“If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?”- T.S. Eliot
Core City Kids, Fighting to Make CrossFit Accessible to Detroit Youth
We often overlook how difficult it is for some to find and join a CrossFit affiliate.
In the best case scenario, potential members pass an affiliate while driving to work or school; they stop in, sign a waiver, and pay for their membership. Often, affiliates welcome kids with a program geared for them or an area where they can hang out while their parents take class.
For Helen Taylor, she knew it would be tough for kids in the neighborhood where her CrossFit affiliate was located in central Detroit.
An ex-martial arts coach, Taylor transitioned to a full-time CrossFit coach in 2018. COVID hit soon after, and Taylor noticed how much it impacted the kids of Detroit.
“They were in quarantine for so long, and many of them could not continue with their education. Some lived with grandparents and couldn’t keep up with the online programming and also missed a lot of fitness. It’s a general struggle in the city of Detroit with health, and COVID made it worse.”
At the end of COVID, Taylor found a home coaching at Core City Fitness in the center of Detroit and convinced them to let her start a kids program.
It wasn’t as easy as she thought it would be.
“I didn’t realize how difficult it would be. I couldn’t get anybody to sign up. I had no kids. The affiliate didn’t use the word CrossFit in their name because they didn’t think anyone would know what it was, which to me was crazy. But they were right.”
“I went to schools in Detroit to tell people about the program, and I talked to teachers, athletic directors, and coaches, and most people did not know what CrossFit was.”
Taylor discovered that the people she spoke to who had heard about CrossFit did not believe it was an activity accessible to them.
A big reason was the cost.
Taylor refused to give up.
“The only way I could start the program was through our affiliate owner. He was a part-time basketball coach with his son on the team, so he would bring the entire team in. I would train them, and that became Core City Kids.”
Taylor finally had participants, but she wasn’t serving the population that she knew needed it the most. There was a school across the street from the affiliate, so she made flyers and headed over. Taylor met with the principal, who wasn’t interested, and when she started passing out flyers to the parents, the school stopped her, took her flyers, and said she needed approval.
Months passed, the basketball team returned to school, and Taylor was left with one kid in the program.
Taylor: “One day, three months later, one of the teachers came over to the gym with a stack of my flyers. She said she was cleaning and found them and asked about the program. I explained it to her, and she was all about it.”
At that point, Taylor was not yet a non-profit, and the kids from the school couldn’t afford membership, not even at a discounted price.
“The teachers all went in together and paid for six weeks for each kid to attend. I had 12 kids sign up for a six-week trial program with me.”
“I would go to the school and walk them over to the gym so they could train, to make sure they got there safely.”
Within about six months, Taylor had gotten her non-profit status, and donations made their work possible. She runs two classes, two days a week, and what started with one kid has blossomed into a long waitlist.
“The goal is to expose them to as much fitness, self-esteem, fun, and positivity as possible. Now I have kids from outside the school from different parts of Detroit who want to be part of the program, and I have a waiting list!”
She knew she needed to expand to give the kids the appropriate level of coaching. Enter Sophie Shaft. A teen CrossFit Games athlete, Taylor had known her for years, and Shaft drives in from outside the city to help coach and impact these young athletes.
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This all-in-one blend is crafted with KSM-66 Ashwagandha, which is clinically proven to reduce your body’s cortisol levels. So if you’re training a lot or have a high stress job, this is for you. It has a refreshing, flavorful watermelon taste, with absolutely no sugar or caffeine, and only five calories!
He’s back! Games veteran and fan favorite, Jacob Heppner has returned to YouTube after a multi-year hiatus. Check out his channel for workout videos, corgis, and general hilarity, Heppner-style.
The PFAA remains hard at work this off-season. Check out this resource for athletes seeking to move from Quarterfinals to Semifinals, to the Games.
The ELFIT Sports and Fitness Games has revealed its full slate of events for this year, highlighted by the ELFIT CrossFit Championship. And, the official leaderboard is live now. Check it out.
This year the Crossfit-licensed event is being programmed by new Technical partner, Underdogs Athletics. Send all questions here.
ICYMI: TYR Wodapalooza announces its 2024 prize purse (spoiler: it’s more than 10% higher than 2023).
Have a Speed Read you think we might like? Hit us up.
The Importance of Friendship, the Foundation of Health and Wellness
You’re willing to run the 5K with only a few days’ notice. You sign up to go RX at the gym throwdown when you’re not sure you’re ready. You choose the 30″ box jumps even though the last time you did, you ended up on your ass in the middle of the metcon.
But do you have the guts to call that friend you lost touch with last year? Can you swallow your pride, apologize for letting it happen, and put time on the calendar to make up for it?
The recently released 2024 Wodapalooza Rule Book states that “the (competition) was created with the goal in mind of contributing toward one thing: Celebration.”
Anyone who has ever taken part in the event can attest to that ideal, one that has continued to show through year after year in South Florida every January.
The big picture: The 2024 event is to be held January 11-14 at Bayfront Park in Miami, FL and will host competition among over 15 divisions for solo athletes – a mix of individual, age group and adaptive as well as a number of team divisions.
New this year is the addition of the Masters Team Division and the LatAm Cup, which will be a competition within the event itself, consisting of the top male and female finishers from eight different Latin American competitions held throughout multiple countries.
Details to note: There are multiple ways to qualify for Wodapalooza, depending on the division. Invitations have been sent out to multiple CrossFit Games athletes, as well as previous Wodapalooza competitors. But most everyone else will be tackling the qualifiers, which begin tomorrow.
Individuals: Week one for the Individual Online Challenge and Qualifier begins Thursday, September 14 and lasts until September 18. Week two’s dates are September 21-25. As stated in the rule book, athletes must complete all workouts, over the course of both weeks.
Each week, multiple workouts will be released.
Week one workouts will be released Thursday, September 14th.
Week two workouts will be released on September 21st.
Week one scores are due on September 18th, 2023, at 8:00 PM ET, and week two scores are due on September 25th, 2023, at 8:00 PM ET.
Teams: The online challenge and qualifier for teams of three will be held October 12-23.
All workouts will be released over the first two days, October 12th & 13th.
All scores will be due on October 23rd, 2023, at 8:00 PM ET
As mentioned in the rule book, “If performing on a team of 3, athletes do not have to be from the same gym, nor do the athletes have to perform the workouts together. All online challenge workouts are structured that allow teams to perform them remotely, independently of each other.”
In Down Under Championship Qualifiers, Some Elite Athletes Moved from Intermediate to Elite Team Division
Qualifying for Australia’s largest off-season CrossFit competition, the Down Under Championship took place over two big weeks of online fitness, but not without some slight controversy.
While the Elite Individual and Team rosters are currently being finalized, the Down Under Championship Qualifier (DUCQ) judges had their work cut out for them, when it became clear that Elite-level athletes had registered as Intermediates.
The details: On August 29, the Down Under Championship posted the following statement on their Instagram account and several Intermediate Teams were moved from both the Male and Female Intermediate Team divisions:
“As we review the leaderboard & scores, it has been made apparent that there were a number of athletes who sit within the top 500 of the 2023 CrossFit Open leaderboard, who have registered as Intermediates.”
“To maintain the integrity of the Intermediate category, and the event, we have made adjustments to the leaderboard and contacted those athletes to roll them over to the Elite division.”
“While the DUCQ is the stepping stone to qualify for the DUC Event, above everything else, we want the DUCQ to be an inclusive and fair event for everyone.”
The bottom line: The roster for all divisions will be finalized by September 27, 2023. These athletes will be invited to compete at the Down Under Championship Final in Wollongong, Australia, on December 1-3, 2023. Here we will see:
Futures (16-19 years): Top 8 males and females
Masters: Top 8 men and women in each age group
Intermediate Teams: Top 16 male and female teams
Elite Teams: Top 20 male and female teams
Elite Individuals: Top 20 men and women
In addition to the athletes who qualify through the DUCQ process, the Down Under Championship announced that they will reserve spots in the Elite Individual and Elite Team divisions for athletes who have competed in the CrossFit Games. These athletes will be selected at the discretion of the event organizers.
Last year, several high profile CrossFit Games athletes traveled to Australia to compete at the 2022 Down Under Championship including Chandler Smith, Noah Olsen, Saxon Panchik and Lauren Fisher. Who will we see heading down under this year?
So, You’ve Started a Training Business: How to Market and Grow
So, you’ve started a training business. Now, you’re thinking about expansion. How do you prepare for growth and do it successfully? Trusted personal training platform TrueCoach is here to help.
How to Market Your Business
Marketing begins with an understanding of who your business is and who you’re marketing to.
Do you specialize in a certain type of training, like tactical conditioning or weight training? If so, think about your ideal client – they’re probably not someone recovering from an injury or training for a 5K.
Try the SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) model: Take some time to sit down and identify a few bullet points in each category. This will help you refine your marketing message and to reach your ideal customer.
Brand comes next. All businesses, no matter the size, need brand loyalty and awareness to drive growth. With more referrals from clients, positive reviews, and a network of community professionals and people, you’re creating a business and brand that people trust, which comes hand-in-hand with long-lasting customers.
Start posting regularly on social media and build a website to capture your community. Think of unique content ideas, like recipes specific to your business goals.
Try posting on a variety of social media sites, including Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. (TikTok offers a major opportunity as one of the fastest-growing social media platforms.)
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