When CrossFit Clintonville member Emily Glenn learned about the gym’s December Skillz Challenge—a monthly competition among members to complete the most repetitions of a specific skill—she was intrigued. Not only did she have a bizarre enjoyment of the featured move, burpee to bar, which involves a burpee followed by a jump to touch a bar above standing reach with both hands, but the contest also came with a sweet reward. The winner would get to designate $500—$250 from Gifted Communications, owned by fellow CFC members, Alice Duncanson and Jenny Grabmeier, and $250 from CrossFit Clintonville—to their charity of choice.
For Emily and husband Jim Eaton, philanthropy is a big priority. For her fourth birthday last year, daughter Julia even requested donations to Clintonville-based Cat Welfare in lieu of gifts. Emily immediately knew where she wanted the prize for the December Skillz Challenge to go: to the Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resource Center. “As a family, most of our charitable dollars go toward the Center,” she says. “It feels like it has the most direct impact on our world in the neighborhood we live in.”
She got to work on the challenge right away. “Burpees to bar is kind of like swimming in the lake and long farmer’s carries—these mundane, cardio-intensive things that a lot of people hate and I seem to do well with. I basically just chipped away at it, mixing some in to my warm-ups and workouts, and working on it during open gym.” Emily joined CrossFit Clintonville last spring but has been doing CrossFit since 2011. She credits it with helping her become a better runner. “It’s helped me develop a stronger core and made me more balanced, and therefore less prone to injuries.” She loves CrossFit Clintonville because it’s a nice combination of “challenging and chill.”
As the Charity Challenge showed, CFC is a community that cares, too. Says Crossfit Clintonville general manager and co-owner Patrick Woods, “The charity challenge really brought out a lot of participation. Our members have big hearts, which was great to see.” As the month went on, Crossfit Clintonville member Phil Yensel came the closest to besting Emily, with 420 burpees to bar, but ultimately Emily’s 570 secured her win.
Emily and her family took her victory up another notch, adding another $250 to the pot. The total gift to Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resource Center: $750. The Center is an important neighborhood resource, offering a food pantry, child and youth programs, senior services, and a kinship care program.
“Sometimes people think there aren’t a lot of people in need here in Clintonville, but bad times happen, and we also have a lot of seniors who have aged in place and are on limited incomes,” Emily says. “The center is a relatively small organization that manages to stretch a dollar a long way, and supporting it is a way to make a measurable, noticeable difference in our world.”