Earlier this week, I got an email from a guy named Wylie Belasik, pitching me an idea that sounded so smart and cool, I knew I just had to jump on it — and fast. He was starting a nonprofit organization called UliftU, he said, through which he intended to “train the homeless and unemployed for careers in the health and wellness industry.” The tactic: a nine-month training program, in partnership with CrossFit Center City, that includes job prep and fitness training to equip folks with the tools they need to build successful careers in the fitness industry. Neat, right?
If it all sounds a tiny bit familiar (*ahem* Back on My Feet *ahem*), there’s a good reason: Belasik was one of the original founders of BoMF — a Philly-grown national nonprofit that uses running as a tool for mentoring the homeless and pulling them out of poverty — and served as its vice president of programming for five years.
“What has been the biggest challenge for me was figuring how to have someone gain physical strength from sport, but also then directly translate that into an opportunity to break the cycle of poverty,” Belasik wrote. “Finding a solution there was the inspiration to start UliftU.”
Well, color me intrigued. Yesterday, I chatted with Belasik to find out more about how UliftU works and what he needs from the local community to get it off the ground. UliftU kicks off fundraising today, with a target launch date for its first group of recruits pegged for January. Here, how Belasik intends to pull it all off, in his own words. Read more »
I joined CrossFit in August 2014 following a visit to my 11-year-old daughter during her first summer at sleep-away camp. I realized, the hard way, that I was no longer the center of my daughter’s universe, so I decided that I needed to invest energy in building my own social life. So I joined CrossFit; I’d heard it was as much a social community as a fitness one.
I threw myself in headlong, attending classes five to six days per week for the past 12 months. My goal was to understand why CrossFit has become a cultural phenomenon.
It’s been an interesting year — here’s what I have learned. Read more »
If at this exact moment, you’re thinking, “I just want to dance,” good news: You can do plenty of dancing (for free!) this Saturday. And if dancing isn’t your thing, there are plenty more fun stress-busting fitness events on the roster this weekend. Think: shopping, mud-running, and more. Check ’em out below.
This Taylor Swift spoof won’t tug at your heartstrings quite like CHOP’s “Shake It Off” spoof, but if you’re into CrossFit, we’re guessing you’ll laugh a few times. And if you’re not, it will probably scare you off from CrossFit once and for all, what with the talk of post-workout puking and whatnot. Check it out below.
Calling all Orange Is the New Black fans: You’ll be pleased to know, Fig, also known as the money-hungry warden from the show, was spotted getting her CrossFit on at South Philly’s Fearless Athletics this morning.
Apparently, actress Alysia Reiner is in town shooting a film, so there’s a chance you’ll catch her at the South Philly box again. How’s that for the perfect incentive to take your first CrossFit class?
Yesterday, I read a really interesting piece on Well + Good titled “What You Can Learn About Fitness and Body Image from the Girls of Girls.” As it turns out, the reasons the girl from Girls work out don’t have all that much to do with how they look on television. As Jemima Kirke, who plays Jessa, said, she works out because it makes her strong, and she needs to be strong to keep up with her kids. A practical answer if we’ve ever heard one. And Lena Dunham recently posted an Instagram photo of herself decked out in workout clothes, with a lengthy caption about how exercising has helped her with her anxiety, the most quotable portion of it being, “It ain’t about the ass, it’s about the brain.” Well said, right?
And it’s not just the girls from Girls: Be Well Philly contributor, Lauren Napolitano has echoed this statement in the past, saying CrossFit helped her to become a more sane parent, albeit more because of the community bonding than the burpees.
I completely understand why people hate CrossFit. CrossFitters are an incredibly annoying group of people. They talk about CrossFit non-stop, they wear CrossFit sneakers, and they display misguided pride over their disgusting hand calluses. And CrossFit workouts? They’re ridiculous. How do they expect a 41-year-old mother of two to do a handstand pushup? And am I really supposed to push a weighted sled around a parking lot? Read more »
If you’ve yet to try CrossFit, we’ve got the perfect opportunity for you: Tomorrow evening, Northern Liberties’ CrossFit Love is hosting a free fitness fair at The Market & Shops at Comcast Center, complete with all-levels classes plus juices, smoothies and Paleo treats. How’s that for the perfect post-work happy hour? Read more »