“It's not what you pay a man, but what he costs you that counts.”- Will Rogers
The Uncomfortable Conversation: CrossFit’s Role in Helping Sexual Abuse Victims Heal
When Sarah Pierson was 11 years old, she found the courage to approach her mother to tell her she was being abused by a family member.
“I was a kid and I broke generations of silence in my own family about speaking up about something that happened to me,” said Pierson, now 44.
Ultimately, the conversation with her mother made her realize the “power of a single conversation,” and “the way the lack of conversation led to that moment,” she explained.
That one uncomfortable conversation, Pierson said, allowed her to embark on a long journey of healing.
“I worked hard to become the person that I am today, and I also feel that I was gifted and privileged by having the opportunity to heal,” she said.
Having had this opportunity also led Pierson to found The Uncomfortable Conversation in 2017, a project that is normalizing conversations about sexual violence, sexual harassment, all the while supporting survivors.
“I feel an obligation to give back what I can to create a world that’s going to be able to help other people walk that same path (to healing),” she said.
The Uncomfortable Conversation, which is also a 501c3 non-profit, teams up with filmmakers who produce 60 to 90 second authentic videos featuring people have uncomfortable conversations about all kinds of topics related to sexual abuse and violence, ultimately to “help people build some skill and practice around different kinds of uncomfortable conversations,” Pierson said.
One of the big things about these conversations, Pierson explained, is that “there isn’t one right way of doing it,” so the diverse videos they create show that it’s OK to have bumpy, messy, awkward conversations.
“Once you get people talking about the topic, they don’t want to stop. Ever,” she said. “People want to have those conversations. They just need icebreakers.”
In case you missed it: Lauren Kalil, the host of The Bottom Line, spoke to Kara Saunders about her excitement over finally giving her daughter Scotti an event win, and what’s next after Rogue.
Celebrate: Big up to CrossFit’s latest CCFT/CF-L3 graduates which includes people from all over the world including South Africa, Italy and Brazil. 🥳
Throwback Thursday: Read our recap of Justin Medeiros and Tia-Clair Toomey winning the 2021 Rogue Invitational. Some really interesting parallels to this year, minus one competitor, of course.
Back competing: Former CrossFit Games age division competitor Shawn C. Ramirez is back competing after serving a four-year drug suspension: “I missed this CF Community and was so glad to be back.”
Swim or run?: Interesting and informative piece from Live Science about the benefits of swimming and running and which is better.
How CrossFit Athletes Navigate Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance
No bread, pasta, or bagels. Meal prepping for vacation. Saying no to grandma’s pie at Thanksgiving. Scanning food labels at the grocery store. Risk feeling gross after eating out.
These are all things that 3.1 million Americans partake in as part of a gluten-free diet, according to a 2017 survey. Moreover, CrossFit’s involvement with the Paleo diet has emphasized cutting out gluten as a dietary approach.
But for some athletes, this diet is more than a lifestyle choice – it’s a necessity. Celiac Disease and other autoimmune diseases can take a toll on the body, but elite athletes are determined to overcome these challenges.
“Regularly learn and play new sports” or CrossFit all the time?
Watching the younger generation of CrossFit Games athletes grow up with the sport of CrossFit versus having an athletic background in other sports raises the question of which path will ultimately fair better at the Games. Morning Chalk Up’s Lauren Kalil sits down with Jason Khalipa and Jared Graybeal to discuss the topic and dive into different scenarios of how each track might play out.
Tactical Games Catching On with CrossFitters as National Championship Goes This Weekend
It goes without saying that functional fitness should prepare you for far more than crushing a CrossFit workout, and there’s no shortage of stories with this example in practice. An athlete goes and smashes a marathon, becomes a triathlon stud, gets into obstacle course racing, or any assortment of athletic feats utilizing their versatile capacity and body control. The Tactical Games are one of the major crossover sports that continues to grow and attracts general class-goers and elite-level athletes alike.
The sport was “created to provide a platform to test the skills and readiness of tactical athletes of all backgrounds,” according to the company’s website, and is, simply put, a series of fitness tests coupled with marksmanship.
The Ideal Tactical Games Athlete (Hint: There Isn’t One)
“I think it goes for shooting sports at large; there’s a common misconception that it is predominantly a white, male, Republican, far right-wing sport, and it really couldn’t be further from the truth,” said Nick Thayer, President of the Tactical Games. “Our athletes touch all races, all demographics, all political leanings. It’s really, really cool…we touch every community.”
Two women taking the sport by storm include CrossFit athlete Callerina Natori and CrossFit Games competitor Margaux Alvarez. Both ladies will be throwing down this weekend (Nov. 4-6) at the National Championship in Florence, TX.
Natori, who grew up in Alabama hunting and around firearms, got into The Tactical Games scene relatively early, in 2019.
“People are always like, ‘oh, are you military, are you ex military, are you law enforcement?’ I’m like no, I’m a chiropractor,” she said laughing. “Anybody can compete as long as they are good people; we have a great community as long as they’re willing to learn, as long as they are safe with firearms, anybody can compete for sure.”
Thayer reminds us that while gun ownership is commonly aligned with a particular political affiliation, there’s no intention of that in the industry.
“It’s shooting and fitness and that doesn’t need to have a political tie to it. Of course, we all believe firmly in the Second Amendment, but the Second Amendment is a bipartisan part of our Constitution. It shouldn’t have a political leaning to it. So that’s our stance on it; we want anybody and everybody that wants to come out and compete,” he reiterated.
Alvarez also discovered the sport in 2019, inspired by the Rogue Invitational Biathlon, and although she lacked significant shooting experience beforehand, she found a need for personal weapon education through an unfortunate circumstance.
“I fell in love with the idea of knowing how to fire and protect yourself during Covid and when my home was broken into in 2020. Some CrossFit Games items were stolen so that was another catalyst to learn more. I have since acquired my CCW and have come to love the SIG SAUER weapons I own,” she said. “It is a huge responsibility that does require a ton of respect but you will quickly realize those in the space have nothing but respect towards this craft. The learning curve however does require a lot of time practicing much like the snatch or the clean and jerk. I was hooked immediately.”
Ready for your dose of motivativating reading? Then pick up a copy of “The Five Non-Negotiables”. This book will help you recognize areas in your life that you are negotiating in… and shouldn’t be. If you’re ready to learn tools and strategies to overcome excuses, become consistent, control your emotions, combat negative thoughts and much more, read this book.
Unbroken is optimized to enhance muscle recovery by speeding up repair in the critical post-workout period. It naturally eases the absorption of all-important aminos, so your body wastes little to no energy on digestion and your recovery starts within minutes. Just ask the 2nd Fittest Man on Earth.
Miss the Rogue Invitational coverage this past weekend? No sweat, Morning Chalk Up’s Lauren Kalil provides a full recap of the final, most exciting day (the leaderboard NEVER stopped changing) of competition in this video!
Building the home gym of your dreams? You’ll need a lot of equipment to make sure your WODs can keep up with you. That’s why Fringe Sport offers all different types of equipment: bumper plates, barbells, bands, kettlebells and more! Shop their sale section to get the best deals before the holiday rush.
Weakness in the glutes can lead to compensation in other areas of the body (think lower back and hammies). If your glutes aren’t firing, you might think about stretching them, but what you really need is to strengthen them.
We’ve highlighted Core City CrossFit Kids before, but now we want to give a special shout-out to their local Detroit Police Department for sending an officer to the gym every Monday to do CrossFit with the kids in class—another great example of how CrossFit can bridge gaps and build communities.
ICYMI: Core City CrossFit Kids is a nonprofit organization in Detroit, MI that offers CrossFit and Olympic Weightlifting classes to children from 3rd-12th grade at no cost.
Free-will donations are always accepted to help support CCCK’s mission to build mentally and physically stronger youth.
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