This past week I had two opportunities to meet and help out with an amazing program: Wiseburn CrossFit. http://wiseburnCrossFit.org/ One of my fellow LAX CrossFitters, Kevin Corrinet, has implemented (and poured his heart and soul into) a CrossFit program at the local middle school where he teaches. On Monday I went to help out with the girls’ after school tryout team practice. They got to work on back squats (their first time with that movement and they did awesome!). Their WOD was 3 rounds for time of rowing and burpees over the rower. It was exciting to watch these girls train in a way that most 13 year olds don’t get to. I know when I was their age, I didn’t know of anything to do fitness wise besides traditional sports (which I did not partake in) and recreational exercise (like step aerobics which I admit I did and loved). Doing l-steps and over-the-top moves may have been fun at the time but given the level of exercise I do these days, it is amazing I found that gratifying. Then again, I was 13 and didn’t know of anything else.
I think I missed out on being part of a team, of working towards goals (and not just working out for the sake of working out). You form strong bonds with your peers when you struggle and succeed together. I didn’t have that growing up and so stepping into a gym with 16 eager, hardworking girls was probably more inspirational to me than I was to them. I loved seeing them cheer each other on and high five each other. Those girls gave the workouts their all and rightfully so, were proud of themselves when they finished. I know when I have a kick ass workout at 6 am, like say I PR a back squat or shave time off a workout from when I last did it, that feeling of accomplishment puts me in the best frame of mind that carries me through the long work day ahead of me. I am certain that those girls share that same feeling. We all remember what it’s like to be 13 and the importance of feeling confident. I am sure this wonderful program that Coach Corrinet has put together is having a tremendous impact on these kids.
Then on Friday there was the ultimate CrossFit test. Out of 170 students who were enrolled in the 2nd semester CrossFit PE class, 5 girls were selected to compete in the very first Wiseburn Throw Down along with the top 5 boys. (They earned their spots in the competition from participating in a 2 week open style workout period: 10 events/wods). So I had the privilege of spending my lunch hour on Friday along with 8 of my LAX CrossFit buds to be the very official judges for the event. I cannot think of a better testimonial to counter all the arguments that bloggers and CrossFit haters who say CrossFit is not a sport. Take in the atmosphere and excitement. Look around in the stands at the families who came to watch those kids. Look at all their teachers and fellow students cheering and flashing signs they made to support them and keep them pumped while pushing through the “Sweet Sixteen” event. It was overwhelming. The kids were competing with each other, the same group of kids they had been training with for months. They showed true sportsmanship and it was just a delight to witness.
A very special thanks to Coach Corrinet who is paving the way for bringing a life changing sport to young kids. His dedication and belief in them was so apparent given how smoothly the competition ran and well received it was. I am so grateful I could be a part of this. I wish I could spend every lunch hour working with these kids.