Several women in pink bras and cut off shorts stand with clip boards amid ripped athletes hoisting barbells from ground to overhead... over and over again. Weights crash to the ground as shirtless women take score. There is pain, there is joy, and there is A LOT of pink.
This was the scene I came upon two years ago at the CrossFit Games as I strolled through the vendor booths of the Home Depot arena. I looked from barbell to bra, bra to barbell, and contemplated who was the bravest amongst this group. Was it the athletes that crumbled to the hot concrete ground after just a couple minutes of intense lifting? Or was it the women standing half naked in a stadium full of thousands of people? My gaze finally shifted from the bras and weight plates to a banner stretched across the scene that read "BARBELLS FOR BOOBS! MAMMOGRAMS IN ACTION". It was then that I realized that the heroes were not the ones lifting weights or counting reps, though courageous in their own right. The true heroes are the thousands of women battling breast cancer. My perception of the scene changed. I still saw joy, but I saw pain beyond that of the contestants... and the color pink never looked more bad-ass.
I would come to learn that what I witnessed that day was Amazing Grace. Amazing Grace is a fundraiser for Mammograms In Action (MIA), a non-profit organization that provides funding for qualified low-income and uninsured women who need screening and/or diagnostic procedures in the prevention of breast cancer. MIA was founded by Zionna Munoz after her best friend was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 26.
Fast-forward one year later and I am standing in the pink and black tent once again. The organization continues to grow, this year with the launch of the Pink Bra Tour, a 31 day fundraising campaign caravanning across the United States at this very moment. Fashletics is a sponsor of the tour and designed a pink bra charm that will be presented to 35 breast cancer survivors across the country. The bra charm commemorates individual battles won in the midst of an ongoing war against breast cancer. It serves as a symbol of hope; a reminder that lives are being saved thanks to the fundraising efforts of Mammograms In Action and every single person that participates in Amazing Grace.
The Pink Bra Tour kicked off last weekend but it is not too late for you to GET INVOLVED! You can participated in an Amazing Grace event near you or just show up to support the athletes and the cause. Either way, you are guaranteed to have a great time. Your participation does more than raise funds, it sends a message to women fighting Breast Cancer that we will not give up until we find a cure. No one should have to go through this alone. So grab your pink bras and show theses ladies that you know the true meaning of the word SUPPORT.
Below a synopsis of what the Pink Bra Tour has accomplished so far as reported by Katie McNeilly of Barbells for Boobs.
CrossFit Newport • 89 participants • Fundraising Total: $5,410
CrossFit 714 • 56 participants • $3,845
"There were approximately 100 people present. Susan G Komen (pictured left) of Orange County came to accept the grant for $10,000 and were absolutely amazed with the CrossFit community and the support, as they had never been to a CrossFit event before."
"We had 2 survivors that were presented with the necklaces. One was diagnosed at age 29. After her mastectomy, she was told she could never play sports again, but through CrossFit, she bounced back and has continued to be an amazing athlete: she showed up on crutches from an injury sustained playing volleyball."
Canyon CrossFit • 38 participants • Fundraising Total: $1200
"Susan G Komen of the Inland Empire was unable to make an appearance, but were given the grant for $10,000 in honor of the efforts made by Canyon and all other participating affiliates in the Inland Empire. This grant disbursement ensures that women and men under 40 from the San Diego County border all the way to the Arizona border are covered. The Reebok HQ representative, Brianna, invited her grandmother, who is a survivor, and we were able to have Bri present her with one of the necklaces. It literally made all of us cry, and I get goosebumps writing about it. It was a truly special moment."
CrossFit South Bay • 50 Participants • Fundraising Total: $2,680
"In honor of those who participated in South Bay's event, and all other participating affiliates in Los Angeles County, we presented Watts Health Care with the $10,000 grant."
"Cody Rice is a trainer at South Bay, and also a Barbells For Boobs athlete. Last year, Z (founder of Mommograms in Action) saw some crazy kid doing one-armed Grace, and was like, "What the heck is this guy doing?" Turns out, his mom is a survivor, and Cody had injured his hand shortly before Amazing Grace, but refused to let that stop him from participating in honor of his mother. Unfortunately, she couldn't be present for the event over the weekend, so we presented him with a survivor necklace to give to his mom."
And to think, this is just the beginning! There are still three weeks left of the Pink Bra Tour and hundreds of CrossFit Affiliates across the country hosting Amazing Grace fundraisers for Mammograms in Action. Anyone and everyone can get involved. Here is all the info you need: HOW TO PARTICIPATE