Greg Glassman, Dave Castro, Robb Wolf Headline Speakers at RevitaFest in October

August 27, 2023 by
Courtesy of Karen Thompson
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Four months ago, when CrossFit LLC let go of approximately 20 percent of their workforce, Karen Thomson was among the casualties.

  • “I started panicking…It was so unexpected,” said Thomson, who had been involved in building CrossFit Health since 2017 and was the CrossFit Health Lead at the time.  
  • “My heart sank. CrossFit Health was my baby and it was something I cared so deeply about,” she added.

As a single mother of two kids, Thomson wasted no time feeling sorry for herself or harboring ill will against her former employer.

  • “There are no hard feelings. I know it was just a business decision…I will forever be grateful to CrossFit, “ said Thomson, who grew up in South Africa and moved to the United States in 2016 shortly after she met CrossFit founder and owner at the time Greg Glassman at a health conference and began working for CrossFit. 

Out of work Thomson—the author of Sugar Free: 8 Weeks to Freedom from Sugar and Carb Addiction—started planning her next move, and quickly realized that what she really wanted to do was, not only educate people about health and fitness, but do it in a way that could get them excited about making health changes.

A few short months later, Thomson has managed to organize and launch RevitaFest, a five-day health festival with a line-up of impressive guest speakers, including Glassman, Dave Castro—CrossFit’s General Manager of Sport and Education— and  Robb Wolf—author of The Paleo Solution and Wired to Eat.

The details: RevitaFest is a five-day virtual event will run from October 17-21 and is designed for coaches, health professionals and individuals looking to become more educated about health, fitness and wellness, but in a “fun and exciting way,” said Thomson, who before getting into CrossFit, founded and operated a psychiatric and addictions rehabilitation facility in South Africa for more than a decade. 

The festival will cost attendees anywhere from $129 to $269, depending on the ticket option selection (Morning Chalk Up readers get 50% off with the discount code: MCU), and will feature 30 to 40 speakers who will lecture in their area of expertise—from nutrition and exercise, to sexual health, women’s health, relationship health, mindset, passion and purpose, sleep, self-care, leadership, and behavior change, to name a few.

  • “Each talk is only going to be 20 minutes, but it will be a powerful 20 minutes and will be focused on the topic and how people can practically implement (the material into their lives) should they choose to,” Thomson said.
  • “The idea is to give people access to the world’s top experts, people who aren’t in the mainstream medical paradigm, to look at combating chronic disease, and CrossFit fits into that beautifully,” she added.
  • The festival will also include various workshops, including a nutrition workshop led by Healthy Steps Nutrition founder Nicole Aucoin, as well as yoga, mindset, breathwork and meditation workshops.

The big picture: Though this year RevitaFest will be held 100 percent virtually, Thomson’s plan is for it to become an in-person event next year, and ultimately to grow it into “the world’s largest in-person health event,” she said. Considering she managed to round up an impressive line-up of speakers in just a few months—“These people have become friends of mine, so they all just said yes,” she shrugged—the future looks bright. 

Her promise: It won’t be boring. 

  •  “Being healthy requires discipline and effort and commitment, and if we can make that fun and exciting more people will be drawn to it,” Thomson  said.

She added: “We’re going to create an experience where people can explore and celebrate health, have fun, create moments of magic…and create their own blueprints for being healthier.”

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