June 2012

JUNE 2012: Our Town - 2012 I CAN Games: Hargray Helps CrossFit Hilton Head Give Back in a Big Way

Author: Craig Hysell

When Craig Hysell opened CrossFit Hilton Head in April 2010, he had a mission that extended way beyond the simple ownership of a gym or a business. “My goal is and always will be to make everything outside the box better,” Hysell said. (CrossFit gyms commonly refer to themselves as “boxes” due to the Spartan, warehouse-like nature of most of their gyms.) “If we’re not doing that, we’re doing something wrong.”

CrossFit gyms are affiliates, not franchises, which means that each one is different to a certain degree. At CrossFit Hilton Head, Hysell and his staff of six trainers are sticklers for mobility and technique. Safety is rule number one. After that, they have fun. A lot of it.

“If you enjoy working hard, if you enjoy camaraderie and using demanding exercise not to just to get in shape but to better yourself mentally, emotionally and even spiritually, then CrossFit Hilton Head is the right place for you,” Hysell said. “This kind of thing takes patience, work ethic, integrity, humility and discipline. If immediate gratification is your thing, this place can be a shock.”

Amid all that, CrossFit Hilton Head and its over 165 members also exist to serve the community. But Hysell is the first to admit that he never dreamed CrossFit Hilton Head would become the platform it has become for philanthropic service so quickly. “We just seem to attract really amazing people who enjoy working hard and helping others. They’re like superheroes minus the capes,” he said.

Members of CrossFit Hilton Head have donated their time and effort (each CrossFit charity event is usually coupled with an extremely tough workout known as a WOD) to military and veteran’s organizations, children’s programs, pediatric cancer, men’s cancer, blood drives and more. This year, with the support of Hargray Communications, all proceeds from the 2012 I CAN Games (a large scale CrossFit event hosted by CrossFit Hilton Head where athletes compete in five grueling workouts to find a winner) will go to support the three main charities CrossFit Hilton Head currently serves locally: Honor Our Heroes, The Ret Pediatric Cancer Foundation and Hope Haven of the Lowcountry.

“The endless support of our members and our community continues to allow us to do bigger and bigger things—to have more and more of a positive impact,” Hysell said. “Our partnership with Hargray in this inaugural I CAN Games is vital. They have afforded us a tremendous opportunity to really give back in a big way to our charities with their support. It is just not possible we could have put this event on to this extent and with this big of an impact without their help.”

Craig Hysell, Owner of Crossfit Hilton Head with Dayna Muggeo

Back at “the box,” Hysell sits at his desk. It’s quiet. A samurai sword rests on the wall behind him—a Christmas gift from one of his members. “We exist to serve others,” he said. “By doing that, we are rewarded with the knowledge that life is short and every day is what you make of it. What happens in your life—where you go, who you are and what you do—is up to you and nobody else.” He is quiet for a moment and then a big smile crosses his face, “It certainly helps to have really great people constantly reminding you of that along the way.”

The 2012 I CAN Games will be held on June 16, 2012 at Chaplin Park. For more information, visit crossfithhi.com and search “Events.”

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