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Helping Ex-Cons with CrossFit

 
Morning Chalk Up

November 9   |   POWERED BY

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Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • New organization launches to use CrossFit to help ex-cons after release.
  • What you need to know about the new CrossFit Games season structure.
  • How WIT became the rising star of the world of CrossFit apparel.
 
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“You cannot plow a field by turning it over in your mind. To begin, begin.” - Gordon B. Hinckley

 
COMMUNITY
  Lion’s Pride Fitness Unveils Plans to Support Ex-Convicts After Their Release  

Lion’s Pride Fitness Unveils Plans to Support Ex-Convicts After Their Release

Aaron Brill, the now-former President of Redemption Road Fitness Foundation, announced a new venture that focuses on helping ex-convicts reintegrate into society through the CrossFit community. This new company, Lion’s Pride Fitness, will work directly with these individuals once they leave the prison system in Colorado and other areas.

One big thing: Brill is not the only board member to leave Redemption Road Fitness Foundation to form Lion’s Pride Fitness. Amy Druck, Peter Druck, Jessica Halliday, and Tim Halliday will all join the new venture, along with Brill’s wife Jessica.

  • Brill: “Redemption Road and that inside of prison thing is great. … If that’s all we do, and then people get released back into society with no support of this program, then they’re going to just go back. You know, we’re social animals. We will seek out some kind of community.  And if we don’t have a new one, we’ll go back to the one that we left when we went to prison.”
  • “So we’re still going to work in the prison population. We’re not going to do it in Colorado, because Redemption Road is here in Colorado and we don’t want to compete with them. We have a slightly different model that we think can go maybe more quickly, more of an open source kind of CrossFit affiliate model.”

The reason for the mission: As a police officer for 24 years, Brill has extensive experience working with people that have been in the prison system. He has seen how introducing the community aspect of CrossFit to those incarcerated has helped break barriers between different gangs, as well between criminals and law enforcement.

  • “It’s not in my best interest to have bigger, faster, stronger criminals,” Brill said. “But it is in my best interest to have healthy, well rounded individuals that want to reintegrate into society.”
  • “Okay, yes, I protected society, I made the arrest, the victims feel better. But I didn’t do that to punish that person. That’s not my job. I want them to come out better. My hope is they’ll come out better.”

A home base: Brill has the goal of building a hub that can connect CrossFit communities with people trying to reintegrate across the country. For now, Lion’s Pride Fitness will start with The Phoenix, a nonprofit in Denver. Classes will take place at this CrossFit Community Center while Denver Dream Center helps provide transportation.

  • “Ours isn’t a faith based program. I’m a person of faith, but we’re not faith based. Denver Dream Center, the pastor there — a local, just really amazing pastor — has a big heart for reintegration.”
  • “The Denver Dream Center, they have a van and they drive their people to their appointments and stuff. They’ll probably be our test pool.”

Important support: A key part of Redemption Road Fitness Foundation was a partnership with CrossFit Home Office. Brill hopes that this trend continues with Lion’s Pride Fitness. Though there are still some important details to work out.

First off, he wants to ensure that there are no conflicts regarding Redemption Road Fitness Foundation. He helped build the organization, and he wants it to succeed.

  • “CrossFit is doing an amazing job of tying affiliates together and the playbook and stuff. But it’s a different space to do that for jail, the justice system-involved population. All of those need a tweak.”
  • “Coaching somebody that’s on a court sentencing diversion or in a prison or post release takes another skill set. Running those programs takes another skill set. So the concepts of the Playbook and roundtables and stuff, I’m definitely tying into those. But we need to adjust those. So I hope to be able to continue talking to Eric [Roza] and [GM of affiliates] Gary Gaines.”

The bottom line: Once the president of Redemption Road Fitness Foundation, Brill is focusing on a different part of the process. He and his co-founders will strive to help those that are out of prison as they try to reintegrate back into society and build a successful life.

 
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SPEED READS

Tomorrow is the last day to submit your scores for the Wodapalooza team online qualifier.

ON THE RISE: Sixth Fittest on Earth, and third place at the Rogue Invitational, Gabi Migala sits down with us to recap her season-best performance and how she’s approaching next season.

  • 2021 Rogue Invitational – 3rd
  • 2021 CrossFit Games – 6th
  • 2021 CrossFit Lowlands Throwdown – 3rd
  • 2020 CrossFit Games – 18th
  • 2020 Norwegian CrossFit Championship – 1st
  • 2020 CrossFit Strength in Depth – 2nd
  • 2019 Dubai CrossFit Championship – 4th

Worth 60 seconds…this “CrossFit is life” Instagram reel from CrossFit Merchtem in Belgium, poking fun at the functional playground the world can be if you’re a CrossFitter.

MUST READ: Dan Williams, CEO of WIT sits down with Men’s Health UK (paywall) to discuss the meteoric growth of the brand since the idea first came about when Williams was at University in Leeds:

  • “I love Leeds but I knew it wouldn’t work for this idea. I need a large volume of people that I could access quickly. There was no business plan, to be honest. I just had a feeling that this consumer and the sport of fitness was about to take off. Somebody was going to take hold of the opportunity, so I thought I may as well. I move to London almost immediately, with a bit of cash but not much. We rented the lower ground floor of an Intersport. We were in a basement and had no actual shop fascia. But we branded it up and I brought in some inventory from Reebok and some cool underground CrossFit brands from the US.”
  • “We took off really quickly. Because I’d been involved in the CrossFit community, I knew so people were crying out for this concept. So we didn’t need a fascia. As soon as they were aware of it they were there, as the wanted one place to get this equipment and apparel.
  • “We got really lucky with our first round of investment. I’d run out of money and a guy walked into that basement store and asked us what we were doing. He’d just spent three years in New York, so had seen where the fitness space was going. He asked me if we were looking for investment. And I said that we were!”

Erica Yan made her WWE debut on November 5. Known as Jie Yin, she finished second in the 2021 CrossFit Open in China.

 
CROSSFIT GAMES
  What We Know About the 2022 Season: What's Changed, and What Hasn't  

What We Know About the 2022 Season: What's Changed, and What Hasn't

Last week, CrossFit LLC released the complete 2022 CrossFit Games season schedule, giving athletes, fans and stakeholders the earliest look at the Games season, an ongoing request for years. In addition to the dates, the release included some key changes and adjustments to the overall qualification structure.

The Schedule: 

What’s the Same:

  • The Open will be three weeks long, running from February 24-March 14, 2022
  • Quarterfinals will take place shortly afterwards:
    • Individuals March 24-27
    • Teams April 7-10
  • The Age Group Online Qualifier will still run and is set for April 21-24
  • Semifinals will once again have 10 competitions spanning four weeks (May 20-June 12)
  • The Last Chance Qualifier will still happen, and only be for individuals. It is once again schedule 4-5 weeks prior to the Games (June 29-July 1)

What’s Different: 

  • The Age Group Online Qualifier will not be a direct qualifier to the Games this year.
  • It will also include the Occupational Games; these will take place on the same dates as the AGOQ, and will be considered the “finals” for occupational athletes.
  • Age Group Semifinals is being separated into two separate weekends:
    • Athletes 14-49 will compete from May 26-29.
    • Athletes 50 and older will compete from June 2-5.
  • There is an introduction this year of an Adaptive Semifinal as well.
    • It will run during June 2-5 along with the 50+ age group athletes.
  • The Games will revert back to only spanning four days for all competitors (August 4-7).
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HIGHLIGHTS

Celebrating a PR, hosting a fundraiser, this, that, or otherwise. Send us a tip.

  • 🎂 Happy birthday Maddy Espinoza.
  • 🎂 Happy belated birthday Mike Molloy, founder of M2 Performance Nutrition.
  • 🤯🤯🤯 Ummm, you’ve got to be kidding us.
  • Then to now: mom of two and a nurse practitioner, Jen Forik from CrossFit T1 in Willow Grove, PA grows from a 130 pound clean and jerk in 2013 to a 200 pound/91kg clean last month.
  • Willy Georges hits a very smooth 617 pound/280kg clean grip deadlift.
  • Congratulations Aidan Bailey from Mat-Su CrossFit in Palmer, AK on the 252 pound/114kg snatch PR.
  • Congratulations Preston Breece from CrossFit Abundantly More in Miramar Beach, FL on a 500 pound/227kg beltless, clean grip deadlift PR.
 
LOCAL COMPETITIONS + Submit an Event
12/3 - 12/5: MastersHQ CrossFit® Championship (Indooroopilly, QLD, Australia)
12/4: The Midwest Championship (Warrensburg, MO)
12/4: Reindeer Rumble (Ocala, FL)
12/4: Girls Gone Rx North Carolina (Waxhaw, NC)
12/4: Artesian City Classic (Albany, GA)
12/4: JingleBell Jam (Pensacola, Fl)
12/4: Nightmare Before Christmas Competition 2021 (Leeds, AL)
12/10 - 12/11: iF3 Masters Worlds (Cairo, Egypt)

See all upcoming events

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