Affiliate of the Month: Gifford Fitness Raises $21,000 for Women’s Shelter in June through 24 Hours of Heroes
On June 24-25, the Gifford Fitness community in New Brighton, MN embarked on a massive fitness challenge: 24 Hours of Hero Workouts.
From Griff to Nuts to Omar, to Jag 28, DG and Chad, close to 70 people from the Gifford community tackled as many Hero Workouts as they could in a 24-hour window.
The result: Their efforts raised $21,000 for Alexandria House—a charity that offers emergency shelters and services to women looking to escape domestic violence—enough to help provide services to 200 women.
The back story: Though this was the first year he turned the event into a formal one for his entire community, Nick Gifford, the affiliate’s owner, first tackled the challenge of completing 24 Hero Workouts in 24 hours during the pandemic when he was in need of “something motivational” to do, he explained.
In 2021, Gifford made it through 23 workouts as prescribed, but couldn’t quite finish the 1,000 box step-ups during the final workout, Chad.
- “I stopped at 500 step-ups…I actually just kind of quit, my body hurt so bad,” said Gifford, an affiliate owner since 2016. “So for the entire next year, I had this burning in my head.”
Though he wasn’t happy to have fallen short, he still raised $4,000 for charity and re-committed himself to attempting the challenge again in 2022.
A year later, Gifford made the workouts even harder and managed to complete all 24 workouts as prescribed with a handful of others from his gym joining in on workouts here and there to keep him on track.
- “It had such a powerful impact that I was like, ‘I gotta do this again,’” he said.
This year’s details: Gifford opened up the event to his entire community and set a goal of raising $20,000 for Alexandria House. Seventy people participated in the workouts—which could be done Rx or scaled—with most participants opting to do between four and 12 Hero Workouts in the 24-hour window, Gifford explained.
There were also sponsors on hand, a silent auction, a taco truck, and he even got his CrossFit Kids involved by setting up lemonade stands for the participants.
- “Some people slept in their cars (between workouts) or brought RVs or set up tents in our outdoor space,” Gifford said about the vibe of the event.
As for Gifford, who once again completed all 24 workouts, he managed to squeeze in just two 10-20 minute naps during the entire event. The rest of the time between workouts was spent refueling enough to recover for another one. And showering.
- “I think I went through 10 changes of clothes throughout the process,” said Gifford, laughing.
And while he isn’t sure how many calories he consumed throughout the event, he ate five full meals and snacked on anything from bananas to Sour Patch Kid gummies any chance he could, and still he lost 10 pounds in 24 hours.
The Big Picture: Considering the success, and the impact the event seemed to have on his community and on Alexandria Hours, Gifford is planning on making 24 Hours of Heroes an annual event at his affiliate.
Next year, he intends to take himself out of the event as a participant so he can focus entirely on running it, and on raising even more money for the charity that is close to his heart.
- “I know we can have a significant impact, so we’re going to do it again. Everyone is fully bought-in because of the power it has to help,” he said.