San Diego Rainstorm Floods and Destroys CrossFit ATR

January 25, 2024 by
Courtesy of Adam Gelfand
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On Monday, January 22, Adam Gelfand was a the gym during routine 9:30 AM class that is always filled with mothers who often bring their young children.

Thirty minutes later, the scene was anything but normal. An intense rainstorm struck, leaving his gym, CrossFit ATR, in San Diego, CA, filled with three feet of water.

  • “It literally happened in 30 or 40 minutes,” said Gelfand, who only bought the gym six months ago.

He and the moms did all they could to salvage any equipment, but it was largely all for naught.

  • “Everything was submerged. Boxes were floating. And the Ski Ergs (that we) put on top of plyo boxes all started floating off,” Gefland said.

And so Gelfand could do nothing but surrender and watch as his gym and all of its contents were destroyed right in front of him. Among the casualties were 10 Echo bikes, five Ski Ergs, and 13 rowing machines. 

Courtesy of Adam Gelfand

One big thing: Gelfand knew his gym was in an area that was susceptible to flooding and, along with his landlord, had taken measures to guard against a bad storm, including building a cement wall and wood barriers to protect the gym. 

  • “We were ready for a storm… but this storm overcame everything,” he said. 

In fact, in the last 11 years that his facility has been a gym, they have never seen something like this before, he added. 

The big picture: Gelfand has gone through every emotion in the last two days, from disbelief and sadness to anger and, ultimately, an appreciation for his community.

Monday morning, as he watched boxes and $800 worth of newly purchased medicine balls float down the San Diego river, a gym owner friend was setting up a GoFundMe page to help him rebuild CrossFit ATR, which at the time of publishing had raised just over $10,000.

  • “Before the water even receded, she had already set it up,” he explained.

And on Monday night, when Gelfand returned to his gym, 20 members were there to help him clean the mess and salvage what they could. 

This outpouring of support, both from his community and the greater CrossFit community, is what makes Gelfand want to rebuild so he can get back to doing what he really wants to do: “Change lives by helping people find fitness.”

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