The coaches at CrossFit Towson are living proof that each WOD?workout of the day?can benefit anyone, regardless of his or her fitness goals. The staff includes a rower, a marathoner, lacrosse players, a football player, and a world-ranked kettlebell lifter, all of whom would perform the same movements if they participated in a class. So, too, would a housewife or a high school student. That's because CrossFit's exercises scale by intensity, not by form. Its weightlifts and cardio drills can be performed by students of all experience levels, and the shared workout?not to mention the instructors non-intimidating approach?can lead to a strong sense of camaraderie. CrossFit Towson schedules standard CrossFit classes in addition to open gym time, when guests can plan their own routines and target weak points such as the one pack on their six-pack that creaks.
The Mercy High School Alumni Association swears by the notion that "When asked where they went to school, Baltimoreans proudly answer with the name of their high school." In this spirit, they invite their proudest alumni to strap on sneakers, headbands, and souvenir t-shirts to take part in the B-More True to Your School 5K, a friendly fundraising competition between Baltimore-area schools. After running and sweating through the race route together, participants are invited to an all-ages post-race celebration with food, drink, and live music. Though the celebration includes a random prize drawing, prizes also go to the overall winners of the race and whoever stops to help the groundskeeper fight the local squirrel gang. These awards aren't the only incentive to compete: all race fees and donations go to support Mercy High School, and the school with the most registered supporters in the overall competition receives a donation.
Rebel Race's military-style obstacle courses challenge athletes from all backgrounds to shed humdrum day-to-day routines to experience the primal joys of mud, sweat and glory. Emerging from the mire in various states across the country, each Rebel Race packs its rucksack with tests of physical and mental toughness, rousing racers and washing machines alike to triumph in the face of sloppy opposition. After dashing through fire, climbing walls, and scaling mountains of hay, race participants bask in the collective kudos of parties, which include live entertainment, food, and beer for purchase. Camping options encourage participants and spectators to transform races into weekend getaways, while awards recognize each day's standout competitors and most-humble mud pits.
"Running is such a beautiful metaphor for life,” Back on My Feet founder Anne Mahlum says on her organization’s website. “Life is about choosing different roads and our program teaches the importance of choosing roads filled with opportunity, hope and happiness.” Anna’s understanding of life and running intertwined and strengthened during her own daily runs. Every morning she would follow the same route, but despite her conditioning it began to take her longer and longer. This was because her route took her past a homeless shelter, and what began as jogging past without breaking stride turned into waving at familiar faces and then stopping to talk. Today, Back on My Feet is dedicated to the empowerment and self-sufficiency of underserved people. Back on My Feet (BoMF) is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to creating independence and self-sufficiency within the homeless and other underserved populations by first engaging them in running as a means to build confidence, strength and self-esteem. Through running, people experiencing homelessness gain community, self-esteem, and confidence alongside other people of all backgrounds. Anna’s efforts have led to a running club in Philadelphia and have since expanded to the Baltimore and Washington DC areas. The organization funds its cause by hosting events and races throughout the year, including various 5Ks, half-marathons, and The AT&T Sneaks Come Out at Night 15K & 3x5K Relay.
Fans of Mario Kart know Rainbow Road as a glow-in-the-dark racecourse in outer space. So do fans of ABC's The Bachelor, only theirs is located on earth and strewn with more celebrities than turtle shells. To them, it's the series of inflatable arches that flashed hypnotically around Juan Pablo and Kat as they hurtled through the Electric Run. Seth Rogen, Carmen Electra, and a pink-wigged Vanessa Hudgens have also been spotted among the global event's hordes of runners and walkers.
Rainbow Road is just one of many "lands" that make up Electric Run's luminescent 5K. Any given Electric Run course contains five to seven of these brightly lit zones, each decorated according to its theme with neon trees, hanging umbrellas, phosphorescent cacti, and cascading fountains. Each land also matches the surroundings with its own soundtrack: upbeat and energizing for the wilder areas, calming and melodic for the surreal ones. Once the sun sets, participants travel through them all at their preferred pace. Everyone arrives at the same final destination, however?a DJ-propelled afterparty that keeps the night illuminated until the thunderous ka-chunk of the sun's timecard.
At CrossFit Harbor East, participants row, dead-lift, squat, and sprint their way to better bodies and improved overall health. High-intensity, varied, functional movements are the name of the game when it comes to workout programming, with each day consisting of a different assortment of exercises that snuff out weakness and help individuals perform better in everyday life experiences, such as dead-lifting their backlog of telephone books. Exercisers pump out reps on pull-up bars, ropes, rings, kettle bells, and other apparatuses side-by-side with their classmates, but they'll never touch weight machines, which fly in the face of the CrossFit ethos of self-sufficiency.
Just as each day of exercise is an eclectic assortment of routines, the certified coaching staff at CrossFit Harbor East represents a similarly wide spectrum of backgrounds and expertise. Former collegiate and pro athletes, CrossFit games competitors, and strength and conditioning experts fill its ranks, bringing a fresh perspective and a positive attitude to the gym every day. The gym was recently recognized by Spot Me Girl as one the "Top 15 CrossFit Gyms In America."