I have a great story to tell to get support to help an amazing group of young athletes make it to the Crossfit Games in August this year! If you hold out until the end of the story I promise you that you will be glad that you did! Out of a team of 6, the stories below will hopefully get you to want to meet these guys & get them out there to get the support they deserve!
Feb 2017 - The CrossFit Open is about to begin (a 5 wk qualifying process). A group of young CrossFit Moorabbin athletes are gearing up for the first workout. Exciting yes? Well, that was until 2 days before the qualifiers began that the first of many things went wrong!
Before I get into the details, the good news is, although after the end of the 5 wks, the team was just out of qualifying position, a few things moved their way & they scraped into the top 20 & qualified for the final competition out of 1000+ Australian & New Zealand teams (this last wkend in May). At this competition, they blew everyone away and instead of finishing top 15 which is what they had hoped for, they worked so hard & finished top 5 - no one thought they would do it (except me of course), not even them, but now because of their amazing work & effort they are heading to the CrossFit Games in Madison, Wisconsin in just over 2 months & need all the help & support they can get. Why is this story an underdog story you ask?? Well, 3 of the athlete’s stories below will explain it all.
Tara Jenkins: Female Athlete: 2 days before the open is rushed to hospital with an appendicitis & goes straight into surgery... Yep, she had been training since July the previous year getting ready for the open when this great spanner in the works is thrown at her. Don't fear though, 2 days after surgery she got into the gym & did the bare minimum of the workout to make sure she was eligible to qualify. By wk 4 & 5, she was able to complete the whole workouts & her scores were good enough to add to the team score. Dedication, right?? I know 2 days after surgery what I would have been doing, but not Tara - dedication & commitment all the way.
Jasmin Wood: Female Athlete: Well Jazzy's story starts a few years back. At 21 she was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis which is an autoimmune disease similar to Crohns. Not the best for a 21-year-old, but Jazzy didn't let it slow her down! She has been competing in competitions since, but in 2016 had a very serious relapse that saw her in hospital for almost 2 months. It got to the point where they almost had to remove her bowel which would have ended her competing days, but thanks to some great drug improvements, she was able to keep her bowel& was able to start training again. What it did do is make Jazzy realise that she may never make it as an individual athlete due to the pressure & stress it put on her body she wanted to concentrate on the team. To put it into perspective, Jazzy has infusions every 2 months just to keep her body working the way it needs to. One of these was the week before the first workout which knocked her for 6 a bit & meant her first workout score was nowhere near where it needed to be. But hey - she progressed & ended up finishing 74 out of 5000+ Australian female competitors, an amazing effort!
Lastly - Nigel Piedade: Male Athlete. Now Nigel's story is a little different. Not only is he one of the only members who works 12 hour shifts & trains around that (I mean who has that kind of time??), but his story is a little more on the sad side. Nigel's best mate Solo was diagnosed with cancer not too long ago & 2 weeks prior to regionals went into hospital. Nigel had to sacrifice time spent with Solo to train with the team to ensure they were ready to compete. 5 days before regionals Solo passed away& Nigel had to decide whether to stay in Melbourne & go to the funeral which was the first day of regionals, or make the commitment to the team and compete. I myself have no idea how he was able to pull himself together, but he came to Wollongong & smashed it with the rest of the team. On the final workout he wore his ‘For Solo’ top & didn’t give up. The whole team were there to support him through this time & they did it. They qualified for the CrossFit Games.
Why do I think they deserve sponsorship you ask? They are going up against teams who do this for a living, so to be ready they need to give up their work & lives for the next 2 months to make sure they are ready & I really want to get them help. This amazing team now need a minimum of $20K to be able to afford to go & compete for a place at the Games. Any business’s that can donate (every $50 helps), any ppl who just want to see these guys compete as they have worked so hard to get there – I just want their story to be told as I feel like it’s a great underdog story. It shows that it doesn’t matter what life throws at you, surgery, disease, etc if you have a great group around you& dedication, drive and give it your all, you can be successful!
Let’s get them to Madison!!