On Sunday, September 16, 2018, Fivex3 Training hosted the 7th Annual Charm City Strongwoman Contest in Baltimore to benefit the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, specifically for Ulman’s new and exciting project, the Ulman House. My sister, Charlotte, was diagnosed in September 2011 with Stage 3 Colon Cancer. She was pretty lost for about a year…..we all were. In 2012, Charlotte connected with the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, an organization founded in 1997 by Doug Ulman who, at age 19, was diagnosed with malignant melanoma. After his surgery and diagnosis, Ulman struggled to find information and support programs for young adults who had been diagnosed with cancer. Frustrated by the lack of resources for your adults affected by cancer, he and his family decided to create the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults. Since then, it has grown into an organization whose mission is to “change lives by creating a community of support for young adults, and their loved ones, impacted by cancer.”
Cancer changes lives. So does Ulman. It certainly changed Charlotte’s life and it changed our lives….all for the better. Because when one person has cancer, the entire family has cancer. Ulman changes lives by giving those young adults and their families hope and support. Thanks to the organization’s outreach programs and support, Charlotte always stood strong, knowing that she is not alone. Unfortunately, Charlotte lost her battle with cancer three years ago. On February 11, 2015, after a 3.5 year struggle with colon cancer, Charlotte died at the age of 38, leaving behind my niece Eleanor and my nephew Jack, age 8. Five months before her death, she was still running and throwing 100# sandbags over a bar at my gym. Despite the fact that she was living with cancer, Charlotte continued to live her life to the fullest thanks to her positive outlook on her life. She was running, strength training, biking with her children…..living her LIFE. 😉 Strength is NOT just physical. It is mental, emotional, even spiritual. When you are strong, you are unstoppable. And you never know when your strength will be called upon.
Over the next five years, Fivex3 Training pledges to raise $20,000 each year at our contest to benefit the Ulman House. Our plan is that by 2022, we will have raised $100,000 and be eligible to name one of the nine private suites in honor of my sister, Charlotte Giza. The money we raise through the contest will help fund the Ulman House and help so many families and patients in need of a place to call “home.”
The 2018 Charm City Strongwoman Contest
Our contest was held at our new location this year and what a contest it was!! We had over 20 sponsors supporting us!! These sponsors included Solid System Construction, Goddard Companies, Primary Residential Mortgage, Equinox Inc., H&S Bakery, East Coast Gold Weightlifting, Totten Training System, P.O.W., Claire Taylor Wellness, Baltimore BJJ, Kiss and Make Up, Baltimore Trophy House, r-bar, Get Wrecked Fitness, Art&Strength, GAMA, Fit Blessed Meals, White Paws RunMitts, Dance Happens Inc., Clark-Morley Salon, Baltimore Tattoo Museum, Bertha’s, Sticky Rice, Built by Coach Hos.
Thanks to these generous sponsors, fundraising pages, our event at Sticky Rice, a local Baltimore resturant, numerous basket raffles and the generosity of so many people, we were able to raise over $20,000 for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults! Unbelievable!!
Once again, we divided up the groups into weight classes: Lightweight Novice, Middleweight Novice, Heavyweight Novice, Lightweight Open, Middleweight Open and Heavyweight Open. We also had one Masters Division. All the divisions rocked the house and there was some pretty impressive lifting going on throughout the day.
After introductions were made by me and our new awesome emcee, Jason Hentrich, actor, singer, teacher (and yes, one of my clients!), Katie Norton from Ulman, made a few remarks, thanking everyone for their support. Rules were reviewed by my husband, Diego, and then we got down to business! Because of the number of competitors we have every year, our events always run simultaneously. This allows for the contest to always run smoothly and quickly and also gives the spectators a lot to watch! And let me tell you…there was never a dull moment! And we finished this year once again with our ever popular, the Carry Medley!!
This year’s events were as follows:
1stEvent: Weight for Distance
Each contestant had 60 seconds to throw a 50lb sandbag for distance.
2ndEvent: Deadlift for Max Reps
Each competitor had 60 seconds to pull as many reps as possible. LWN: 205lbs MWN: 245lbs HWN: 275lbs LWO/MA: 245lbs MWO: 275lbs HWO: 315lbs
3rdEvent: Press Medley: Barbell x 2 reps, Axle x 1 rep, Log x AMRAP
Each competitor had to clean and press each implement for the given number of reps in a maximum of 60 seconds. LWN: 85lbs MWN: 100lbs HWN: 115lbs LWO/MA: 100lbs MWO: 115lbs HWO: 135lbs
4thEvent: Rolling Thunder Hold
Each competitor held the implement in one hand for time. LWN: 60lbs MWN: 70lbs HWN: 80lbs LWO/MA: 70lbs MWO: 80lbs HWO: 90lbs
5thEvent: Carry Medley: Duck walk, Keg carry, Sandbag carry
Each competitor had 75 seconds duck walk 50 feet with weight, then carry the keg and then the sandbag.
LWN: 150lb duck walk, 90lb keg, 90lb sandbag
MW: 185lb duck walk, 100lb keg, 100lb sandbag
HWN: 205lb duck walk, 125lb keg, 125lb sandbag
LWO/MA: 185lb duck walk, 100lb keg, 100lb sandbag
MWO: 205lb duck walk, 125lb keg, 125lb sandbag
HWO: 225lb duck walk, 150lb keg, 150lb sandbag
We were ahead of schedule the entire day which made everyone very, very happy, including the host. 😉 Our incredibly agile and strong Fivex3 Training volunteers spotted the ladies in the press medley, re-adjusted the kegs, sandbag and core blaster for the carry medley and cheered for all the women! They worked non-stop the entire morning and afternoon. 😉 Thank you ,volunteers!!!
And just like last year, we had an event for all the guys who always come out to support their ladies! We decided to do a max hold contest with our new toy, the Iron Mind Hub. Of the three grip events over the past three years, this was certainly the most popular event with the guys….and some of the women too!
After all the points were added up, it was time to announce the winners. It was a really close contest!!! We had trophies, headbands from Lululemon and mittens from White Paws Run Mitts for all first place winners, gift cards from Berthas and r bar for all second and third place winners.
It was not just a day to watch women lift weights. It was a day to celebrate strength and to celebrate women. It was a day to celebrate life. Together, we made a difference in the lives of so many people. We helped raise a lot of money (A LOT of money!!!) for a great, great cause. We sent a message to all of those women and men afflicted with cancer that they are not alone in this fight. We are with them, and we will help them. We will fight for them. We will honor them. We will stand STRONG beside them.
Thank you for all of your support, generosity and strength. 😉