“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”- E. M. Forster
As Seen on IG: TYR Wodapalooza Highlights from Across the Community
Though TYR Wodapalooza’s live broadcast is reserved for the Elite Divisions, the existence of social media gives us the opportunity to see highlights from across the community as they threw down over four days of the 11th annual fitness festival in Bayfront Park in Miami, FL.
We wish we could show them all but with limited time and space, here are a few moments from the weekend that encapsulate our incredible CrossFit community. If you know someone that competed, give them a shout in the comments below.
In case you missed it: Morning Chalk Up’s Lauren Kalil spoke to Mat Fraser and Sammy Moniz during TYR Wodapalooza, getting updates from them on a number of things concerning life and CrossFit.
Cred up: CrossFit HQ pinged readers in its recent The Hopper email about its online CrossFit Judges Course in which successful completion of the yearly course awards the judge a certificate that is valid for the current CrossFit Games season.
Team division: Another update in CrossFit’s The Hopper was laying out all the requirements on eligibility, registration and roster for the team division, among other things, which we have a full breakdown of in this piece.
Team announcement: Move Fast Lift Heavy have announced two teams for the upcoming 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games season: MFLH Certified and MFLH Varsity.
Hiring update: FYR Flagstaff is currently seeking a Program Coordinator, and the role is hybrid remote, with candidates required to reside in Flagstaff.
Local love: Great piece in Business Upside about why people should choose CrossFit over a regular gym and the benefits of the methodology.
How Charlie Moore Found CrossFit and Lost and Found Himself All Over Again
Charlie Moore has heard all the feel good stories. The stories about people finding CrossFit and immediately losing weight and fixing their depression.
Recently, he saw the Morning Chalk Up article about elite CrossFit athlete James Sprague, who went from being overweight and depressed to one of the fittest athletes in the world.
Reading the article about Sprague stirred some emotion for Moore, because as nice as it is to hear about people getting their lives together through CrossFit, it’s not always that simple and straightforward.
Redemption Win at TYR Wodapalooza for Neuromuscular Athlete Alyssa Kobela
Last summer, Alyssa Kobela finally got the chance to compete on the big stage at the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games.
But things didn’t go her way. The Neuromuscular division athlete who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis (MS)—a central nervous system condition without a cure that attacks the protective layer around the nerves—tore a ligament in her wrist during Event 4 in Madison, WI and had to withdraw.
She was devastated.
“It took me a little bit to get my mental strength back after that. I wrestled with many ‘should have, could have, would haves,’” said 35-year-old Kobela, who was diagnosed with MS in 2018.
Her experience at the Games also shook her confidence, so she spent time working with her coach on building it back up in time to compete at TYR Wodapalooza last weekend in Miami, FL.
Kobela all but dominated the Women’s Neuromuscular competition in Miami, snagging six of seven event wins along the way, and finishing with 675 of a possible 700 points.
For Kobela, though, it was never about having to win in Miami. In fact, her only two goals were to “have fun and don’t get hurt,” she said.
The atmosphere at Wodapalooza made it easy, she explained.
“It was so much more relaxed than at the Games (and) even though we were competing, there was a sense of camaraderie among us all and we genuinely cheered for each other and celebrated the diversity and inclusivity within the division,” Kobela said.
An Uncertain Future
What made her experience in Miami extra special is that Kobela isn’t sure whether she will be eligible to compete in the adaptive division—now called the Multi Extremity division—this summer due to the new guidelines CrossFit announced for the 2023 season.
“I am still waiting for a decision from the athlete eligibility committee,” she said.
In the past, the rules stated that you need to have one of the 10 eligible impairments, but according to the new rules, simply having “a diagnosis with a medical condition does not necessarily mean you have the impairment,” Kobela explained.
This year, the rulebook states that the impairment has to impact your ability to do CrossFit movements.
“I submitted over a month ago the medical assessment form as well as the workout video they require; however, I am not sure what impact means or the level to which it must impact my movement, so I am still unsure if I am eligible or not. My impairment is observable and does cause issues with many movements, but I still do not know what the eligibility committee will determine,” Kobela said.
“Basically, I may not be impaired enough to be eligible.”
The Big Picture
Although she hopes CrossFit rules in her favor, Kobela is not too focused on something that is out of her control.
And no matter what the ruling, Kobela knows CrossFit is about way more than competing at the CrossFit Games, something that was made especially apparent in Miami last week.
“Wodapalooza did such a good job of reminding us that it is really about community, and that rings even more true for the adaptive community. The support I have found and the friendships I have forged are invaluable,” she said.
TYR’s Push Into CrossFit Continues With Successful Wodapalooza Title Sponsorship
Corey Berger is no stranger to Wodapalooza; he actually competed on an elite team at the annual fitness festival back in 2016, noting that “the goal was originally to make the career as an athlete, and when that didn’t work…this actually turns out to be much better, less on the joints.”
Come 2023, he’s attending the beach spectacle in a much different role, Director of Functional Fitness for TYR Sport since fall of 2021. We caught up with him live on the Podcast Stage at WZA to learn more about the brand’s bold entrance into the CrossFit world.
The brand most notably known for swimming gear, founded in 1985, made a noticeable entrance into the functional fitness world in 2021, by sponsoring big-name athletes and making a prominent appearance at competitions.
“COVID shut down a lot of the pools where our swimmers were training and a lot of them started using functional fitness and CrossFit-style training as a supplement to their swimming when they weren’t able to access the pool. So initially the brand wanted to be able to support our existing athletes in all phases of their training, and that sort of grew into the avenue of CrossFit,” Berger explained.
“We found the community to be similarly supportive, similarly inclusive, and the training styles are relatively similar — there’s a lot of synergy between the two. So it was kind of a natural next step for us once we found this community having been a part of it. But as a brand, once we found this community and started to move into this direction, the reception that we got was so positive and so strong that it just leads you to want to do more and provide more special opportunities for all these great people to be able to enjoy and take part in.”
And, when it was announced the sporting goods brand would be the title sponsor of Wodapalooza this year, fans of the sport took note, knowing that’s surely no simple or inexpensive commitment.
“I mean, for us, it’s really four main things: it’s community, it’s product, it’s feedback, and it’s innovation. And Wodapalooza is one of those special places where you have the opportunity to sort of hone in on all of that. As far as competitions go, this is in my opinion, the most special from a community perspective, because of all of the different divisions; the athletes all the way from the elite down to the everyday athlete, having the opportunity to kind of be side by side, support each other,” Berger said.
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