Penn State Crossfit Club Brings High-Intensity Mindset To THON

If you’ve been inside the Bryce Jordan Center during THON Weekend, you’ve probably noticed the dozens of student organizations that occupy the stands. Often flaunting large signs and colorful outfits, these organizations work hard to raise money for THON and fight childhood cancer.

The Penn State Crossfit Club is no different. One of THON’s newest student organizations, the Crossfit Club is comprised of dozens of students that complete high-intensity “crossfit” workouts up to five days per week at the Wagner Building. The organization is determined to bring that same intensity to THON 2019, which shares a lot of similarities with CrossFit.

“Crossfit is a very big community. People from all walks of life come together to better themselves and make themselves the best that they can be,” THON chair Julia Danon said. “If you look at the Bryce Jordan Center, everyone is here the same reason. We all come together for these 46 hours For The Kids.”

The Crossfit Club sent three dancers — Ashley Rutan, Lakshmi Hirpara, Mya Gladysiewski — to represent the organization in THON 2019.

“All three are juniors and have been in the club for a few years. They’re all heavily involved in THON and each bring something unique to the table,” Danon said. “They’re very supportive of our club and even more supportive of our THON family.”

Most of the organization’s THON fundraisers involve CrossFit exercises. One of its more popular events is called “46 Heroes.” In this event, both club members and community members are invited to complete intense workouts dedicated to United States service members who lost their lives in the line of duty. Fitting with the 46 hours of dancing at THON, the club attempts to complete 46 of these workouts in less than 24 hours.

The Penn State Crossfit Club THONs for the Jordan family and their sixteen-year-old daughter, Lily. The Jordans were present in the BJC to see THON’s 707 dancers stand Friday night and will be back for more on Saturday and Sunday.

The organization’s THON t-shirts feature Potter, the Jordan family’s beloved dog.

“The Jordans are some of the best people you’ll ever meet,” Danon said. “Our club is incredibly close with them. Lily is the light of our lives. Her passion and power are so inspiring to us, and we look up to her in every way possible. We really feel like we’re family with the Jordans.”

The Penn State Crossfit Club lives by the motto “earned, not given.” Due to crossfit’s intense workout regimen, a great deal of blood, sweat, and tears must be invested in order to see results and improvement. Likewise, the organization feels the same way about THON, committing hours of their time to fundraise for pediatric cancer treatment and research.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email ([email protected]) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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