Some people ask why we give up our free time to volunteer at events such as the CrossFit Regionals and the CrossFit Games. The answer is simple. We love CrossFit and the CrossFit community. Yes, we have to pay our way to get there (drive or fly), pay for our hotel, pay for outside meals, etc. But to us, it’s all worth it.
Heading up to Hartford, Connecticut instead of heading down the shore for the Memorial Day holiday weekend was an easy choice. Would we have had a great weekend getting tan on the beach and drinking in the sun? Sure. But I can guarantee you that we had more fun volunteering three days straight, working past our shift times, learning new things and meeting new people at the East Regionals.
Did we have to wake up early? Yes. Were we on our feet for most of the day? Yes. Did we have to move some heavy equipment around? Yes. To some people none of that stuff sounds like fun, but to us it is more than just fun. It is a great experience and opportunity to give back to a community that we love so much.
The East Regionals were at a different venue this year and combined with another region, Canada East. They were held at the XL Center (Old home of the NHL Whalers) in Hartford, CT which was a great facility for such a big event. We were fortunate to be on the Rogue Equipment/Gear team once again, where we had to set up the floor for every event and in between every heat. It might not sound like much, but it kept us busy and on our feet for three days straight.
To someone sitting in the stands or watching on their computer, it might look like all we do is push out some barbells and place some equipment down, but there is so much more that goes on behind the scenes.
For instance, everyone on the Rogue Equipment/Gear Team had to be very familiar with the floor setup for every single event.
There were even times we had to practice before taking the floor to make sure everyone was on the same page and knew what was going on.
This was a well choreographed event with little margin for error. Fixing the equipment between each heat and setting up equipment for each new event was all timed and planned out, thanks to our great coordinators and directors in charge.
In addition to volunteers working on equipment/gear team, there were also many other responsibilities that had to be covered in the arena. There were volunteers at the XL Center first thing in the morning greeting everyone to sign in, volunteers making sure all the athletes were lined up and numbered properly, volunteers assisting on the Medical Team, volunteers responsible for Athlete Services, volunteers in charge of all the signage going up and down between heats and events to name a few.
Lets not forget about the large team of volunteer judges who spent countless hours on their feet. We give these guys a ton of credit and patience. Judging an event like this certainly isn't easy and can be extremely stressful. They also stepped in when we needed extra hands with all the equipment between events.
Here are some behind the scenes moments from the East Regionals weekend:
(Click on the picture to scroll through!)
Last but not least, we couldn't let the weekend end without getting a picture with the champ Mathew Fraser!
The weekend flew by and we had a great time once again volunteering. This was our 3rd experience as CrossFit volunteers and our next stop is Carson, California to volunteer again at the Reebok CrossFit Games. See you out in Cali!
***Would like to give a huge thank you to Todd Poole for all the awesome photos. He spent the entire weekend of the East Regionals capturing every volunteer moment possible. He was there all day, everyday and such pleasure to be around.