“Don't look at your feet to see if you are doing it right. Just dance.”- Anne Lamott
Police Threaten Cedric Lapointe with Jail Time for Working Out Solo, Violating COVID Gym Closure Law
In December 2021, gyms in the province of Quebec, Canada—a province that currently requires you to be fully vaccinated even to buy alcohol—were mandated to close again due to COVID-19.
After being closed for nearly 400 days since the start of the pandemic, CrossFit Games hopeful Cedric Lapointe’s gym, CrossFit 819 in Gatineau, decided to keep operating under the guise that they are safe, and that their services are essential for physical and mental health.
The Gatineau City Police Department caught wind of this, paid him a visit and contacted the Public Health Department, who took the gym to court last week.
The verdict: CrossFit 819 was found to be in violation of the province’s gym closure mandate according to Lapointe, and if anyone is caught working out in the gym, even alone and even the owner, they could face jail time.
“We literally had 12 hours to prepare our case (before we had to go to court), and they had to prove that we didn’t respect the law, which they did, and now if someone is caught in the gym working out, they could go to jail for 30 days… so I’m not going to take my chances,” said Lapointe, who narrowly missed qualifying for the 2021 CrossFit Games when he placed eighth at the CrossFit West Coast Classic semifinals.
For Lapointe, this blow is just another in a long series of challenges he has faced since the start of the pandemic in his ongoing fight to find a place to train in peace.
Remind me: One year ago, on January 31, Lapointe was training alone at CrossFit 819, a 9,000 square-foot facility, when three police cars and six policemen stormed the gym and then kept him outside in shorts and a sweaty bandana in minus twenty degree weather for nearly an hour.
At the time in Quebec, only professional athletes, or the owner, were allowed to train in a gym, and because they didn’t recognize CrossFit as a professional sport, Lapointe, a coach but not owner, wasn’t granted permission to train.
Gym closures remained in effect in Quebec for quite some time after that, so Lapointe moved to Alpharetta, GA in April, where he trained for the next four months before returning to Canada in August of last year.
What happened next: Lapointe trained more peacefully in Quebec from August until December 2021, when the new gym closure mandate came into effect. That being said, police showed up every single week, Lapointe said, to make sure they were operating with the right COVID protocols in place. At the time, to even step foot in a gym in Quebec you needed to be double vaccinated.
“They said they were going to fine us (multiple times) because people weren’t two meters apart, or they were wearing their masks under their noses, but they never actually gave us any fines,” said Lapointe, adding that police showed up between 15 and 20 times between August and December.
“But to be honest, they were really respectful those times and I kind of learned how to deal with them and be respectful to give them what they want, so I could get what I want, which is peace and the ability to train,” he added.
But when gyms were mandated to close again in December, the peace ended. “It’s so insane. The government here is actually recommending that people call on their neighbors and on businesses… and when they get a call, they have to come. We learned in court that the call actually came from another gym owner, but we don’t know who,” Lapointe said.
He added: “It’s so sad. They’re putting people against people. Constantly…It’s terrible.”
What’s happening now: CrossFit 819 is continuing to fight, this time through a Charter Challenge, where they’re hoping to prove to the court that the mandate to close gyms is unconstitutional. They will present their case in court next week, but it could take a number of weeks, even months, and a lot of money, Lapointe said.
In the meantime, Lapointe has been, and will continue to train, illegally, at his friend’s 10-by-15 foot garage gym. “I park far away on the street and walk in because I don’t want a $6,000 fine,” he said.
Though he said he feels incredibly lucky to have a place to train at all, the training environment is less than ideal. “I have to snatch inside the rig and the pull-up bar is super low, but I make it happen. I have a rowing machine and an Assault bike, but I can’t do muscle-ups or rope climbs,” he said.
What’s next: With the 2022 CrossFit Open less than a month away, Lapointe admitted he isn’t sure what’s going to unfold. “Honestly, I don’t know what I’m going to do…I’m really scared of sneaking into the gym. I went to the gym last week to get equipment (to take home) and the police were parked right there,” he said.
Another option might be to hop over to the province of Ontario to do the Open if gyms open up there before the competition begins. “So that’s a possibility,” he said. “Or who knows, maybe our next interview will be from jail.”
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Sara Sigmundsdottir is on the cover of Women’s Fitness. She gave some insight into her past and what led her to become a star in the sport:
“It’s surreal now to think that when I was 17 years old I had hardly ever done any kind of physical exercise and I had never willingly stepped into a gym to train. I had unhealthy habits, was unhappy about myself and the only reason I started training was because my best friend had just got herself a boyfriend and I felt pressure to get one too.”
Got Guinness? Mike Aidala is going to attempt a Guinness World Record and it’s no joke: the most weight lifted by a Turkish Get Up in one hour. Aidala will also be doing it for a good cause — veteran suicide prevention and mental health research through Mission 22. 🤗 👍
NFL quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ heart rate during a huddle, get this, is lower than when he is on the sidelines. Talk about getting into a flow state: shout out to Whoop of course for this data.
The Fittest Experience in Austin, TX wrapped up last weekend. Here are the final results for the pro division:
Kelsey Kiel – 485 | Garrett Clark – 520
Callista Lang – 455 | Joshua Al-Chamaa – 475
Abigail Thompson – 455 | Leonel Franco – 440
Taylor Reder – 445 | Luke Parker – 435
Katelynn Sanders – 435 | Zachery Buntin – 435
What's New for the 2022 CrossFit Open
This past Friday, CrossFit Home Office sent out the latest iteration of The Hopper which included three key new details about the 2022 CrossFit Open.
Three ways (one of them new) to submit scores:
Complete the workout at an Affiliate and have the affiliate manager validate your score.
Record your workout and upload a video submission along with your score.
NEW: “Complete your workout under the direct, in-person observation of a registered judge*”.
*A registered judge is someone who has completed the 2022 Online Judges Course.
CrossFit explains that this change allows for more accessibility for anyone who would want to do the Open, whether they’re in their home gym, at an unaffiliated establishment like a school, work club, or unaffiliated non-profit group. And lastly, prevents Open participants from having to navigate how to workout at their gym if it’s closed due to any kind of restrictions.
As soon as you submit a score during the Open it will be visible on the worldwide leaderboard. Yes, that means before the affiliate manager validates it. However, after the affiliate manager score validation deadline (Wednesday at 5 p.m. PST) any unvalidated scores will be removed.
Note: the score submission deadline is still Monday at 5 p.m. PST. Scores submitted after that deadline for any reason will not be accepted.
A note to Affiliate Managers: This new wrinkle makes the potential to forget to validate a little more likely as members of your gym will see their scores on the leaderboard immediately. We advise you to set reminders for yourself to make sure those scores aren’t retroactively removed should you forget to validate them.
Why Danielle Brandon is Partnering With Brand New Shoe Company R.A.D
Last month at Wodapalooza in Miami, FL, CrossFit Games athlete Danielle Brandon announced she has signed with, and is a shareholder, in the brand new Portland, OR-based shoe company, R.A.D.
Though perhaps a surprise to the onlooker that a Games athlete would sign with a shoe company that has yet to prove itself to the community, Brandon has all the confidence in the world about her decision.
“R.A.D aligned a lot with my lifestyle and fashion choices. I think for me being able to represent more than just my athleticism and fitness on the competition floor…it’s fun to be able to express myself through clothing, shoes, and even occasionally my hair,” Brandon said.Cooper Marsh rings in: Brandon’s manager Cooper Marsh said he wasn’t at all surprised by Brandon’s decision to begin a relationship with R.A.D.
In an Instagram post, he wrote: “Danielle Brandon is a different breed. Not in the overused saying where people try to hype themselves up to mask insecurities. I mean in the way she approaches people and societal norms. It’d be easy to stay where you are comfortable, with a brand that is known the world over and (is) willing to pay you big time money.”
He added: “When the opportunity to become an equity-owner in R.A.D and jump headfirst into the trenches to create something meaningful, impactful and long-lasting, she chose it with her not only gut, but her heart….She is creative and sassy, thick headed and loyal. She is as they say, unapologetically herself. And that’s the only way R.A.D…would want her.”
Ten-time CrossFit Games athlete Sam Briggs ain't finished yet. She recently joined the Athlete Stories podcast to discuss her life before CrossFit, fighting both metaphorical and real fires and what the future still has in store for her.
Stability and strength are two very separate things. While being dynamic and strong is a large factor in our sport, the ability to maintain a position and avoid unwanted movement is equally important. Give this drill using a change plate, rack, and band a try to improve your stability.
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Don't let the "fried" fool you...these prep ahead of time rice bowls are healthy and delicious. They come together in under 30 minutes in just one pan and are full of flavor. Perfect for those of us that forgot to prep all our meals last night...
🥇 Speaking of Craig Richey: the HSTL Made creator took first place at the 2022 British Weightlifting Senior Championships in the 89kg weight class with a 298 pound/135kg snatch and 344 pound/156kg clean and jerk.
Congratulations Timothy Roux from Orange 84 CrossFit in Orange, France who recently joined the regular CrossFit classes as an adaptive athlete, after only three months of one-on-one coaching. 💪
Congratulations Jess Tabaka from CrossFit Wesport in Westport, CT on completing the Garage Games’ Thruster Ladder Event in one minute. The workout included 20 double-unders, one 235 pound thruster, and 30 lateral burpees-over-bar.
🎱 For the pool sharks out there, here’s a completely non-functional, yet wildly impressive trick shot.
P10 Performance is hiring a Regional Sales Manager for their Fitness Market. Applications close February 28th.
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