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New competitive league for Philly's CrossFit athletes

Beginning this fall, the Liberty Box league will offer competition for the area's CrossFit athletes--from beginners to advanced levels.

The sport of CrossFit  is a fitness phenomenon that has been slowly gaining momentum since its inception in 2003. So what is CrossFit? It's a lot of things.

Coach Greg Glassman, CrossFit Inc.'s CEO, has spent the bulk of his adult life experimenting with and working to perfect the regimen. CrossFit defines itself as "constantly varied functional movements performed at relatively high intensity." CrossFit athletes—from novice to elite—have experienced the high of physical achievement in a way unlike any other sport, hooking folks from Day One and creating an almost cult-like following.

A defining characteristic of the sport is also the community fostered by group workouts. The challenge and support that one derives from competing (yes, even everyday classes are competitions) against the athlete you were the previous week, against a clock, with others, in a high-intensity environment is unparalleled in any other sport. The cheers for the first athlete to finish a "WOD" (workout of the day) are exceeded only by the cheers for the last athlete to finish.

Community is a key factor in CrossFit's effectiveness. The Liberty Box League brings this community to a whole new level. The Liberty Box League is the first competition league for CrossFit athletes in metro-Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. The League's inaugural 5-week season begins on Saturday, September 14, 2013, runs through Saturday, October 12, 2013, culminating with a championship match on November 2, 2013. Novice and Advanced level teams representing boxes from three conferences, will battle for a spot at the League Championships, and ultimately the Liberty Cup and the title of Fittest Box in the League.

I am a CrossFit athlete and coach, in addition to co-Owner of Trap Door Athletics. My business partner, Emily Record, also a CrossFit athlete and coach, came to the sport from a career as a Women's Rugby player. We started Trap Door Athletics in order to give athletes opportunities to grow, compete, learn, and play—outside of their regular fitness routine and facility.

Trap Door Athletics is excited to bring the Liberty Box League to Philadelphia and surrounding counties. Opportunities for competition (outside of the Box) are both limited and extraordinarily important to sharpening the skills of the athletes in our community. A relatively groundbreaking concept (only a few communities across the country are doing this), the Liberty Box League provides a competitive opportunity that falls somewhere between the regular WOD at your gym, and the CrossFit Games, giving participants a logical stepping stone in their progression as competitive athletes.

Beginning in 2014, the League will host seasons in the Spring and Fall of each year. For more information visit the League website, at

Cassie Haynes is co-founder of Trap Door Athletics and can be reached at

Read more Sports Doc for Sports Medicine and Fitness.