Being Strong is a Challenge for many…


Author: Jeanette Saunders


10 Urban Strong members

3 Big Lifts

8 Weeks

1 Nights to show case it all

$400 raised for charity OPERATION TYSON 

It all began on the 10th of March. We all came together to learn good form and work towards a heavy 3 reps of a bench press, back squat, and a conventional deadlift. Everyone was given strict guidelines of how each rep needed to be preformed and were watched closely by our strength coach Jeanette.

Once the max lifts were established, each participant was given a personalized 8-week program to work on and strengthen their lifts. Programs were designed down to the kilogram that needed to be lifted to make it easy to follow, with little need to wonder what needed to be done each session.

With close guidance from the coach, participants worked hard over the 8 weeks to get stronger, more comfortable and more confident.

Fast forward to the final Lift Off on the 4th of May, and the change in the participants was evident. Not only in the physical strength of the athlete’s (yes, athletes), but also in the mental strength as well. Confidence exploded from each and every one of them. Being able to stand and lift confidently in front of your family, friends is one thing, but doing it in front of strangers is a completely different ball game, and they all worked so hard and got it done!

Everyone increased their totals by over 5% which is a huge effort, and shows the work they all put in.

But the winners of both the male and female categories got over 10% increase in their lift. Our Male winner, with a 13% and 50kg increase was Justin Gagalowitz. Massive lifts over the whole night, and just a unit in general. Our female winner had never really done any heavy lifts before and really showed how much confidence getting stronger can give you. With a 15.5% and 27.5kg increase Nadine Jackson absolutely smashed it all night.

The lift off challenge was a way for participants to get motivated and to work towards a goal with some direction.

It was also a way to help raise money for a local boy suffering in his own body. Together, with the help of Urban Give and the whole Urban community, we were able to raise a total $400 form our Lift Off night, but there is still a way to go.

Below is Tyson’s story, and the reason we are trying to raise as much as we can for him.

Stuart, from CrossFit Cranbourne, is trying to do something incredible for him. Not to raise money for research, he deserves something purely for him. He deserves something amazing. He deserves to go to the greatest pop culture convention in the world. He deserves to go to Comic-con in San Diego, USA. July 2018.

Tyson is 17 and suffers from an extremely rare condition called FOP or ‘Fibro dysplasia ossificans progressiva’. To put it briefly, his muscle and joint tissue are slowly being overtaken by bone tissue, i.e. his muscles are turning to bone. So as time progresses he is being caged further and further into his own body.

Over the past 6-7 years, Tyson has gone from walking with crutches and being able to stand up unassisted, to being wheelchair bound but still upper body able, to now extremely dependent to the point where he needs to use tongs to reach his mouth to eat, and requires extra assistance for the things a 17-year-old really doesn’t want assistance with…

Regardless of his restrictions, Tyson is always positive and always have fun. He is tough as nails and rarely shows any frustration with his condition. But deep down it would be hard. He is incredibly intelligent, loves to read, loves the footy and his Bulldogs, and is a mad Pop Culture fiend. From Marvel to DC, Walking Dead to Game of Thrones, Harry Potter to Rick & Morty, Tyson knows about it all and loves it. Tyson deserves the absolute world.

There is currently no cure for his condition, and due to him being 1 of 14 people in Australia with FOP, there is zero government funding towards finding one. He has a beautiful family to support him, as well as his 4 other amazing siblings. I am sure the costs required to help Tyson would be high, but it is nothing to them to have such an awesome person as Tyson.

We, as a community have already raised some much-needed funds towards this fantastic cause, but if you want to help a little more, follow the link below and donate if you can. Every little bit helps.

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