programs gym photos nutrition videos

CrossFit Brazilian Slum: Needs YOUR help!

Rocinha CrossFit - located in one of Brazil's most famous slums For many of you, CrossFit Vancouver is about fitness. It’s about sweating with others and pushing each other to be better. For others, it’s a social house. It’s a home away from home, a place where not only does everyone know your name, but you probably also even have a nickname or two that you have reluctantly learned to embrace over the years. For others still, CrossFit Vancouver is about personal development, about discovering a new way to look at the world. Whatever this place is to you, there’s a reason you show up two, three, five times a week to push yourself to become better. And sometimes, through the pain and suffering, we forget that we have it good here at CrossFit Vancouver. We have a huge facility, tons of equipment, and we’re surrounded by likeminded, privileged people. This is as good as it gets. Not everyone is this lucky. Introducing Rocinha CrossFit, a CrossFit box located in one of Rio de Janeiro's most notorious slums, a place marred by extreme poverty, governed by drug traffickers. Rocinha CrossFit’s history begins with an American man named Chris Clark. He explained in a story published in the CrossFit Journal that he first went to Rocinha to teach English, but when word got out that he was a marine, he was soon pushed into teaching fitness classes. ‘We found old basketballs and volleyballs and made medicine balls and kettlebells. With an old rusty iron bar and two used tire rims, we welded an Olympic bar...,’ he wrote in the Journal story. With help from Greg Glassman, who granted him a not-for-profit-affiliation, he managed to open Rocinha CrossFit. Today, the Rocinha box is ready to flourish, but it has its barriers - decent equipment being one of them. Another issue is paying to get its coaches Level 1 Certified. Clark says “the principle driving force” behind Rocinha is a man named Rogerio, born and raised in the slum. Rogerio has been running the WODs on the beaches in the slum for a while now. This February, Rogerio is making a trip to North America, first to Chicago where he will do his Level 1 Certification, and then to CrossFit Vancouver, where he will spend one month learning our methods and systems. It’s amazing how CrossFit has grown. A few years ago, we were the only CrossFit box in British Columbia. Before that, the only box in Canada. Now there are unofficial boxes on Canadian army bases in Kandahar; there’s a government-subsidized box on an indigenous reserve in Ontario, and there’s a CrossFit box in a slum in Brazil. We all come from such different places. We all have different CrossFit goals and mindsets. But whether you’re in Brazil or Canada, there’s something about CrossFit that brings us all together; it makes us all feel alive. In his story, Clark wrote: “Rocinha CrossFit is raw and human, and the story represents everything that is good and everything that is bad.” I could have described CrossFit Vancouver the same way. Quick Reach-Out: Getting back to our Brazilian guest – Rogerio - who by the way, speaks fluent English, French and Spanish: he will be on a tight budget and will need a place to stay while in Vancouver. Does anyone who lives close to CrossFit Vancouver have an extra room and the ability to house Rogerio for the month of February? Let us know if you do! - Eunice