Dear CrossFit IslandFit, CrossFit 246, CrossFit 12-12-12 and unaffiliated athletes, staff members, volunteers and family,
This past Saturday, April 26th 2014, was one that will forever be seared into memory. The vision I had long held for this national-level event (which would later be named the Barbados IslandFit Games) was one of inclusion, motivation, uninhibited athleticism and (above all else) an atmosphere of mutual support and fun. It was to be an event in which all athletes, former athletes and ‘wanna-be’ athletes would have a level playing field on which to find their inner champions. I am happy to say that actuality far surpassed my vision.
From the day the announcement of the event was made, there was a supportive buzz. Athletes started probing about “muscle ups” and “pistols”. Members were eager to volunteer. Even some Directors were “fussy” about the possibility of a swim to be included.
As we moved forward, setting the location and inviting sponsors with a tight time-frame and even tighter budget, it was clear to me that while this would be one of the most intensive events I’ve ever produced or managed, when all was done, it would be well worth it.
And so it is.
I am proud to say that once again we have made event history in Barbados (the first being the Patsy Callender Challenge). We, the collective that is the CrossFit community in Barbados, along with all the sponsors, fellow boxes CF246 and CF12-12-12 have done something that has made heroes out of everyday men and women.
From Cheryl and Dana being encouraged, cheered and coached through the ‘impossible’; to the Fit Crews going head to head exchanging leads to the final round; to Shane’s threatening comeback on the pull-ups in the final; Ryan’s ‘beast mode’ as he moved the rig; Quontana’s steely gaze as he ploughed through; Carlyle on the knees to elbows; Niska on the wall balls; Emma when she ‘pick it up!’ on the front squats; Lyndsay’s technique on the Ground to Overheads; to Jodi, Kim, Russell and Ramon showing what competitive spirit and digging deep is truly all about… I could go on and on because indeed every single competitor on Saturday showed their mettle and refreshed my belief in the beauty and strength that is the heroic human spirit.
The volunteers too dug deep and were inspiring to me, coming up with suggestions for solving ‘teething problems’ on the fly. The judges, all of whom could have competed well on the day, are here now given a big pat on the back for their sacrifice. Thanks to Dr Gaskin and Dr McIntyre for providing additional medical volunteers, supplies and contingencies to bolster the medical team. Kudos to the tabulators, registration crew and door staff for staying calm and collected throughout. Of extra special note is massage therapist Kristin Rojas of The Tridosha who gave free massages to the athletes for the entire day! Well done!
Athletes and volunteers; sponsors and providers; we did well because of you.
Therefore, on behalf of the Directors (Coach Dr Phil Gaskin, Coach Dr Garth McIntyre and Andre Holder) and all staff of CrossFit IslandFit, I say a BIG Thank You to you all! May you continue to grow from this experience and all that it has brought; and may you find strength, will and glory in all your endeavours henceforth.