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QUOTE OF THE DAY
“I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.” — Georgia O’Keefe
Victor Assaf’s Surgeon Said, “Forget about CrossFit.” He didn’t listen.
Victor Assaf started CrossFit at twenty-years-old when his brother finally convinced him to give it a go. He loved it, particularly the weightlifting component. He got really strong, really fast. He caught the competition bug immediately, making his sole purpose to qualify for the CrossFit Games.
An accident changes everything.
Driving home from a Strongman competition in which he had just podiumed, Victor lost control of his motorcycle on a bridge. His body slammed into a light pole, making impact at his right shoulder. The crash damaged three cervical vertebrae and put him in a coma.
After 10 hours of surgery, Victor emerged alive but permanently affected; He had lost motor function and sensation in his right arm. The surgeon told him to forget about CrossFit. “I started crying. I collapsed inside,” he said.
Just seven months later, Victor decide he wouldn’t heed the doctor’s advice any longer and he returned to CrossFit. “I had to invent my own way of doing CrossFit so I wouldn’t get injured doing everything with one arm,” he said. But Victor figured it out, getting back into the swing of things and rekindling the fuel to compete too.
Victor just competed at Wodapalooza last weekend, placing sixth in the RX Men Adaptive Standing division. “I don’t consider the accident a bad thing…What happened that day made me see things more clearly and with a different perspective…with one arm I can reach a lot more people than I did with two.”
Heppner Confirmed to Compete at Mid Atlantic CrossFit Challenge
You read that right folks. Jacob Heppner is emerging from his multi-year absence from the competitive CrossFit stage to take on the Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge in April.
While there’s no word on whether Winston will make the journey, the three-time CrossFit Games athlete and fan favorite took fifth place in the online qualifier and we confirmed yesterday that he accepted his invitation to compete.
Well, it’s about damn time.
Heppner hasn’t competed in any official CrossFit event since placing 11th at the 2016 CrossFit Games. He sat out in 2017 to recover from an injury and was unable to qualify for 2018 regionals due to a controversial new standard on handstand push-ups.
So why come out of competitive cryo sleep now?
Heppner outlined his plan to qualify for the games through the CrossFit Open in a video back in November.
“My goal right now is to get top 20 in the Open,” Heppner said in the video.
The Mid Atlantic CrossFit Challenge is the first sanctioned event after the Open. It appears Heppner is hedging his bet on the Open by having backup plans in place should he fail to qualify through the Open.
Coffee Break Conversations
What to say when your office mate says they’re taking a lunch break…
Sweet, take a few minutes and get caught up with On the Minute. Armen Hammer and Justin LoFranco released Episode 8 where they offer a quick lesson on who to keep an eye out for the rest of the season.
WATCH: Armen Hammer Sits Down with Mat Fraser
Armen Hammer sat down with Mat Fraser in Miami after Wodapalooza. The two discuss Mat’s mindset during the CrossFit Games weekends, what it’s like meeting fans, and how he works so hard to protect his private life. And, we promise this is the right link today. Sorry, folks.
Matt O’Keefe joined the Brute Strength Podcast to discuss his growing apparel line, Redline Gear, and share inside stories about what it’s like managing top-tier athletes such as CrossFit champ Mat Fraser, including almost getting him kicked out of the Games.
Tortilla chip crusted baked jalapeño poppers recipe that’s easy, amazing and better than the fried version. These babies are a perfect appetizer for entertaining or to take with you to a party this weekend.
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CAN’T STOP BROCK — Kato CrossFit in Mankato, MN is hosting a fundraiser for five-year-old Brock, who was recently diagnosed with ALD, a genetic disease that affects the nerves in men. The event will be Saturday, February 9 with a Hero WOD for Brock and a silent auction. All proceeds from the event will go to Brock’s family.
Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge — The official roster for the Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge, which will take place in April in Washington D.C., has been finalized.
— Some Familiar Names: Games athletes Samuel Kwant, Will Moorad, Jacob Heppner, Paul Castillo, Marquan Jones, Meg Reardon, Mekenzie Riley, Paige Semenza will all be on the competition floor that weekend.
— Bookmark this: Our leaderboard for the Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge is up and ready to go.
Australian CrossFit Championship Continues — The Australian CrossFit Competition is underway in Queensland, where Sam Briggs is absolutely wrecking face going a perfect five for five so far. Here’s the schedule for today and the complete roster.
— No Livestream: Remember, there is no live stream for this event. If you see one advertised, it is a scam.
— Standings after Day 2 and five total events:
Men: 1). James Newbury (470), 2). Hayden Brown (424) 3). Matt McLeod (421), 4). Zeke Grove (396), and 5). Luke McMahon (352).
Women: 1). Samantha Briggs (500), 2). Madeline Sturt (431), 3). Simone Arthur (393), 4). Marnie Sykes (393), and 5). Laura Clifton (368).
Teams: 1). Project X (390), 2). Reebok CrossFit Frankston (360), 3). Torian Black (335), 4). CrossFit East Tamaki (327) and
5). Starr Strength Blue (325).
Online Qualifier Scores Due for Asia CrossFit Championships — All registered athletes must have their scores in for the Asia CrossFit Championship online qualifiers by Monday, January 28, 7:59 AM PT.
Rory McKernan On Gratitude — Rory McKernan posted on Instagram yesterday that it was the nine-year anniversary of his diagnosis and treatment of testicular cancer. “This is a gratitude post. Nine years ago I was diagnosed with testicular cancer on January 17th. A congenital defect in my right lung was identified in my post-operative scans which required a lobectomy in October. Both surgeries bookended the birth of my second child and my first crack at hosting TV for CrossFit at the CrossFit Games. It was a big year.
–“I am overfilled with gratitude every January when this anniversary passes. Not only for the simple fact that I’m alive, fit and free of disease, but more so for the love and support from community that me, Ange McKernan and our family have been blessed to know over and over again, especially when the going got the toughest…We have always been embraced and uplifted consistently by the most amazing people in the world – the best friends, loving family, incredibly talented mentors, an awesome church and even perfect strangers!
— “The support I was shown has motivated me to give back as well. Typically this comes in the form of people sharing their stories with me. I hope that makes an impact, but what organizations or individuals do you think make an enormous difference in the fight against cancer?”
Alan Stengel was an athlete growing up. So when he entered college at 245 pounds, he wasn’t really alarmed. But by the time he graduated he weighed 280 pounds.
After graduation, he moved back home and started to work for his church, doing production. “I was just working more and more and getting heavier and heavier,” he told us in an interview at Wodapalooza.
Then his dad, who had diabetes, passed away from lung disease.
Just six months later, his mother had a heart attack that required a bypass. But she was so out of shape that the doctors couldn’t perform one. “After that I thought, man I really need to re-evaluate my health here. This is serious,” he told us in an interview at Wodapalooza, where he was volunteering on the media team.
Alan had wanted to try CrossFit, but now at 320 pounds, he didn’t think he was fit enough. So he did it himself. “I cut out all starches, ate a ton of protein and vegetables, and read everything I could online.”
Then, in 2016 Alan was a groomsman in his friend’s wedding in Virginia. The groom wanted everyone to take a CrossFit class together at CrossFit Midlow. “I was crazy nervous, but excited. I had wanted to try it.”
A partner workout, Alan remembers that on the last round of box jumps, his partner got sick and went to the bathroom to puke. The rest of the class encouraged him just to finish the box jumps on his own. “I was the last one working on the floor, and the whole place was cheering me on. And I was just a stranger, I just dropped in,” Alan remembers.