What a weekend! To the more than 125 athletes who completed The Lou WOD on Saturday and the more than 155 donors across eight gyms, thank you.
To our friends at Sunshine CrossFit: we are humbled by your willingness to rally a crew in support of our vision to leave ALS better than we found it and honored to have partnered with you.
To the athletes who completed the workout: you embodied what it means to Live Like Lou with your determination, hard work, and courage to step up for this challenge!
To the donors and supporters of these athletes and this cause: we are honored to welcome you to the Live Like Lou family. The more than $5,700 raised through Saturday's events will support ALS families, fund ALS research, and spread awareness for Lou Gehrig's disease. Our friends Martha and Fred Reimer at Sunshine have offered to match the funds raised over $5,000 and the donations keep rolling in!
ALS is not rare. ALS is not incurable. ALS is just underfunded. And you're helping Live Like Lou do something about it!
Fred Reimer is a trustee on the Live Like Lou Foundation board and member of Sunshine CrossFit in Bedford Hills, New York. For more than ten years, he's been leading athletic challenges in support of ALS causes as a way to honor his friend Kaloyan who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease. "This disease seems to come for the best of us and doesn't differentiate between young and old, men or women," shared Fred. "Your muscles slowly stop working after an ALS diagnosis and CrossFit is all about working to improve your strength."
Fred approached Sunshine to team up for an ALS fundraiser, and it was a fast “Yes!” from Sunshine CrossFit owner, Deb Austin. Within minutes, the ideas started flowing of how she could program the best workout to honor Lou Gehrig, and encourage athletes of all abilities to join the fight against ALS. Born from Deb’s education, experience and love for CrossFit, “The Lou” was born with rounds and reps based off Lou Gerhig’s #4 jersey for the New York Yankees.
Sunshine and Fred learned about Rainer Hartmann from CrossFit Cincinnati who was diagnosed with ALS in March of last year. Rainer is a 2008 CrossFit Games competitor and acclaimed bodybuilder. Rainer and CrossFit Cincinnati quickly partnered with Sunshine to complete The Lou and fundraise for Live Like Lou along with six other gyms:
We are so thankful to Deb, Kelli, Szu and the Sunshine CrossFit team for their leadership with this inaugural event. In fact, there's discussion to rally even more gyms and make "The Lou" an annual event. Who's in?!
Our motto at Live Like Lou is "Onward," inspired by Live Like Lou's co-founder, Neil Alexander, who died of ALS in 2015. "Onward" signifies that we look to the future—a future without ALS—while continuing forward each day, despite the odds we face. That spirit of determination, courage in the face of adversity, and always showing up for others is what we mean when we say Live Like Lou.
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Again, thank you to the athletes, supporters, organizers, and gyms for an incredible day on Saturday! You are helping us leave ALS better than we found it.