“I don’t know where I would be today if I hadn’t found CrossFit. I just feel like I’m a whole new person when I’m there. I can have a bad day and walk in there sobbing and leave feeling like I’m ready to tackle the world.”- Jen Wells
The Crown Highlights Elite Teen Athletes and the Future of the Sport of Fitness
A new documentary produced by the European CrossFit Training Camp, The Progrm, shows the story of the 2023 edition of “The Crown,” an exclusive teens-only event that combines a luxury fitness retreat with elite competition.
In partnership with Nike, athletes were hosted at a mansion in Mallorca, Spain, during the weekend of the competition. Their travel and expenses were paid for, as well.
Because of the small numbers, the competition took place all over the island, from a mountain bike race to a beach run to classic CrossFit events at C23 CrossFit.
Tenured individual competitors Willy Georges and Jacqueline Dahlstrom took time out of their training schedules to participate in a stretching session with the competitors, sharing wisdom and advice for the athletes who hope to be in their positions in the coming years.
Setting up the next generation for success: Because all expenses were paid and there was a great deal of one-on-one attention given to each athlete, competition director John Singleton says that he hopes competitions like this help get young athletes on their feet and prepare them for a long and successful career in the sport.
“The concept of the Crown is that it sets these athletes up for a great generation of new CrossFit athletes,” Singleton said. “So we’re crowning them to take that next step. The winners of this event will hopefully go on to become the next Mat Frasers and Rich Fronings of the next generation.”
Veronika Voriskova and Matus Kocar, both Games athletes, ended their competition weekends atop the podium, being named the “Queen” and “King” respectively.
A new approach to community building: With nine elite, ultra-competitive teenagers, one might expect the atmosphere in the shared mansion to be full of tension. However, Singleton says in the documentary that this couldn’t have been further from the truth. The teens became fast friends, cheering each other on and throwing lighthearted banter back and forth. With how small and intimate the competition was, everyone abandoned the competitive quietness and found a new community.
“I think it’s one of those moments where you can see the community started to develop,” Singleton said in regards to the beach run event when athlete Chiara Silva was accompanied by every other athlete at the finish line. “Rather than focusing on, ‘ah, I’ve got to win this thing,’ it’s actually focused on developing this community.”
The Crown wasn’t just a one-off deal. The next qualifier, which is open to any athlete under the age of 20, is open now. Only two athletes per division will qualify this year, but be given the same experience and the chance to win the title and the handcrafted crown awarded to the champion of the event.
Watch the 2023 documentary now and learn more about the competition.
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💪 🏋️ 🏃♂️ CrossFit Mainsite: The next guest programmer for CrossFit.com is Dale King, the owner of PSKC CrossFit, an affiliate that opened its doors in 2010 to help the Portsmouth, OH community battle opioid addiction. King, who served as an Intelligence Officer supporting the 10th Special Forces Group with multiple deployments to Iraq, was also the subject of the documentary “Small Town Strong.” King follows Ben Smith (2015 Fittest Man on Earth, owner of CrossFit Krypton), Adrian Bozman and Dave Castro.
Speaking of Ben Smith and CrossFit Krypton, the Krypton Winter Games now have a new date. The teams-of-three competition features Rx, teen (15-17) and Masters (40-50, 50+) divisions and will now be held January 27-28. The event benefits Trails of Purpose, a charity organization that supports military families by providing free mental health care. And, Young Life, an organization whose mission is to introduce adolescents to Jesus Christ.
Drug Test Announcement: Last week CrossFit announced that several athletes were drug tested out-of-competition.
The list included: Gabriela Migała, Laura Horvath, Emma Lawson, Alex Gazan, Roman Khrennikov, Jeffrey Adler, Brent Fikowski, Dallin Pepper, and Patrick Vellner. All athletes on the list tested negative.
With Ricky Garard, Ben Garard and Spencer Panchik’s “The Bro Dawgs” Team, The Down Under Championship Field is Now Locked
The Down Under Championship roster is now finalized, with the announcement of Ricky Garard’s team, “The Bro Dawgs” on the Down Under Championship’s Instagram account:
“Wollongong locals @rickygarard and @bennygarard join forces with US Elite Games Athlete @spencer_panchik for the 2023 DUC. Ricky, coming off a strong 5th place at the Rogue Invitational, is ready to bring the heat with ‘The Bro Dawgs’.”
This announcement rounds out the athlete roster for the Down Under Championship, Wollongong, Australia which is taking place in December 1-3.
CrossFit, Nutrition Helps Jen Wells Keep Multiple Sclerosis at Bay
It all started with some pain in her upper back while she was on a plane to South Africa six-and-a-half years ago.
“OK, I have a heavy backpack. I’m traveling. I’m on a plane,” said Jen Wells, a professor at Kennesaw State University, of how she brushed the symptoms off.
But as the pain progressed, and she started getting pins and needles and numbness in her feet that wouldn’t go away and eventually moved into her legs, the long-time CrossFit athlete at CrossFit Bound in Kennesaw, GA knew she needed to look into it.
When she returned home, doctors found a lesion on her spine and six weeks later she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), a neurological disorder without a cure, where the body’s immune system attacks the protective covering of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.
“It was a relief to finally have answers…but it was terrifying,” she said.
Wells Today: Wells, now 44 and a CrossFit Level 2 coach, has learned to both live and thrive while living with MS, and she credits this 100 percent to nutrition and her continued commitment to CrossFit.
After she was diagnosed, Wells did a lot of research and determined it would be best for her to cut out all foods that could possibly be inflammatory—including dairy, gluten and sugar—and adopted a diet that largely looks like the Paleo Diet, leaving her to eat mostly meats, fruits and vegetables.
Then she approached her coach at CrossFit Bound to make sure he was OK with continuing to work with her.
“Will you still work with me? Are you going to be nervous working with me?” she asked him. “And he was like, ‘Absolutely not.’ Let’s do this. Let’s figure this out.’”
Together, they figured it out and it has helped Wells largely keep her symptoms at bay for the last six-and-a-half years.
“You would not know from looking at me that I have MS,” she said.
That being said, there’s still a quiet battle going on inside that Wells “fights every day,” she explained.
Some days, this means she experiences extreme bouts of fatigue, and when she sits too long she experiences joint pain and stiffness. And some days, movements like box jumps just aren’t going to happen for Wells.
“And every now and then it’s like, I have to sleep right now. It’s immediate. I have to rest,” she said.
And Wells knows if she takes a day off her strict diet, or she goes a day without moving enough, “it could mean six weeks of not healing something or being numb,” so it’s just not worth it because “nothing tastes as good as walking feels,” she said.
But for the most part, Wells is healthy and thriving, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed with her doctor.
“Every time we meet, he’s like, ‘You’re doing so well. I don’t know how to get other people to do this,’” she said.
Wells added: “Some people could look at me and go, ‘She has a really mild version of MS, so that’s why she’s doing really well.’ But I’m doing well because I’m fighting every day.”
The big picture: Wells is adamant that nutrition and CrossFit is at the heart of what’s letting her defy the odds living with MS.
Recently, she tested her back squat and hit 265 pounds “and immediately fell down and cried,” said Wells, who trains four to five days a week and coaches part-time.
“I’m not supposed to be able to do those things, and I did it,” she said.
She continued: “I don’t know where I would be today if I hadn’t found CrossFit. I just feel like I’m a whole new person when I’m there. I can have a bad day and walk in there sobbing and leave feeling like I’m ready to tackle the world.”
“I’ll never stop doing it.”
Inov-8 Black Friday Sale
The Black Friday sale is already on, with shoes and clothes marked down for the season. Grab a pair of trial runners, or trainers, and go smash your workout.
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Overtraining Syndrome (OTS) is one that emerges from excessive overtraining and limited recovery. But it's one that isn't commonly understood. Read about how to guard against it, recognize if you have it, and bounce back if you do.
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