“If you can't describe what you are doing as a process, you don't know what you're doing.”- W. Edwards Deming
CrossFit Bison Athletes Showcase Strength and Resiliency During 23.2 Open Announcement: “Keep fighting the good fight”
2023 NOBULL CrossFit Open 23.2 wasn’t just another workout for Kathleen Staunton and Joel Trella, it exemplified for each of them, in their own way, a new lease on life.
CrossFit Bison located in Midland Park, New Jersey hosted the live announcement of 23.2 and two of its athletes completed the workout just a few moments before the elites took to the floor.
Staunton is a survivor of breast cancer, while Trella battled mental health issues that led him to become suicidal. They each have their own unique story and reason for CrossFit being a mainstay in their lives and are an example of the heart and soul of what the sport is all about.
Staunton, a nurse practitioner, wife and mother, started CrossFit nine years ago and characterizes herself as a very healthy and active person, so when she found out she had breast cancer she was shocked.
“I felt that I was the strongest and in the best shape of my life at that time,” said Staunton, who shared that she found out she had breast cancer just a day before she did the first Open workout in 2022.
“I was really angry because I take such great care of myself, but I really had to keep moving through.”
“The treatment I think was the hardest part to keep coming in here [the gym],” she said. “My [CrossFit] coaches that knew were great, they never let me feel sorry for myself. I have a son in highschool and I had to keep going for him.”
Staunton is now in remission and while she isn’t the same athlete since her cancer diagnosis it isn’t stopping her from living her life to the fullest and continuing her fitness journey, including being one of the first athletes to give 23.2 a go.
“I’m never going to be exactly where I was, but that’s okay, so I just have to keep rolling and keep fighting the good fight,” she said.
Separately, Trella found CrossFit Bison in 2019 during one of the darkest points of his life and when given the opportunity to share his story with the CrossFit community he couldn’t say no. Trella shared he has been dealing with untreated PTSD, severe depression, and at his worst wanting to end his life.
“This is kind of like my airing to the world,” said Trella, a husband and father-of-two. “I immediately said yes, regretted it, and then was like ‘you know what’ I’ve got to take advantage of the opportunity.”
“There’s so much stigma involved with mental health and I think that to get that out there a little bit was really important for me.”
“I know there’s a lot of people who are going through the same thing and they just suffer in silence, don’t know who to turn to and feel like they’re alone. There are healthy ways to cope with it, I wasn’t coping with it in a healthy way and that was my issue.”
Trella, who is a New Jersey State Trooper, said his unit at the time was dealing with missing people and he ended up taking on a lot of the grief some families were feeling. Trella says it was one of the main reasons that he broke down and led him to severe depression and suicidal thoughts. But a push from a coworker he confided in finally gave him the kick he needed to get help.
“I was so resistant to it, I didn’t want to admit to anybody that I had a problem especially in my work where it’s looked down upon if you have a problem,” said Trella.
He was in an outpatient program when a friend finally convinced him to join CrossFit and to do something for himself. Trella also gave up drinking and has been sober for three years. He sees himself continuing CrossFit for the long run as it’s been an integral part of his journey through mental health.
“I’m just looking to be as fit as possible. I just want to be able to see my kids grow up and carry my daughter up the stairs when she falls asleep on the couch and go camping with my son and the Boy Scouts and be able to go hiking and carry a backpack,” said Trella.
“It’s really just fitness, lifestyle, and just ensuring that I can have the best life from here on out.”
Kelsey Kiel Loves JUNK
“JUNK headbands were my go-to when I started the sport. I was a pre-wrap girl in college, but I wish I had known about JUNK then- I would have started wearing them earlier.
I wear JUNK because they’re comfortable, machine washable (necessary), and they keep the sweat out of my eyes when I train (and anyone who knows me knows I sweat… a LOT), which is extremely important for me.”
— Four-Time NoBull CrossFit Games Athlete, Kelsey Kiel
23.2 announcement is done and dusted: Check out our Instagram as Morning Chalk Up’s Teaganne Finn was onsite in New Jersey at CrossFit Bison as Roman Khrennikov and Patrick Vellner threw down in an epic battle.
Local love: Great piece about CrossFit Culminate, which has just opened in Jacksonville, IL and how they hope to make their community fitter.
Ok this is cool: WIT Fitness has all your CrossFit Open needs covered with this cool kit.
2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games 23.2 Affiliate Class Plan
Week two of the 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Open was announced at CrossFit Bison today, with two of their athletes (Kathleen Staunton and Joel Trella) going head-to-head before Pat Vellner and Roman Khrennikov took the floor. This week is a 15-minute couplet followed by a max lift attempt. Today we’re providing you a lesson plan to run 23.2 at your gym, in the hopes of making life a little easier for you!
How to Program 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Open Workout 23.2 For Kids
Athletes across the world will take on another grueling Open workout this weekend, and just like last week, we’re not leaving the youngest athletes in our community out of the fun! From preschool to high school, here’s how you can adapt 23.2 for your CrossFit Kids.
Pre-School and Elementary
While the movements in part A are easily adaptable, the timeframe could quickly lose the interest of young children. Bringing down the time domain and adding in a partner element will make these shuttle runs and burpee pull-ups more exciting.
Max-load thrusters are most likely not on the docket for most 5-year-olds, so for this portion of the workout, try a moderate-rep dumbbell thruster ladder for athletes to go through. If you are working with a group of kids, athletes can go through the ladder one at a time so you can focus on each athlete’s form. The key: form. Athletes can continue to the next highest weight as long as their form is picture-perfect.
Partner 23.2 A (partners switch after completion of a full round)
5 Burpee Pull-ups
5 Shuttle Runs (down and back)
Note: for extra fun, add obstacle course elements to the shuttle run, like requiring athletes to run through a hula hoop each length of the floor.
Dumbbell Thruster Ladder
Starting at 5 lbs, athletes do 5 thrusters at each weight until their form deteriorates or the next weight becomes unsafe.
Middle and High School
Older athletes will be able to complete the workout in its entirety much easier. However, if you don’t have the next Mal O’Brien competing in the teen division at your gym and you’re looking to make the workout more enjoyable, consider these modifications.
Partner Workout (partners switch after completion of each full round)
Lower time cap
We wish you and your kiddos the best of luck for 23.2! And don’t worry, we’ll be back next week for more tips on how to adapt the Open to the youngest athletes in our sport.
CrossFit Open 23.2 Workout Description and Strategies
Complete as many reps as possible in 15 minutes of:
5 burpee pull-ups
10 shuttle runs (1 rep = 25 ft out/25 ft back)
*Add 5 burpee pull-ups after each round.
Immediately following 23.2A, athletes will have 5 minutes to establish:
We will be updating this page regularly with strategy guides as they come in. Please email [email protected] to submit one we’re missing.
Noah Ohlsen Logs 290 Reps in 23.1
Noah Ohlsen was one of several CrossFit Games athletes that logged a score for 23.1 nine years ago when it was known as 14.4. Back then, 23-year-old Ohlsen made it through 56 calories on the Concept2 Rower before time expired, giving him a score of 256 reps, good enough for 11th place worldwide.
This year, the Miami local started his 13th CrossFit Open off with a bang with an unofficial score of 290 reps in 23.1.
Ohlsen: “You’re not going to win it on that first row, but you can definitely lose it. Don’t come out too hot.”
For Ohlsen, the excitement has only begun. He and his fiancée, Joann, are getting married this weekend.
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