Summer fun benefits Westbook Services

PARKERSBURG – Fitness and fun went hand-in-hand Saturday for the first Summer Slam competition at Mountain River CrossFit.

Participant entry fees and sponsorships for the event benefited Westbrook Health Services’ Making Change Client Fund which supports clients in purchasing Christmas presents, emergency medications and emergency funds.

“This project is a good way to promote mental and physical health, and putting them together – healthier body, healthier mind. With our new gym it also allows us to show off our facilities. We’ve been in here about three to four months,” said Jared Summers, director of Mountain River CrossFit.

The new gym is located at 415 36th St. in Parkersburg.

“It’s Westbrook’s 65th anniversary, and we were fortunate enough to have Mountain River CrossFit invite us to participate in this event for a day of fun, fundraising and fitness,” said Liz Ford, marketing coordinator for Westbrook. “The event not only creates awareness about our anniversary and the services Westbrook provides, it’s really important during this year to emphasize the relationship between good mental health and good physical health and how being healthy and taking care of yourself helps you to be more positive and improve your outlook,” she said.

Fifteen individuals and three teams consisting of two men and two women each competed Saturday in the event. This was the first year for the competition.

Nichole Walker is a member of CrossFit and participated in the Summer Slam on Saturday.

“I’m not really a competitor when it comes to CrossFit, so I’m not going to be lifting the same amount of weight as everyone else, but I was mainly doing this because it is benefiting Westbrook, and I thought that was great. It’s also a way to get a great workout in for the day and see how everyone was doing,” Walker said as she competed in the individual events.

Fitness experts at Crossfit said the workouts are constantly varied so a person’s body doesn’t have the chance to adapt. They are high intensity, creating power, force multiplied by distance divided by time and the exercises involve functional movements. Summers noted the CrossFit participants include all ages and any level of fitness because the movements are designed for the individuals’ ability and skill level.

Corey Coe, 19, of Parkersburg, said the fact that the event was a fundraiser for a good cause was part of his motivation for turning out Saturday but he just enjoys the fun and camaraderie as well.

“It’s just fun, I enjoy it. I’ve lost about 50 pounds doing this style of working out. It’s fun and you can be a little competitive. CrossFit is a pretty competitive sport,” he said.

The individual competition consisted of four different workouts of the day, a series of exercises in a given time frame. The winners were calculated by the number of repetitions in the time allotted. The fourth workout consisted of the top three men and women who then went on to compete for the championship. The first place winners received $150 each, according to Kevin Trippett, chief financial officer for Westbrook.

The weekend activities also included a Friday night spaghetti dinner and motivational speaker for Westbrook clients.

“Westbrook Health Services Inc. takes great pride in empowering people with behavioral challenges to reach their greatest potential. Mountain River CrossFit works daily to improve the physical health and well-being of our community,” Ford said of the partnership forged for Saturday’s event.

She said Westbrook hopes to make the competition an annual event and plans are already in the works for next year’s event.