“People who wonder if the glass is half empty or full miss the point. The glass is refillable.”- Unknown
Red Eagle CrossFit Destroyed in Kentucky Tornado, Owner Intends to Rebuild
On Friday, December 10, Leah Kluemper and 20 of her members were at Red Eagle CrossFit in Mayfield, KY gathering for a “friendsgiving” to celebrate Kluemper finishing the Physical Therapist Assistant program.
Three hours later, the gym was gone, lost in the deadly tornado that ripped through Kentucky and five other states the night of December 10 and early morning hours of December 11.
“We worked out and then we ate and celebrated, and I said to my assistant coach, ‘We need to have everyone out by 7 because we knew a storm was coming,” said Kluemper, Red Eagle CrossFit’s owner for nearly five years.
“We definitely would not have made it had we been there when the tornado hit, because it just sucked everything right out,” said Kluemper, who left the gym at 7 p.m. and and drove to her mother’s place 20 kilometers away with her husband to avoid the tornado.
What happened next: At 10 p.m., Kluemper received a call telling her her gym was gone. She was in disbelief, she explained, and needed to see it for herself.
At 10:45 p.m., after the storm had passed through Mayfield, Kluemper drove back to the gym.
“I didn’t want to believe it. It’s just one of those things you don’t understand it until you actually see it,” she said.
Arriving at the gym, it was evident that almost nothing could be salvaged. The rowing machines were bent and missing pieces, the rig was leaning sideways, and even the wall ball targets were all bent.
“It looked like everything had been picked up, spun around and slammed around…We were able to find a few things, but we’re not sure if they’re safe for people to use. There were still four Assault bikes in the gym. And it’s not funny, but we joked that, ‘Of course, the Assault bikes made it,’” she said.
Rebuilding: While Kluemper fully “intends to rebuild” her gym, she also admits she isn’t sure what this is going to look like.
“I would like to build a building because I plan on becoming a physical therapist and I wanted to have a gym (at my practice), but I’ll have to wait and see…Right now I don’t even know what to do,” she said. “Even if I wanted to rent a new building right now, my town is destroyed and there’s nothing to rent. There’s no water or electricity inside the city right now.”
She added: “I know it’s just a gym, but it’s more than a gym to all of us.”
I didn’t want to believe it. It’s just one of those things you don’t understand it until you actually see it.
– Leah Kluemper
The community steps in: Kluemper said she has been overwhelmed by how the larger CrossFit community has offered support since losing her business and her livelihood five days ago.
Brandy Key, the owner of CrossFit Dig Deep in Paducah, KY, reached out to Kluemper immediately and asked, ‘How can I help?’ Then Key set up a GoFundMe page to help Kluemper rebuild her gym. At the time of publication, it had raised $4,088.
Other Kentucky gyms have also offered support, as well, including CrossFit Murrary, who is letting Kluemper’s members train there for the time being.
“And lots of other gyms that are a lot further away have been donating and asking what they can do,” added Kluemper, including the owners of CrossFit Hermitage, a Tennessee gym that was lost in a tornado in 2020, whose owners reached out offering advice.
The generous support from the community has lessened the blow, Kluemper explained. “I just want to say how much I appreciate our CrossFit community. Hearing that I’m not in this by myself makes me feel better and it’s all the more reason I chose to open a CrossFit gym, so I’m appreciative of everyone thinking about us,” she said.
Flashback to the 2019 Dubai CrossFit Championship where we followed up-and-comer Jeff Adler in this four-part mini doc. Adler went on to finish 8th that year but he’s coming into competition after finishing 3rd at Rogue, 13th at the 2021 Games and 5th at the 2020 Games.
Sara Sigmundsdottir joins the Toe Spacer team, joining 27 other athletes across major sports now endorsing the product.
“It felt weird at first but that soon changed and now it’s almost a euphoric feeling when I put them on. I use them both for certain training and mobility exercises…but I also sometimes just slide them on in the end of a long training day as it just feels so good to feel all the tension in my feet disappear.”
Team USA results and lifting schedule at the IWF World Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan:
CBD Before Nine Hours a Night: Do you Sleep like a CrossFit Games Athlete?
Last month, a new sleep and nutrition study published in the European Journal, Diabetiologia, found that the time you go to sleep, and having consistent bedtimes and wake times, is more important than how many hours of sleep you get a night.
The research, considered the most in-depth sleep study of its kind, discovered that unusually late bedtimes were associated with negative blood glucose responses, which as we know, in the long-term, is linked to Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.
Do CrossFit Games Athletes Train On Christmas Day?
They can sometimes seem like superhumans. CrossFit Games athletes, that is. They can do things with their bodies the average human can only dream of, making them seem almost untouchable.
But then you sit down and ask them about their favorite holiday traditions, how they spend their Christmas mornings, and what they eat for Christmas dinner, and suddenly they’re normal human beings, likeable and relatable.
In light of the popular drink company LIFEAID and their holiday campaign FITMAS—an initiative aimed at sharing stories, traditions and recipes from athletes and gyms round the world—we got the chance to talk to six of LIFEAID’s line-up of international CrossFit Games athletes and asked them what brings them the most joy during the holidays.
The Big Winner…
“I get to just focus on the family, and just get to really spend time with the family…Everyone comes together, and you get to see family that you haven’t seen in a long time, so that’s the best part about it.”
Not surprisingly, good old fashioned family time was the big winner.
For Neal Maddox, a six-time Games competitor and 2018 Men’s 40-44 year-old division champion, this means spending time with his wife and in-laws on the lake in Michigan, usually doing a big puzzle together.
“I get to just focus on the family, and just get to really spend time with the family…Everyone comes together, and you get to see family that you haven’t seen in a long time, so that’s the best part about it,” Maddox said.
Two-time Games medalist, Hungarian Laura Horvath agrees.
“My favorite thing about it is definitely my family. Just spending time with them. Playing board games and hanging out,” Horvath said.
Parties, family, traveling, celebrating. Over the holidays, sometimes it's better to just have a set routine you can follow every day. Do these three core exercises each morning when you get up and your body will thank you when you're back in the box.
Out of the gym and trying to stay strong with some push-ups? You're not alone. Make sure you're still prioritizing your recovery by using this method to properly roll out your pecs after an intense few days of chest work.
Smell that? You may think it's bacon, but that's the smell of money. Sign up for ButcherBox today and receive free bacon in every box you order for the lifetime of your subscription, and in case that's not enough, you'll also save $100 in cold hard cash.
You've heard of Beta Alanine, well it's time to meet Beta Glucan. Could this be the supplement you've been looking for that will replace the need for hard work and nutritional excellence? Nah. But research shows it may be a good thing to take anyway.
Kyra Milligan pulled 305 pounds/138 kg from the ground 16 times in a set of deadlifts that most would be happy to have for a 1RM.
Congratulations to Ella Nicholson on winning the Teen division at the 615 Throwdown and putting up a 205 pound/93kg clean and jerk.
CrossFit Winston-Salem member, Kelli Gonzalez, is undergoing medical treatment after suffering a seizure in November that led to the discovery of a brain tumor in her left temporal lobe. Kelli is 23 years old and without medical insurance; CWS has organized a Go Fund Me page to help cover the cost of her expenses including procedures, neurologist appointments, and hospital stays.
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