Video Article

At Reebok World Headquarters in Canton, Mass., sports marketing executive Don Hasselbeck shares his experiences with CrossFit and how it has changed his life.

Hasselbeck was at first skeptical of CrossFit. He has knee issues and other injuries resulting from the years he spent as an NFL tight end with the New England Patriots, Oakland Raiders, Minnesota Vikings and New York Giants, and he didn’t think he could ever do the workouts.

“I didn’t think it was scalable,” he says. “You see it for the first time and you associate it with just being absolutely incredible.”

Since Reebok has embraced CrossFit, the winner of Super Bowl XVIII has found everyone can participate and benefit from CrossFit.

“When you really start to think about it, all those movements are the same movement in life … . You’re picking something up off the ground or putting something in the overhead bin in the airplane—it’s all that same stuff,” says Hasselbeck, father of Seattle Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. “So if you’re not doing those things well at 55, you’re not going to do them any better at 65.”

He adds: “I think that’s our goal to make it not just the culture here but the culture outside these walls here at Reebok so everyone realizes that, you know, you don’t have to be unfit the rest of your life.”

8min 21sec

Additional reading: If the Shoe Fits ... by Kevin Daigle, published Feb. 7, 2011.

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22 Comments on “Don Hasselbeck: My CrossFit Story”


wrote …

Don seems like a reasonable guy, that has noticed the significant lifestyle and health benefits to CF. I can only cringe when I see those shoes. Ahhh. Insane.

From the Reebok website:

"Try the shoe with the energy boost. Its unique sole propels you forward and is designed to help reduce muscle fatigue in your shins."

"Get stronger with every step. Moving air technology with Balance Ball-inspired pods creates micro-instability Designed to strengthen key leg muscles with every step."

REALLY!?! Energy boost? You can't expect a science-based, fact driven person to believe this!

Apparently, you don't need Crossfit; just Zigtechs. It hurts to write the word out.


replied to comment from Matt Solomon

Matt, you cant expect a company to change everything about themselves overnight especially one as large as Reebok. give them some time and im sure they will come around.


replied to comment from Baker Leavitt

I've got my fingers crossed in anticipation.


wrote …

it takes like 3 years to get a product to market. They have a new image at the moment, and now they want ANOTHER new image, the one to suit us crossfitters. That may take a while. Theyre clearly getting in to will pan out. HQ is surely handling everything nicely. If it goes in a direction you don't like, noone ever said you have to love CrossFit anymore. One thing is for sure, alot of new people will.


wrote …

Great video Don! Welcome to the party, and looking forward to seeing you kick some ass up there.


wrote …

New Balance "Minimus" hits the stores this week. ( I want to believe 'image change' but my gut tells me they're all just chasing a new market (which happens to be our market, so it's good for now).


wrote …

Don't get concerned about Reebok's soul - it has none. It will serve many markets. Reebok is not about truth, it's about serving owners, employees and many customers. That's as it should be, it's a publicly traded company with many laws to obey because of that. If the people in that company are also good folks that Coach trusts - oohrah, and who cares if they sell a billion crappy shoes.

Forget all that, did you hear the man's story? It's a Mary Conover story for the rebirth of a 55 year old elite athlete. It's the freaking blueprint for why we all started CF anyway, from the mouth of a guy inside a leverage point like Reebok. If you give a shit about being able to help a lot of human beings 'get a life' this is excellent stuff.

Listen to this gent - he's got the stones to lock on to CF for a rebirth, who can't get excited about that? Who can't get excited for the fact that with his story, and a 10,000 others from boxes all over this country, there are people who won't get to the point of using their hands to stand. "Listen if you have ears to hear."

200 or so athletes get to be Games athletes, the real good of CF is folks like this man who will learn, if they have the gravel in their gut and the spit in their eye, that they CAN be fit for life. "Welcome to the party" says it all!


wrote …

Don is a class act, and a hell of a nice guy...very down to earth and as you can see, already profoundly affected by CrossFit. It's been a pleasure to meet him and his staff, and I can't wait to see him get after it in a class. He gets it and is working hard to further CF's mission to change peoples lives through fitness. Keep up the great work Don!


Frank DiMeo wrote …

Thanks Don! I started CF at age 55 back in 2005; you can certainly do it!


wrote …

Awesome Don! Welcome a board sir.


wrote …

This needs to be a free video - I'd love to be able to send a link to this video to everyone I know.


replied to comment from Madoc Yng-Wong

I agree. This video should be free. I can't list how many times I've tried to explain the scalability of Crossfit.


wrote …

Give it time and before you know it your age will not matter. I am closing in on 53, been doing CF for just under 5 years and the gains keep coming. All the crap you read about the human body and strengh depletion after 40 is bs. Patience and
persistence brother.


wrote …

Please; lets see a video when Don does his 1 mile run (I know he will do more later).


wrote …

I have been to Reebok for a WOD and their community is just like any CrossFit community out there-a great bunch of people who love CrossFit enthusiastically. I am happy for Don that he is doing what I wish my father and many,many others would do.


wrote …

It can't be emphasized enough that the people who benefit most from Crossfit are not the elite competitors, it is people like Don - who most of us have more in common with than we do with the fittest competitors. This video makes that point very clear. So much of the mainsite and journal are focused on the elite that this concept is sometimes lost. Of course, most of us would rather watch the elite than ourselves, but having this content is a great addition.

As others have said above, it would be great for this to be a free video so I can send it to family and friends.


wrote …

Yea - this one should be free.


wrote …

Great interview, Don. Your story is a classic one in the CF community. All you need to do is stick with your training and you will accomplish your goals and then some.


wrote …

Please make this a free video.

It really deserves to be seen by people who are opposed to CrossFit and people who think they're too unfit to begin trying.

I'll give you a for real example. One person in particular, who I will show this video to, is my Father. He's 61, name an injury... he's had it, in some cases twice. Torn bicep (twice), Rotator cuff, fused wrist, Burnt nerves, malt lymphoma, chemo (twice), the list goes on and on (I honestly can't even name half). Today, he's going to add one more to his list: total knee replacement. First his right, then after the other has healed, his left.

He's been falling apart for the last ten years because he basically thinks he's too unfit to start doing anything. This is a guy who was 240 lbs and 6'1" with 19" biceps at 45 year old. Bodybuilder workouts dailys, 2+ hours in the gym everyday until cancer/various injuries hit. At 61, there should still be plenty of life left in everyone. He's finally retired and the next step is a "Rascal" to scoot around on to him. He bitches constantly about the pain and how he can't do certain things. While he's on bed rest I printed out some reading material from this awesome resource here. He's finally agreed to read it thru. This is a video he's going to watch from my laptop while he's in bed rest. This will hopefully change his opinion of "I cant's" to more about what he can do, and eventually change the I cant's to I'm starting to, or I'm getting better at.

I think if everyone we're able to see what this man has come to realize, we'd be looking at a drastic improvement of our senior level health care system. Health care reform is kind of abandoning most the upper age individuals. CrossFit can fix help to make health care less of an issue. People just have to give it a chance. It's not just for the Salo's and Kahlipa's, etc. Though they hold one hell of an inspiration too.


wrote …

great video. everything don says about working around an injury is my experience too. my knee has no cartiledge and heavy deep squats is the way to protect it. 99% of doctors and physios are way behind crossfit on this.


Phillip Sarris wrote …

Yes, this would be a great testimonial video for the Baby Boom generation who like it or not will be heading down the path Don described. Healthcare ain't going to be any cheaper or better. Training with the Crossfit method is worth the investment for a better quality of life. Spread the word...


wrote …

I concur with everyone here that this testimonial needs to be shared outside of the Journal.

I can download it and post it to my YouTube account but make it a private video (can only be viewed via a private link). Will that be OK with the copyright legal beagles? Just wondering...I can then post the link here and you can then send it with whomever you wish.

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