A Rack For Rocky

This is a special blog for my CrossFit Western Front family.

Some people in the fitness industry have issues with CrossFit. They think it’s a ‘cult’, or it’s not a safe workout environment: amateurs doing Olympic movements. I personally have not seen any of this in my eight months at CFWF. What I have seen, and become part of, is an immense sense of community.

When I joined CFWF I was new to Ipswich. I say new because I hadn’t lived here for 13 years. The people I did know were friends from my younger years, and I was getting to know all over again, as an adult.

I remember my first few sessions at CFWF, I was blown away by how friendly, approachable and helpful everyone was. I tried to hide away at the back each class but it didn’t stop everyone from showing support and ensuring I knew what I had to do. As I became friends with more individuals in this community, my journey, and my blog were exposed. They have been there as I battled through chemo, and listened as I discussed every decision I have had to make since. They have encouraged and celebrated every milestone with me, from my first puffs of hair growth to my first RX’d WOD.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I have already felt blessed by the support and generosity of so many people through this journey: friends, family and strangers. Having to move home for treatment meant I had to pack up my life in London without notice, which was a challenge financially. I am thankful I was able to move back to my family home and be supported by the parents. I’ve never been good at receiving; I prefer to give. Independent Rochelle has been challenged every day to accept support from others.

When I was weighing up the cost of having treatment done privately, a friend suggested I start my own ‘crowdfunding’. People crowdfund for a variety of reasons: from starting their own company to IVF treatment. But how could I ask people to support my cancer treatment? I felt that my friends’ have already given so much, and I’m not good at asking. He suggested I set a goal – the half marathon, perhaps – and fundraise to complete it. But most of my friends know I would do that anyway. I considered fundraising for a Breast Cancer Organisation, but again, I struggled with the thought of asking people to give. I would never do well working for a charity.

This brings me to the purpose of this blog. A secret group was established and members of my CF have been hatching a plan to fundraise some money to support the cost of my surgery. The cat was let out of the bag and I was finally informed of this the other day. Words cannot express how much this has touched me. And especially as I know how much people have already given this year at other fundraising events at our CF.

They have been creative in their approach and have created a month of dares: If you complete the dare, you don’t pay; if you do, the person who has nominated pays $10; and so it continues. The dares are: complete 200 burpees, WOD in your undies or row 5km.

This morning the first victim, Paige, completed 200 burpees. The fact that she completed this dare, while she was sick and after the workout, means just as much as if she had paid $10. The other great thing about this fundraiser is that the dares continue while I am recovering from surgery. I won’t be able to work out, but I will still feel part of the community.

To everyone at the box, I say a big thank you for being gracious in this fundraising event. I think there will be a lot of ‘extra’ fit people by the end of August, or everyone will know each other on a more personal level (with the amount of people excited about working out in their undies.) And hopefully I still have some friends at the end of this…

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Paige completing her 200 burpees.

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