Between Wodapalooza and setting off for my next journey, I think I was home for all of about 48 hours; barely enough time to unpack and even less time to rest.

Suspended 35,000 feet above sea level and somewhere over the Atlantic on my way to Barcelona for the Freakest Challenge, I’ll spend the next few days with Nike athletes like Mathew Fraser, Sara Sigmundsdottir, Laura Horvath and a few others.

Tired or not, I’m pretty stoked.

But I’m also struck at this moment by the globalization of the sport of Fitness, and I believe we’re at a pivotal moment in CrossFit.

Consider this; While I’m heading to a fitness competition in Spain, the Morning Chalk Up team is on the ground piecing together the story in Australia as the third Sanctional is underway. Next week, athletes throw down in Cape Town, South Africa, then it’s London, the CrossFit Open and then we’re in Washington, D.C. for the Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge.

In the next two months, we’ll have watched six sanctioned events in five countries and the ninth installment of the largest participatory fitness event on planet earth: the CrossFit Open.

Today, CrossFit is covering more parts of the globe than ever before, and in new ways, and I’m excited to be a part of it. CrossFit’s renewed focus on health isn’t just convenient in timing, it’s necessary. Critical even and couldn’t come at a more important time than now when obesity rates and chronic illness are on the rise .

But with all this change, there’s one thing I don’t hear talked about much — CrossFit still needs its heroes.

This weekend, at the Freakest Challenge, a young athlete is going to look over and see Mat Fraser and Sara Sigmundsdottir, and at that moment be inspired to dig deeper, to hold on longer, to “JUST DON̶T̶ ̶Q̶U̶IT” as the Nike Training slogan goes.

It’s a bit coincidental writing this here, and now. Three years ago, Sara had just come off her breakout 3rd place Rookie performance and she competed in this very same event in Barcelona. I can’t help but wonder who was inspiring her to dig a little deeper.

Young athletes need to pin up posters of champions in their garages, imagining they’re going rep-for-rep with Mat Fraser; grabbing just one more before the time cap. The next generation needs to wake up hungry, hungry to compete, to grow, to sweat, to hurt, to earn it, and to win.

Heroes help us dream and keep hope alive; they also help lay the foundation on which we’re hopefully building and not tearing down.

Justin LoFranco

Mathew Fraser | Sara Sigmundsdottir

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