“Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life.”- Rachel Carson
Brooke Wells is Resilient
Brooke Wells is one of the most well-known athletes in CrossFit. As a 19-year-old college student, she burst onto the scene by winning the 2015 Central Regional and she hasn’t looked back since.
With eight consecutive CrossFit Games appearances that span from Carson to Madison, including 2020, when she was one of only five women who qualified to compete in person at the CrossFit Ranch in Aromas, Wells has cemented her name among the CrossFit Games greats.
Who’s behind it: Similar to Mat Fraser’s HWPO, and Rich Froning’s First: What It Takes to Win, Brooke Wells’ Resilient was written by an established author through months of in-depth research and interviews. Unique from the others, this writer has first-hand perspective, as she was present in the tunnel in 2021 as the events that precipitated the writing of the book began.
She has authored three books prior to this one: Ben Bergeron’s Chasing Excellence (2017), Unlocking Potential (2021), and What is the Way?, the children’s book by Annie Thorisdottir and Katrin Davidsdottir released in late 2021.
Bald and Wells first met when the author was working as Director of Media at CompTrain in Natick, MA.
Autographed copies of Resilient are available for pre-order now with an official publication date of January 16, 2024.
Some Details: Resilient opens by taking readers behind the curtain of Wells’ infamous elbow injury during the one-rep max snatch event of the 2021 CrossFit Games. If you, like us, remember exactly where you were when witnessing it, you now experience it, for the first time, through the intimate lens of Wells’ inner dialogue:
“The barbell rolls off of me, flinging me backward. As I fall, a shrill, primal sound I can’t place pierces the air and echoes around the coliseum, one hundred times louder and more terrible than any storm. Someone is screaming, but sprawled on my back with my legs in the air, I can’t tell where it’s coming from. My vision is darkening. I have no sense of time or space; no sense of anything. Then pain, white hot, erupts from my elbow and with a jolt of terror I realize it’s me. I’m the one screaming.”
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The Dubai Fitness Challenge announced that Rogue Fitness is its equipment partner for the 2023 event.
✍️ 📝 Help Wanted: WIT is hiring a new head coach for their London location in St. Pauls. Check it out and if interested, apply by December 15.
Live Like Lou: NOBULL and local CrossFit affiliates are partnering with the Live Like Lou Foundation for a special workout and fundraiser on January 27, 2024. Learn how you or your gym can participate.
“The Lou” workout was created by Sunshine CrossFit owner Deb Austin and inspired by CrossFit Games Athlete, former gym owner, and ALS advocate Rainer Hartmann, who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease in 2022.
Where Are They Now? Tracking the Last Five Rookies of the Year
Is a good rookie year at the CrossFit Games an indicator of future success? What does the correlation between a strong debut outing and later performances show?
In this article, we analyze the CrossFit Games performances of the last five athletes who were awarded Rookie of the Year to see how their careers have progressed after making a big splash into the elite individual scene.
Madison, with its ample open space and hard-working Midwestern sensibilities, was an ideal place for some well-crafted, only-at-the-Games bike-riding events. In this third installment of ‘Moments from Madison,’ we look back on the non-stationary bike events from Games past.
Remind me: The CrossFit Games team programmed four bike events across the six years the Games were held in Madison. The first time athletes rode a moving bicycle since the Pendleton event in 2012 started with a 10-speed Trek mountain bike in the Cyclocross in 2017, moving on to professional road bikes for the Crit in 2018. The Games then took a three-year hiatus from bicycle events (the 2020 Games had a bike event, but not in Madison). The bike returned in 2022 with the Bike to Work event which incorporated high-volume gymnastics into a 10-mile bike course. Finally, the last bike event in Madison was Ride in 2023, a 40-minute, all-out grind through an off-road course.
The bike events on the women’s side were consistently won by athletes well-known for their long game. Kristin Holte took the top spot in the first two years, and younger newcomers showed their capacity in the past two years, as Haley Adams and Emma Lawson won out in 2022 and 2023, respectively.
Trek Bikes is headquartered in Wisconsin, and the area’s history with previous major cyclocross events was among the reasons CrossFit decided to incorporate the bike at the Games, according to a previous interview CrossFit spokesman Tim Chan had with Cyclocross Magazine.
Lawson got third place in Bike to Work at the 2022Games and held onto a strong position throughout the Ride event this year, keeping the momentum, she finished in first place.
The new terrain (literally) in 2023’s Ride wasn’t a roadblock for the athletes, as much of CrossFit is all about adapting. Emma Cary, however, got into a mix-up with Seher Kaya and Matilde Garnes, which led to her sliding off course and off her bike. She took 40th place in the event thanks to the mishap.
The men saw several notable moments in the bike events and were relatively unbothered when it came to hopping on a road or a mountain bike.
Ricky Garard proved himself formidable on the two bike events he saw, winning both of them (although later disqualified from the 2017 Games). In Bike to Work, Garard and Jonne Joski were neck and neck to the finish, sprinting to the end of the field. Ultimately, Garard edged out Koski by just a few seconds.
Pat Vellner likely will not be sad to see the bike events in his rearview mirror, as he accumulated a 24th-place average in the four bike events, despite an average overall placement of third across those four years. His worst bike finish — 35th in the Crit in 2018 — was instigated by the loss of his bike chain just two-plus minutes into the event.
The events also came with their share of confusion: In 2022, both Saxon Panchik and Lazar Đukić cut their workouts a lap short, prematurely becoming the first two to sprint to the finish. After some discussion, they were ultimately awarded 5th- and 10th-place finishes, respectively.
The bottom line: CrossFit HQ has introduced a number of odd objects and new equipment over the years. But something as basic as a bicycle (that isn’t stationary) shook up the Games in a way that expanded CrossFit, yet again, into another sport and expected more out of athletes in the off-season.
The Alpha Box Book for Kids
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Travis Miller, a member of the 460 Fitness community in Blacksburg, VA was diagnosed with a cavernous malformation in his spine, which has caused him to lose all function and sense below the waist. The 460 Fitness community is hosting an event, the Travis Miller Echo Bike Fundraiser Challenge. The entry fee to participate in the challenge is $10, and can be done anywhere. More details can be found here for those looking to help.
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