“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”- Lao Tzu
Ricky Garard Out for 2023 Season After Shoulder Injury
Ricky Garard is currently in recovery from shoulder surgery after a mountain biking accident in late March led to “a ruptured AC joint and shoulder damage,” according to a video released by Garard on his YouTube Channel.
“I can’t really believe that it’s happened, to be honest,” Garard said. “But it is what it is and I just have to cop it on the chin and accept the reality of it. I suppose it’s the price I pay for the life I want to live.”
Garard’s recovery is expected to take four to six months. With the Torian Pro Semifinal taking place six weeks from now, the current third Fittest Man on Earth will not be competing in the remainder of the 2023 CrossFit Games season.
Justin Cotler, Garard’s coach at Underdogs Athletics said: “This is obviously a heavy blow. I truly believe Ricky would have won the 2023 CrossFit Games. But if history has taught us anything, it’s how mentally and physically resilient he is.”
“I know he’ll be laser focused with his recovery, and you can guarantee he’ll be back with a vengeance next season,” Cotler concluded.
Remind me: The news is devastating for the Australian athlete who only recently came back to the sport after finishing out his four-year suspension due to a drug testing violation during the 2017 CrossFit Games—his rookie year.
His first competition back after his suspension was the Dubai CrossFit Championship in 2021 where he took third place. Garard went on to qualify for the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games via Australia’s Torian Pro where he took first.
Garard placed third at the 2022 Games, which marked a massive comeback and set the stage for what many would assume to be several more seasons of dominance. Garard’s return to the sport was not only a test for himself, but for the entire CrossFit community which ultimately welcomed him back with open arms.
The off-season started a little questionable for Garard with a middle-of-the-pack 10th place finish at the 2022 Rogue Invitational.
He was set to compete at the Dubai Fitness Championship in December, but withdrew to “set him up for a successful season,” according to an Instagram post from Cotler.
It wasn’t long, however, before the rugby player from Down Under was back on top.
Garard blew through the men’s field at TYR Wodapalooza, taking first over 2022 CrossFit Games silver medalist Roman Khrennikov, and solidifying his place as one of the fittest men in the sport today.
Most recently, Garard took seventh place worldwide in the 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Open and 15th at Quarterfinals. He would have been the top-seeded male competing in the Oceania region’s Torian Pro Semifinal, scheduled to take place May 26-28 in Brisbane.
With Garard out, Khan Porter nursing a back injury, Royce Dunne going team, Bayden Brown taking the year off, and Tia-Clair Toomey and Kara Saunders both out for pregnancies, we are sure to see some new names representing Oceania at the 2023 CrossFit Games.
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Feed Your Fitness: Check out this profile of one of the UK’s fittest men in GQ Magazine. 🍽️
ICYMI: The Morning Chalk Up started a new series, “Affiliate of the Month.” The first box we highlighted was CrossFit Rincon in Puerto Rico. Nominate an affiliate here, but be sure to explain why it should be featured.
🏋️♀️ 1000 Pound Club: The Rogue 1000LB Club is Back! Find your cumulative 1rm bench, squat and deadlift in 1 hour. Learn all the details and sign up now.
5 Reasons Coaches Should Take Classes
Think about when you first started CrossFit. Do you remember the nerves and excitement each time you showed up for class? The same innocent excitement resurfaces when you first begin coaching and is slowly replaced with confidence through years of experience.
Most gyms have a mix of full time and part time coaches on their team and it’s a job in itself to keep everyone on the same page. One of the easiest ways to show consistency and improve your gym is for you to regularly take group classes. Today we’re giving you our top five reasons to encourage your team to jump in, log their scores and actively participate in your community.
Wellness Revolution CrossFit in Little Rock Devastated by Tornado, Community Steps in to Help
Those are some of the first words John Vincent, owner of Wellness Revolution CrossFit in Little Rock, Arkansas, says he was told on Friday, March 31, after his 10-year wellness center and affiliate had been ravaged by an intense tornado.
There were six athletes inside the gym when the tornado hit, preparing for the first workouts of the CrossFit Games Age Group Quarterfinals. They took shelter in the center of the building.
“Luckily, our members made it to an interior room. The front and back of the building had a lot of damage, but the middle was not bad,” Vincent said.“The athletes were able to hunker down in there and came out just fine, and we’re very blessed for that.”
“I got the call once they came out, and they just said, ‘Prepare yourself,’” he continued.
Wellness Revolution was in shambles. Vincent said along with damages to their flooring, they lost large portions of their roof, exterior walls, windows, garage doors, and dozens of pieces of equipment.
“It looked like a warzone. It’s all rubble. It’s surreal, something you see on TV and never really think is going to affect you,” Vincent said.
Immediately, the CrossFit community stepped in to support.
The day after the tornado, Vincent estimates he had over 100 people from different gyms in the community come to help clean up. Within hours, the cleanup crew had salvaged usable equipment and taken it to storage.
“I think six or eight of our members showed up to help clear out the gym and board up the doors,” says Chris Summers, owner of nearby affiliate CrossFit MidPoint and former Wellness Revolution member, “But there was such a huge turnout. They posted a 9 a.m. cleanup crew, and by the time I got there with more people at 10:15, it was done.”
Community boxes, including CrossFit MidPoint, have offered their facilities as a home for Wellness Revolution members as they create a plan to move forward. CrossFit MidPoint is opening its doors to coaches as well, with plans to organize classes led by coaches from both gyms.
Chris Cooper of Two-Brain Business connected Vincent with a CrossFit box in Nashville which suffered a similar tragedy in March of 2020, which Vincent said was an “amazing resource” to answer questions and provide support.
“They talked a lot about how to keep the community together, though they might not be with you right now. Almost like we did with COVID protocol, doing a video group chat with everyone… to keep them engaged with the community and Wellness Revolution.”
“Everyone is very supportive — not only because we had members in the box, so there’s a very emotional pull in from that — asking what we can do, how else we can help, what do we need to do,” said Vincent.
Rebuilding: Vincent has plans to rebuild Wellness Revolution and has set up a GoFundMe to help the community reunite as soon as possible. At the time of publication, the fund has raised $1,720 of its $20,000 goal.
“I’ve been at Wellness Revolution for 10 years, it’s been my home, and I’ve poured my heart into it. To see the gym in this way, it’s not a resource that anyone can use… it’s a gut punch for sure,” Vincent said.
“Hopefully, we can rebuild, and I can see a way that we get better on the other side of this.”
Inside Invictus: Team Quarterfinals Behind the Scenes
Invictus is rolling DEEP with three teams heading to the semis, including last year’s 3rd place team at the Games! Yes, they’re ALL back and ready to gun for the title. Want to take a behind the scenes look at their quarterfinals experience? We got you covered.
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Check out this podcast called “Counseling and Functional Fitness” that is hosted by a CrossFit Level 1 / mental health therapist Adam Barfoot. In this episode he dives into mental strength, toughness, and how to deal with your inner critic. Listen now!
It’s 2023 and you aren’t getting any younger… so let’s take care of our knees. Element 26 is known for their quality products, one of which is their knee sleeves. Their 6mm knee sleeves provide support and flexibility when you need them most, at the bottom of a heavy squat! Get yourself a pair and avoid knee pain in 2023!
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