BUCKHANNON – A local crossfit gym has been participating in a worldwide competition to both promote fitness and help local charities.
Almost Heaven CrossFit competed in the CrossFit Open, described by gym co-owner Taylor Foster as the Olympics of the popular fitness program.
It’s also a chance for local athletes to see themselves on a worldwide leaderboard and test themselves in new ways as part of the five-week, five-workout competition.
“The open allows our athletes to come in and basically do the same workouts the elites are doing and compare results,” Foster told My Buckhannon. “They have what’s called an RX division, which would be the hardest way to do the workout, and then there’s a scaled version so that our athletes who are still developing skills can come in and do the scale variations.”
Almost Heaven CrossFit split contestants into six teams, and each team could earn points. Each week there was a winner, and at the end of the competition one team will be named the overall winner of the open.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” Foster said. “Not everyone wants to do a competition, not everybody wants to sign up, not everyone wants to work out in front of people. But it’s given everybody the opportunity to try it on their level and let them prove that they can do it.”
CrossFit also integrated themes each week so competitors could earn extra points. For example, they could earn extra points by dressing up in a certain way or by helping support different charities each week.
“The charities have been one of my favorite things about the open,” Foster said. “I think it’s really cool we could get everyone out and together, but we also help better the community.”
Almost Heaven CrossFit members held a clothing drive for a mission trip to Haiti, made care packages for the senior center and collected items for the non-profit Luv 4 Animals.
Joan Samargo said she was encouraged to participate by everyone in the gym.
“The people and the coaches encouraged me,” Samargo said. “They said, ‘Just do what you can’ and that’s honestly what inspired me. There is so much support, and it’s OK if I can’t make it through the first round. They’re like a family.”
Foster said Almost Heaven CrossFit is planning to participate in the open again next year.
“To see everybody come out and just push themselves — and even if they don’t exceed their expectations, if they come out and push themselves to do their very best — it’s totally worth it and it’s worth all the work that goes behind it,” she said.