CrossFit Community Rallies for Affiliate Coach After Bike Accident

August 9, 2023 by
Image Credit: Certus CrossFit
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At Certus CrossFit in Clovis, California, every class starts with a “rhythm clap”–athletes clap three times, then slap their thighs three times. It brings the group together and primes them for a good workout. 

Now, the coach that started the rhythm clap needs his gym’s–and the greater CrossFit community’s–help. 

James Scharnick has been in the hospital for weeks after a serious biking accident over Father’s Day Weekend, in which he was launched over the front wheel and sent him headfirst into the ground. He was rushed to the hospital and his surgeon fused his spine at C3-C6. While he’s on the mend and has gained some strength in his arms, the road ahead to a full recovery is a long one. 

  • “James is super important to our gym. It’s not like he’s some random guy that came in at some point, he’s helped build this place from the ground up,” head coach Joe Devane said. The two are the head coaches at Certus together. “James, he’s the type of guy that would do anything for anyone no questions asked.”

Devane said that just like Scharnick is always encouraging his gym members and lifting them up, members are now bringing the same support back to Scharnick. The gym has helped raise over $80,000 to help Scharnick’s family with medical bills. In addition, CrossFit Mayhem shared Scharnick’s story on their YouTube channel and asked their viewers to pray and donate if possible. 

  • “(I’m) more grateful than I could explain,” Scharnick’s wife, Sarah Scharnick, said. “I knew we had a big and generous community but I didn’t think that it would become what it has.”

Now, the gym is going one step further to reach more people and get more support for the Scharnick family. They’ve created a hero workout, called “Rhythm Clap,” that they’re asking affiliates around the world to participate in on August 19. Their goal is to spread awareness, raise money, and share Scharnick’s encouraging spirit with the greater CrossFit community. 

Rhythm Clap

For time: 

30 Calorie Bike/Ski

40 Wall Balls (20/14 pounds)

40 Calorie Bike/Ski 

40 KB Snatches (53/35 pounds)

40 Calorie Bike/Ski

40m Walking Lunge with Wall Ball

40 Calorie Bike/Ski

40 Overhead Squats (95/65 pounds)

Time cap: 21 minutes

Despite the long journey he’s facing ahead, Scharnick still has his trademark positivity. 

  • Scharnick: “It’s been very challenging with lots of ups and downs. However, there are two things that have prepared me most for this. My faith is by trusting that God has everything under control and CrossFit because we challenge ourselves daily and put ourselves through hardship and challenging circumstances each and every day in the gym. As coach Glassman said, the biggest adaptation is between the ears.”

Learn more about Scharnick’s story and donate.

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