“Without hustle, talent will only carry you so far.”- Gary Vaynerchuk
New Jersey Business Partners Run Not-for-Profit Gym, Donate Money to Those in Need
When Patrick Kennedy, co-owner of Primitive Fitness Co., saw gyms in his area start to close, following the COVID-19 pandemic, he and business partner Bryant Salazarrieta knew they needed to step in.
Primitive Fitness Co. opened in November of 2021, but had a more official opening in February of 2022. Kennedy saw multiple gyms in his area of Freehold, New Jersey start to close and knew members would be dispersed. He and Salazarrieta got together, spoke to a real estate agent, found an available space, and within a week got everything up and running.
“We looked at the building, we said we’d take it. We signed the lease on Friday. We literally opened the business the following Saturday. So we built the entire gym in one week,” said Kennedy.
Kennedy, who is a CrossFitter himself, was a member at one of the gyms that announced it was shutting down and didn’t want to see those members have to find a new place to train.
“We’ve grown pretty organically, we don’t really advertise and the big thing is we don’t run for profit. We’re not a 501c3 (an official document certifying a not-for-profit), but my partner and I got together, we both own other companies, so we decided we could do some good with the money and anything that doesn’t go to the gym operations we try and find local charities and donate the money to people that need it.”
“My partner and I have been pretty fortunate in life and we said if we could give back and help others and run a gym that is family oriented then why not?”
Kennedy adds, he doesn’t seek out corporate charities, instead he takes suggestions from members or from word-of-mouth in the community.
One of the first donations he made was to the family of Commander Brian Bourgeois, 43, who died in December of 2021 while doing a fast-rope evaluation training in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Bourgeois left behind a wife and five children.
When Kennedy heard about this horrible incident he knew he wanted to help. Instead of going through the Navy Seal Foundation he was able to make contact with the family and donate directly to Bourgeois’ widow.
“What we did was we got together with our members and said we’re not asking for an amount. We don’t care what it is, we’re going to put a jar up and we’re going to do a memorial workout for him and whatever you guys put in the jar, Brian and I are going to match and donate to the family.”
“Our members were able to raise $3500 during one workout and then Brian and I matched it and it wound up being $7000.”
In another instance, a gym member had a child with medical needs and the gym donated enough money for the family to stay near the facility for a month, while the child recovered from a surgery.
“We don’t believe in organizations, we believe in people.”
Even though the gym is a not-for-profit, Kennedy says it is well equipped with top of the line machines and equipment. Kennedy and Salazarrieta emphasize, “We give our members the best of everything because we’re not taking any money.”
The gym has donated over $50,000 after only being open for a little over a year. A testament not only to Kennedy and Salazarrieta’s commitment to paying it forward, but also his members.
“We have one rule in the whole gym: fit in or you’re out and that’s it,” said Kennedy. Luckily, they haven’t hadn’t to turn down any charity requests thus far and hope never to have to as long as the business keeps growing.
“We’re not trying to buy our way into heaven or anything like that. We just want to try and help people if we can.”
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The Masters Fitness Championship kicks off its fourth annual competition tomorrow. The event takes place over three days in Fort Wayne, IN, with programming by CJ Martin of Invictus.
The Fittest of the Coast Online Qualifier starts on September 28. There will be 41 divisions competing at the January competition in Charleston, SC. Register now!
Tension is building for the 2023 Rogue Invitational as Tia-Clair Toomey-Orr returns to competition to face-off against the only other woman to stand on top of the CrossFit Games podium in seven years, Laura Horvath.
The community seems to be evenly divided when it comes to predicting the Rogue Invitational champion, with Toomey-Orr having a slight edge over Horvath.
To help inform the prognosticators, below we have provided a recap of the various times these two elite athletes have faced-off to demonstrate how close it’s been since Horvath exploded onto the scene in 2018.
Opinion: Finding Elements of the “Blue Zones” In CrossFit
For centuries, humans have sought the secret to a longer life. And while many have claimed to have the answer, few have actually been able to actually unlock the key.
In 2021, just .027% of the US population was 100 years old (just under 90,000 people to be specific).
One big thing: While National Geographic Explorer Dan Buettner may not have the silver bullet or the magic pill we’ve all been searching for, in his new Netflix documentary, Live To 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones, he explores some of the ideas that have allowed small pockets of people to live exceptionally long lives.
As a journalist heavily invested in the health and fitness industry, I of course knew I had to give it a watch to see what I might be missing in my life that could prevent me from living to 100.
While the limited series was both informative, thought-provoking, and at times heart-warming, what was perhaps most notable to me, were the numerous connections I found between the habits of those who lived in the Blue Zones and the CrossFit community I’ve been a part of for over a decade.
CrossFit might not be the panacea for the problems that plague us, there are certainly at least a few elements of the CrossFit experience that strongly imitate the habits of those in the Blue Zones who seem to have unlocked the secret to living long, fruitful lives.
1. Community Breeds Longevity
While COVID certainly accelerated it,an epidemic of loneliness has long been a plague in the Western world that has had more impacts on longevity than people credit it for.
“Loneliness is as bad as a cigarette habit,” said Buettner in an interview with NPR.
“Now we’re discovering in America that loneliness can cost 15 years of life expectancy,” Buettner said during the first episode of his limited series.
But in Okinawa, Japan, the first of the “Blue Zones” Buettner visited, the citizens of this small island community have found a way to build and sustain strong communal friendships throughout their lives.
Parents place their young children into small groups of 4-5 people who are expected to continue with friendship and support throughout their lives.
These connections help the citizens not only to have a meaningful community to support them both emotionally and financially during difficult times but also to cure the ailment of loneliness.
The Secrets of High-Quality Supplements: What You Need to Know (From an Industry Insider)
If you participate in any level of CrossFit, there is a high chance that you are taking some form of a supplement. Whether it is a daily vitamin, a pre-workout, or protein after you train, the majority of athletes are not getting 100% of their nutrition from foods alone.
And just as we take our time selecting what food we put in our body, we should put the same care into our supplements. Unfortunately, we cannot squeeze that canister of pre-workout and see if it is fresh and banned substance-free, similar to squeezing that peach at Trader Joe’s to see if it’s ripe.
Dr. Justine Luchini, co-creator of the sleep product Thirdzy, explains the importance of the ingredients and quality process that go into every kind of supplement.
Formulation first – which ingredients and how much?
When starting her supplement company Dr. Luchini was an expert in biochemistry and nutrition, but was new to the supplement industry and was shocked by the pressures to cut corners early on when creating her product.
“Early on in the creation process, there’s a lot of pressure to either go cheaper with ingredients, use less of the expensive ingredients, or use the compounds that potential supply chain partners already have in stock.”
She discovered that the emphasis in the industry – from experts and consultants, to other brand founders that she spoke to – was often more about creating products that use trendy ingredients and appeared to be good products, but were not necessarily the best or most effective supplements.
While there were some exceptions (people and brands working to make great products) the general trend was worrying to Dr. Luchini, who has been using supplements and trusting that she’s been buying good products for many years.
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