“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”- Eleanor Roosevelt
Preacher Joe Klassen Finds the Church of CrossFit
When he first came to CrossFit Unconquered, Joe Klassen couldn’t walk across the gym without stopping for a break. The fear of being an outcast because of his weight–nearly 350 pounds–made the pastor weary of starting CrossFit. Two years later, though, 130 pounds down, Klassen has become an integral part of his gym’s community, a bright light for everyone around him.
A member of Klassen’s congregation approached him in a conversation that would change his life. The member–who also worked out at CrossFit Unconquerable–said Klassen’s sermons, which spoke of self-control, didn’t line up with what he saw.
“In essence, he just said, ‘Joe you’re being a hypocrite and that’s not becoming of you.’ I knew he was right,” Klassen said. Regarding his lifestyle at the time, he said, “I was just death moving around, waiting to not be moving around.”
Despite his nerves going into his first class, Klassen made a commitment to his friend, and he was going to follow through. He remembers completing only one round and three reps of the 20-minute AMRAP prescribed that day–everyone else finished 11 rounds, he says. Tired, beaten down, and insecure, Klassen was sure he would be told that this wasn’t the place for him.
But for anyone who knows the community of a CrossFit gym, as Klassen now does, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
“At the end, they came and scraped me off the floor and gave me high fives,” Klassen said. “I discovered that these are my people, these folks speak my language of ‘we’re going to meet you where you’re at, but we’re not going to let you stay there.’”
As the weight fell off, Klassen realized that his fitness journey was tied tightly to his relationship with God and with other people. He believes that strengthening his body and mind through CrossFit helps him follow God the way he’s meant to, and seeing his physical transformation helped him fulfill that part of his faith.
In addition, becoming a role model and leader at CrossFit Unconquered felt “right” for Klassen. As a self-proclaimed people person, he was excited to encourage people through their insecurities and coach them to confidence. Where he was once accused of being hypocritical in his talks about self-control, he knows now that he can stand firmly in these beliefs.
Klassen doesn’t just talk the talk when it comes to being a leader in his community, he proves his place with his actions. Co-owners at CrossFit Unconquered Mindy and Brian Clasing speak highly of Klassen, and can name a long list of names that would be willing to vouch for his kindness.
In fact, Mindy Clasing remembers Klassen’s nine half-Murphs in May of 2022 as a standout moment. He completed the workout time and time again for athletes who didn’t feel comfortable doing it on their own, she says. Brian Clasing pointed out Klassen’s commitment to serving military families each holiday season. This support also extends to the Clasings.
Mindy: “He’s the first one to help, and he’s the first person to tell us we’re doing a good job. As ownership, sometimes that’s what you need. He’s that person that picks us up, too.”
After just six months of attending classes, Klassen was fully invested in the community and says he started to pray for the box on a regular basis. His blood pressure, which had previously been at extremely dangerous levels, is now at 126/77, weighs 230 pounds, and regularly celebrates new fitness milestones. Klassen says that he owes his life to CrossFit Unconquered in many ways.
Klassen: “This has radically affected my relationship with other people, this has radically affected my impact in this world and man, I’m sold.”
Introducing the RD-1 Runner from TYR
Introducing the RD-1 runner, the newest addition to the TYR footwear line up. Watch for presale details coming soon!
This running shoe brings you:
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Speaking of footwear, were you trying to get your hands on the sold-out CXT-1 Trainer and the L-1 Lifter? A limited number of each will be available for purchase at TYR.com just in time for the holidays.
In case you missed it: Lauren Kalil, the host of The Bottom Line, spoke to Dex Hopkins and Joey Adduci to talk about how the change in the residency rule could shift where athletes compete in Semifinals.
Also, In case you missed it: The Down Under Championship wrapped this weekend in Australia and we have the full breakdown of the entire competition.
Local love: Great piece in the University of Michigan’s newspaper about how a nurse anesthetist is making the most out of CrossFit. ❤️
Say what?: Interesting piece about the health benefits of walking backwards.
How the 2023 CrossFit Games Rulebook is Learning From the Past
While the bulk of the 2023 CrossFit Games Rulebook released last week looks basically the same as 2022, a deeper dive into the fineprint exposes some seemingly subtle changes that could have the ability to make a big difference to the athletes this season.
And, if you were paying close attention throughout last year’s season, it appears these small rulebook changes can, for the most part, be sourced to some event, controversy, drama, or embarrassment from 2022.
Seven New Rules that Learned from 2022
Rule 1.2: “The Anikha Greer Rule”
What happened last year: Last season, Canadian athlete and CrossFit Games hopeful Anikha Greer gained supportfrom the CrossFit community when, due to a technical computer uploading error, she was unable to submit her score for Quarterfinal Workout 5 before the deadline.
“What happened when I clicked submit is an absolute mystery to me.” Greer said at the time, “Whether it be an iPhone glitch or an internet glitch, ultimately, CF never received my score.”
Though a movement swept social media begging CrossFit to make an exception for Greer, who would have easily qualified to Semifinals had her score counted, CrossFit stuck to their guns and Greer’s CrossFit Games season came to a devastating end.
Ladder Style or 1RM: Which Better Demonstrates Strength?
At the CrossFit Games and the Rogue Invitational, we saw a new test of strength: ladder style with an odd object. Historically, the sport has tested strength primarily with a barbell, and in a way that allows athletes to choose their own weights — rather than having set weights to hit.
Morning Chalk Up’s Lauren Kalil sits down with Training Think Tank coach, Adam Rogers, and Brute Strength coach, Matt Torres, to discuss which style better demonstrates an athlete’s true ability when it comes to testing strength.
The women’s division at the 2022 Dubai Fitness Championship will be a truly international field, with 70% of the female competitors coming from Europe, 15% from North America, and the final 15% being divided evenly between Oceania, South America and Asia.
The entire roster is a mix of big names, silent studs and those looking to make the jump from the Semifinals to the CrossFit Games. We’ll see 9 CrossFit Games veterans on the competition floor, 6 of whom attended the most recent 2022 Games (5 individual, 1 team).
The big names
Jamie Simmonds: The New Zealand native is the most decorated athlete on the women’s side, having been to the CrossFit Games 5 times in her career. She finished on the podium in 2019 as an individual, and also in 2016 in the team division. She took 5th at the Torian Pro this past year, missing the Games by 36 points in a stacked field of competitors. Simmonds is extremely balanced and can beat anyone in the world when classic couplets and triplets are programmed.
Emily Rolfe: The Canadian has been to the CrossFit Games 3 times in her career, but had to withdraw in 2022 for an emergency surgery due to a blood clot in her left arm. She looks to make Dubai her comeback competition in pursuit of her 4th Games in 2023.
Freya Moosbrugger: The 21-year-old exploded onto the scene during the 1-rep-max sandbag clean event where she showed incredible grit inching the bag up her body and outlasting several peers. Moosbrugger finished her rookie season in 32nd and kicks off her 2023 season at Dubai.
Lena Richter: The Norwegian has been dominant in the team division, taking back-to-back 2nd place finishes at the 2021 and 2022 CrossFit Games. She recently finished 6th at the Madrid Championship in September, and will be showcasing her individual fitness at Dubai in a couple of weeks.
You must be on the nice list because Fitness Santa is here to bring you 12 straight days of festive fitness giveaways. Just enter at the link below and from December 1st until December 12th one lucky winner will be drawn each day to receive a huge prize from one of your favorite brands.
There are multiple ways to earn entries, and entries are open now.
Beam’s Biggest Sale Ever is Here: Up to 50% Off Sitewide
Get 50% off all subscriptions sitewide, including their best selling Dream Powder for better sleep. Try their new limited edition Gingerbread flavor, or the fan favorite White Chocolate Peppermint – both here for a limited time only.
Annie Thorisdottir Talks Breaking Barriers with Julie Foucher
Julie Foucher sat down with Annie Thorisdottir on her podcast “Pursuing Health” to chat about Annie’s barrier breaking career. Listen to these two elite women who formerly shared the competition floor catch up and talk about advancing the competition for the next generation.
🇬🇷 Games athlete Ioannis Papadopoulos is keeping busy— after a first place finish with Team Wod Guys at last weekend’s Grove Games, he headed back to Chalkida, Greece to compete in the Pan-Hellenic Freestyle Wrestling Championships, taking second in his division.
Congratulations Coach Lauren Conner from CrossFit Arx in Toms River, NJ on the front squat PR.
Congratulations to Susie Fong from Hub City CrossFit in Albany, OR on the 195 pound/88.5kg clean in competition.
🦃 In honor of the upcoming holiday, CrossFit Sabal Park members donated food items for local families in Tampa, FL. As an incentive for donations, CFSP coaches committed to one barbell thruster for each item donated, leaving them with a nasty 20-minute EMOM of 204 thrusters, and four families that will be well-fed over the long weekend.
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