Nearly 10 years after going into remission from breast cancer, Brenda Derrick lifted 52 pounds over her head 30 times.
Since her mastectomy, Derrick has had challenges with pectoral strength.
What is the “Grace” workout?
“Grace” is a CrossFit workout consisting of 30 clean and jerks for time. The “clean” is a barbell lift from the floor to a racked position across the deltoids and clavicles, and the “jerk” refers to lifting the barbell over the head. The weight is scaled for the individual based on skill level and sex.
Saturday she got the chance to show off her progress at the “Barbells for Boobs: Amazing Grace” fundraiser in Hillsborough.
“I do the best that I can and try to get stronger in other areas,” said Derrick, who was one of 26 event participants.
CrossFit gyms across the country are hosting the event to raise money to provide mammograms for uninsured women.
Five area CrossFit affiliates participated in the Hillsborough event, raising $379. A typical mammogram for an uninsured person costs about $100.
Robin Bodwin, special events coordinator for a CrossFit gym in California, contacted local gym owners in September about participating in Barbells for Boobs, said Chad Edwards, the owner of CrossFit Local in Chapel Hill.
In less than a month, owners found a location and drummed up participants.
The event began last year at a handful of CrossFit gyms in southern California, Edwards said. This year, more than 150 affiliates are participating nationwide.
He said putting on the event didn’t cost much because the gym used its own equipment and held it in a public place.
“It’s not too different from what we always do,” said Matt Crabtree, the owner of 21 Fitness.
The CrossFit affiliates participated in a larger fundraiser, “Fight Gone Bad,” on Sept. 25, but this is the first fundraiser the local CrossFit affiliates have put on together, Crabtree said.
About 1,500 CrossFit affiliates participated in Fight Gone Bad nationwide, which raised more than $1.5 million for three charities. CrossFit local raised over $5,000 for the cause, Edwards said.
“I would love to see (Barbells for Boobs) get to that level,” he said.
Because the fundraisers were so close together, the CrossFit owners did not want to ask participants for $35 again, Crabtree said, so they asked each participant to donate at least $10.
The owner of CrossFit Carrboro, Adam Burke, said the frequent fundraisers CrossFit hosts are beneficial but can have their downsides.
“We don’t want to tap our people out,” he said.
The organizers hope to hold the event again next year, with more time for planning.
“Hopefully we’ll raise more money next year,” said Matt Thacker, the owner of CrossFit Henderson.
Four students from CrossFit UNC participated in the event before tailgating for the football game.
“We wouldn’t come out here just to do a workout at 9 a.m. on a Saturday morning,” said David Blumberg, a senior from Miami who participated in the event.
“We’re here for the people.”
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