Girls Gone Rx Steps In to Fill Void Left by Barbells for Boobs

February 6, 2023 by
Photo Credit: Girls Gone Rx
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When Lindsey Marcelli heard about Barbells for Boobs’ sudden dissolution last month, she felt responsible to step up and fill the void. 

As the founder of both Girls Gone Rx—an events company that has been raising money for breast cancer since 2012—and the charity Compete for a Cure, Marcelli immediately put herself out there to the women currently feeling abandoned by Barbells for Boobs.

Things are still fresh, so Marcelli still isn’t exactly sure how things will unfold, but the first order of business is to attend a Town Hall this Thursday hosted by the former Barbells for Boobs, Resources After Diagnosis (RAD) athletes to determine how they can work together.

Marcelli is open to all kinds of possibilities, she explained, including bringing on former Barbells for Boobs coaches or offering online workouts, should those be things RAD athletes are interested in.

“We just need to figure out what they would want, what they envision it to look like, and how to make it happen,” Marcelli said.

Remind me: On January 22, Barbells for Boobs—a charity that has raised more than $20 million to provide resources, education, coaching and support for fitness-enthusiast women affected by breast cancer since 2009—hosted a Town Hall and announced they are closing their doors.

  • The exact reasons for their dissolution are still unclear, as the only insight the charity’s founder Zion Hanson gave was: “The past few years have been challenging for everyone, and like many nonprofits, we found ourselves challenged repeatedly.”
  • Needless to say, the women in the former RAD program were left shocked, heartbroken and lost. “In about 10 minutes, they took away everything that all of us have relied on…We lost our community…with no answers and no plan for moving forward. Just, ‘We’re done,’” said RAD athlete Erin Michael.

Girls Gone Rx and Compete for a Cure’s History

In 2008, while serving with the United States military in Iraq, Marcelli received a call from her mom telling her she had breast cancer.

The news hit Marcelli like a ton of bricks, and eventually this led her to start Girls Gone Rx in 2012, a women’s only functional fitness events company that also raises money for breast cancer. In the last decade, Girls Gone Rx has hosted 300-plus competitions around the world, and has raised more than $1 million for various breast cancer charities.

More recently, last year, Marcelli decided to start her own charity, Compete for a Cure, whose goal it is to “fund breast cancer survivors’ wellness within local communities,” she explained. Part of this involves educating coaches.

In light of this—and in partnership with a certified cancer exercise speciality—much of Marcelli’s last year was devoted to creating a free course for coaches—Breast Cancer Basics for Coaches—to educate and empower coaches and to provide them with the tools and confidence to work with women affected by breast cancer. The course has just been through beta testing and is set to be released soon.

Further, Marcelli has also been laying the groundwork for Compete for the Cure to offer grants and scholarships, the idea being to be able to fund things like CrossFit or yoga membership, or marathon entry fees for breast cancer survivors.

“Breast cancer is very expensive, especially when you’re going through it…and the first thing that gets cut out (of the budget) is fitness, and we don’t want that to happen obviously,” Marcelli said.

While that project is still in the works, Marcelli’s immediate next priority is to meet with the former Barbells for Boobs RAD athletes to determine exactly how her charity can step in and fill a much-needed void that Barbells for Boobs left in the CrossFit community. And she could be more excited about the opportunity. 

“It just gets me super excited. I haven’t been able to sleep for like a week,” Marcelli said. 

She added: “When you get a bunch of strong women together, that feeling you see, you can’t explain it.”
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