound D-Ball. Plus, Holbrook has reached out to everyone he can think of — Progenex, Brute Strength, local radio stations, etc. — for sponsorships and marketing. And this year, they’ve decided to own the phrase #skibowlforskiergs, hoping to use the money raised to buy Concept2 SkiErgs for CrossFit Cimmeria. “I find if you don’t ask, nothing happens,” he said. “Affiliate owners know how difficult it is to make a CrossFit gym profitable. To actually make a living on it, it’s so tough. Anything I can do to help us grow the gym, I don’t want to just ask for things. We’re willing to put in the work. Earn what we’re trying to get.”
But this year, half of the funds raised will be donated to the local Boys & Girls Club. Holbrook noted that is “icing on the cake,” supporting a local organization.
And that wouldn’t be possible if his members didn’t see the value of what CrossFit Cimmeria is trying to accomplish. Holbrook said whether it’s showing his members he’s buying new equipment for them or renting out a local pool for his community, he knows they see the value in the gym. Thus, they want to give back. “Affiliates might be surprised how much people do want to help, how much their members really do care about the gym,” said Holbrook. “They want to give back because they see the value in what we’re doing. Don’t be afraid to ask. If it’s something that’s truly going to benefit the membership base, go for it.”