It’s not often that you can do an Open workout with CrossFit Games competitor Elisabeth Akinwale as your judge. That’s what students at Chicago Bulls College Prep got—in addition to 14.1’s prescription of double-unders and power snatches.
The teenagers, for whom CrossFit is their physical-education program, are participating in the Open to “take what we do inside of Bulls Prep and bring it out here, to give them this experience,” says Jason Ronai, the school’s assistant principal.
Akinwale, who has a background in social work, explains that the benefits transcend a simple score.
“When we participate in the Open, it’s just a chance to challenge yourself and compete in front of others, which can be nerve wracking,” she says.
Joshuah, a Chicago Bulls student and amateur boxer, compared 14.1 with a fight.
“Nervous, butterflies, ready to compete with my classmates and my peers,” he says. “I consider my friends my brothers, so going through this experience with them made it more special.”
Video by Mike Koslap.
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Additional reading: Daniel Rodriguez’s Big Win by Chris Cooper, published Nov. 26, 2013.