Skip to main content
Category

WZA Community

“Water-Palooza,” Take Two

By WZA Community

As athletes and community members shared their favorite memories of Wodapaloozas past, many of the OG veterans recalled fondly the 2016 competition, dubbed “Water-Palooza” due a weekend of torrential downpours. With storms in the forecast, Sunday opened with a full slate of final events for all divisions and despite a midday rain delay and some adjustments to “Dale” for the elite teams and individuals, the day concluded with full stands and tight races. All of the elite divisions took on “Dale” and “WZAOC Remix,” a workout based on the final event in the online challenge and qualifier this year.

The elite teams took on “Dale” first, an elimination-style sprint and both the men and women competed simultaneously. The sprint consisted of a handstand walk, a sandbag carry, and burpees over a line in a relay for the teams and a one-time through sprint for the individuals. 

On the men’s side, The Boys (Noah Ohlsen, Chandler Smith, and Travis Mayer) took the event win, their fourth of the competition. Samsarellamann (Tyler Eggimann, Phillip Muscarella, and Denis Samsonov) took second with Team Hercules (Logan Collins, Roy Gamboa, and Travis Williams) finishing third. The women took the floor next and Omnia (Marykay Dreisilker, Elisa Schauer, and Kelly Stone) earned their first event win of the competition. Team Kriger ((Ingrid Hodemyr, Kristin Holte, and Lena Richter) grabbed second place, the third second place finish of the competition for the Norwegians, to go along with three first place finishes. Team Fleo Fuego (Jessi Harper, Shelby Neal, and Ashleigh Wosny) took third, their highest finish of the week.

Elite individuals came to the floor next, with both men and women competing at once. Samuel Cournoyer earned his first event win of the competition, while Josh Gervais took second and Alexandre Caron grabbed third, his second third-place finish of the week. On the women’s end of the floor, Dani Speegle took down the event win, Olivia Sulek finished second and Freya Moosbrugger grabbed third. It was the highest finish of 2022 WZA for all three women.

The final event, “WZAOC Remix” was last up under the lights and on the team side it consisted of ring muscle-ups and worm clean and jerks. The women’s teams battled it out and when the dust settled, Team Kriger stood atop the podium, with MayFem (Andrea Nisler, Haley Adams, and Taylor Williamson) in second, and Team GOWOD (Mia Hesketh, Julie Hougard, and Solveig Sigurdardottir) earning bronze. The men closed out the team competition with The Boys taking the top spot overall, Thunder From Down Under (James Newbury, Khan Porter, and Matt Dlugos) in second, and Team Hercules (Logan Collins, Roy Gamboa, and Travis Williams) in third.

The individuals closed out the week with their version of “WZAOC” which included toes-to-bar and devil’s press. The women were up first and after nine minutes of pain, Emma McQuaid finished in first overall to take home the $100,000 check, Bethany Shadburne finished in second, and Arielle Loewen took third. On the men’s side, Patrick Vellner completed the three-peat taking first place, while Alexandre Caron took second, and Samuel Cournoyer finished in third.

It was an amazing week and a fitting end to a “Decade of Celebration.”

Wodapalooza Raises Funds for Relief and Recovery Efforts in The Bahamas

By News, WZA Community

WZA Raises Funds for Relief and Recovery Efforts in The Bahamas

Our hearts are broken by the devastation in the northern Bahamas this week from Hurricane Dorian. Early estimates report that roughly 60% of Grand Bahama Island is flooded and 13,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed.

A short plane or boat ride away, The Bahamas are a frequent place that we go to celebrate fitness, community, and life. Each time we visit, the Bahamian community gives of themselves to help us celebrate and now, more than ever before, this community needs our help.

We, here at Wodapalooza, are committed to helping our community, friends, and neighbors in The Bahamas rebuild their homes, communities, and livelihoods.
 

We have aligned with WZA Community Partners and Gyms to send provisions to The Bahamas and we are asking you to help us by donating. Below are a variety of ways that you can give back to The Bahamas and affected communities:

 

Drop off needed items at your local gym

These are the gyms we know are accepting donations, if you know of others accepting donations, please email us at: [email protected] so we can add them to the list.

  • CrossFit Soul – Miami, FL – (305) 668-2898
  • Peak 360 CrossFit – Miami, FL – (877) 236-6731
  • CrossFit Unbounded – Doral, FL – (786) 393-4948
  • Zoom Fitness – Doral, FL – (305) 306-9886
  • CrossFit Yellow Falcon Miami – (786) 703-2601
  • CrossFit Wynwood – (305) 741-0730
  • Train8Nine – Miami, FL – (305) 912-3963
  • Freakin CrossFit – Pembroke Pines, FL – (954) 442-3356
  • CrossFit Tamiami – Miami, FL – (786) 360-5471
  • CrossFit Downtown Miami – Miami, FL – (305) 915-0358
  • CrossFit Armed – North Miami, FL – (786) 709-5677
  • Caution CrossFit – Hialeah Gardens, FL – (786) 558-4163
  • Training Pit CrossFit – Hollywood, FL – (305) 345-0457

 

Donate Funds through GoFundMe

Team WZA has set up a GoFundMe account for the WZA Community to donate for the families and communities affected by Hurricane Dorain. 100% of all funds raised will go to assist in relief efforts in The Bahamas.

DONATE HERE!

 

Thank you for helping us give back to the families and communities that have given so much to all of us.

If She Cantu, So Can You

By News, WZA Community

If She Cantu, So Can You

Written by Evelyn Curry

“I hated what I saw in the mirror. I didn’t recognize her anymore,” Vanessa Cantu remembered.

At the age of 15, Vanessa was in a car accident that left her paralyzed. But when she got pregnant at 30, 5 years ago, Vanessa knew she needed to change her life around.

“My daughter sees. She goes to these competitions with me. I just want her to realize she doesn’t need to feel sorry for me and think that because I have a disability that she needs to take care of me. I want her to see that there’s nothing that I can’t do and I do more than a lot of able bodied moms,” Vanessa said.

After being introduced to CrossFit at a competition, she became hooked.

“It was the first time I had seen young strong people with disabilities doing something. I could relate. It wasn’t such an ugly stigma associated with it. I thought, ‘I could do that. I just have to train.’ That was my mission from that point on and it became very addicting after that,'” she said.

Now Vanessa is a staple of the Adaptive RX Seated Division at WZA. In her last 3 years she has been on the podium every single time:  2nd in 2016, 3rd in both 2017 and 2018. In her 4th year, she sits in 2nd place headed into Day 3.

When asked what her goals were, she said, “I’ve always wanted to see the women’s division grow. For every woman there’s like 3 guys in the men’s division. My goal is to continue seeing that number grow. I would love to say I’m the #1 Crossfit female.”

When we asked her what she liked about WZA. It was a quick answer: “I fell out of my chair last night doing one of the workouts.  We’re not fragile. We’re not gonna break. We’re already broken.  We know how to bounce and get back up. It just exposes everyone else that we’re not as sensitive as you think we are.”

Las Mujeres Fuertes de WZA: Brenda Castro

By WZA Community

Las Mujeres Fuertes de WZA: Brenda Castro

“En tiempos donde la gente quiere construir muros, hay buenas personas que los están derribando, que están ayudando a abrir puertas para personas como yo. Me siento muy honrada de estar en esa posición”.

Al igual que la mayoría de los novatos de CrossFit Games, nada ha sido fácil para la mexicana Brenda Castro. Siendo la primera mexicana en calificar como individual para los Juegos, lleva consigo la ilusión y los sueños de tantas mujeres que buscan fuerza, esperanza e inspiración en su país.

 

Brenda Castro

 

“Definitivamente es un honor para mí estar en la posición en la que estoy ahora. Estoy muy orgullosa de eso. El hecho de que en este momento estoy abriendo las puertas para ayudar a las mujeres de mi país, latinas en general, las represento y si lo sueñan, pueden hacerlo. Si te apasiona algo, PUEDE suceder. En tiempos donde la gente quiere construir muros, hay buenas personas que los están derribando, que están ayudando a abrir puertas para personas como yo. Me siento muy honrada de estar en esa posición”.

 

Castro expresa su actitud positiva y encuentra apoyo al rodearse de las personas adecuadas y la fuerza que necesitaba este año para ganar la Regional de América Latina en Río. Esto fue clave porque ella no siempre sintió ese amor y apoyo a lo largo de su viaje.

 

 

“Fui muy afortunada de tener personas que me apoyaron cuando ingresé por primera vez al deporte (CrossFit). Vieron algo en mí que fue muy especial. Después de ganar (Las Regionales) ese apoyo ha aumentado. Hay algunas personas que al principio, no me dieron el apoyo que ahora me brindan. Pero no guardo ningún rencor. No los culpo. Tengo que trabajar muy duro para ser mejor y creer en mí misma, así que no los culpo por no haber creído en mí en la etapa inicial, pero estoy agradecida de que ahora si crean”.

Castro también quiere usar sus logros para inspirar a otras mujeres fuertes a que lo hagan, especialmente en su país de origen, México.

WZA Stories - Amy Williams

WZA Stories: Amy Williams

By News, WZA Community

Amy Williams, owner of CrossFit Carnivore, is no stranger to Wodapalooza. In 2017, CrossFit Carnivore had 85 of their members compete in the WZA Online Challenge & Qualifier (WZAOC). Amy and CrossFit Carnivore are a huge piece of the WZA Community!

Amy’s journey in CrossFit, however, has not always been easy. Before she turned 30, her bones began to spontaneously break. Her body fat had dropped, and her bone density was dangerously low, which ultimately contributed first to a broken hand and then to a broken hip.

“I hit rock bottom when I broke my hip from basically just walking,” said Williams, now 34. At the time she had also been trying to get pregnant but had stopped menstruating, which interfered with her ability to conceive.

READ HER FULL STORY HERE!

Strong WZA Women - Ehea Schuerch

Strong WZA Women: Ehea Schuerch

By News, WZA Community

Strong WZA Women: Ehea Schuerch

[dt_fancy_separator separator_color=”accent” line_thickness=”4″ el_width=”100px”]

“To people who question what I look like or how I dress, I love being female. But even better than being female is being a badass female. That’s what I’m trying to be.”

Ehea (pronounced “E”) Schuerch, from Spokane Valley CrossFit in Washington, has always relied on self-motivation to make her strong in all areas of her life. “I am insanely self-motivated. I didn’t have a ‘helicopter mom’ and my dad lived in California. So basically, everything I did was all on my own. I pretty much took care of myself emotionally. If I’m going to do something, I’m just going to take care of it myself. I don’t need anybody else to motivate me.”
This self-sufficiency helped Schuerch be comfortable with who she is and how she wants to be portrayed. “My definition of a strong woman has always been: I can do anything you can do. I know society tells me that I’m not supposed to play football, or I’m not supposed to be good at wrestling, but I proved I can be.”


The exterior only paints a partial picture of who a person is. Schuerch says, “To people who question what I look like or how I dress; I love being female. But even better than being female is being a badass female. That’s what I’m trying to be. I guess that’s the image that I’m trying to be for myself.”

Schuerch wants others to know that it’s important to be comfortable with yourself and who you are as a person. “I want people to know that you can be whoever you are; that fitness is unbiased. You can be fit or run fast, and it doesn’t matter about your personal life. You should be proud of that and not be afraid to share who you are. I think people and things in society are getting better, but people should not be afraid. I’ve had nothing but love and support from the community around me. I think that it is important. Women come in all different shapes and sizes and can look different and just to be proud of who you are. To me, that is what makes them strong.”


After only seven months of CrossFit training under her belt, Schuerch decided to try the Open in 2017. She finished 49th in the Northwest Region and was offered a spot-on Spokane Valley’s team at Regionals. During her first true competition, Schuerch’s team performance impressed everyone as they finished 6th and barely missing a trip the Games. In 2017 and 2018 she competed in more fitness competitions to better prepare herself for a possible return to Regionals this spring. It paid off. At the highly competitive West Regional, Schuerch finished 3rd and earned her first trip to the CrossFit Games.