On Oct. 17 at Sailor Jack's Barbell Garage inside Canlan Ice Sports Langley Twin Rinks

Langley trio lifts, slams tires to help autistic kids

A unique fundraiser benefiting those with autism was held in Langley, and around the world on Oct. 17.

Christopher Reed, his fiancée Jen Gibson, and her sister Lori Gibson powered through a very strenuous late Saturday morning, Oct. 17.

Reed, who owns and operates Sailor Jack’s Barbell Garage inside Canlan Ice Sports Langley Twin Rinks, completed 599 long cycles (lifts/repetitions) of a 16 kilogram (35 lb.) kettlebell for an hour straight.

Jen, meanwhile, completed 210 repetitions with a 12 kg (26 lb.) kettlebell in 25 minutes before finishing up the hour with 403 reps using a 10 kg (22 lb.) kettlebell.

Lori, having recently rehabilitated her knee from an injury she sustained while running, showed her support by performing sledgehammer strikes to a truck tire for 15 minutes, and ended up hammering away for the full hour.

As well, Jen and Lori’s mom Rica Pizzanto also participated and completed 200 repetitions using a 10 kg (22 lb.) kettlebell over 20 minutes.

They did all this inside Sailor Jack’s for Kettlebells 4 Autism one hour long cycle challenge, which last year raised more than $70,000 for autism research and support initiatives.

The Langley participants raised $465, just shy of their $500 goal.

Donations to Christopher, Jen, and Lori’s cause can still be made by clicking here.

Created by Christina Danos in February 2013, Kettlebells 4 Autism (KB4A) has a goal of raising awareness about autism through kettlebell training and sport.

The annual endurance event, along with merchandise sales, also raises funds for a minimum of four not-for-profit organizations.

Sailor Jack’s was one of three locations in B.C. and among 63 satellite sites in the world participating in this year’s one-hour long cycle event.

“We all started at the same time, so this is a simultaneous, world-wide initiative,” said Reed, who last year completed more than 700 reps in the hour-long time interval.

“I have a lot of friends within the fitness community itself who work with autistic children,” Reed said, seconds after completing the event. “Seeing what Eric Chessen has done, in order to deliver a health-program initiative to kids all along the autistic spectrum has been inspiring to me and it was actually what inspired me to participate in Kettlebells 4 Autism, aside from our relationship with Christina and our friendship.”

(Chessen is the author of the book Autism Fitness In My Classroom, featuring the concepts, exercise activities, and programs used to help people with autism).

Last year, Reed lifted for charity alone so having his fiancée and her sister working out alongside him gave him even more motivation.

“It absolutely helps to have people around, with you, participating with you at the same time,” Reed shared.

Lori pushing through for the entire hour, 45 minutes longer than initially planned, was heartening, as well, he added.

“That was very inspiring to me, as well,” Reed said.

“I always find it fun; it’s a great challenge,” added Reed, who said he hopes to put a team together for next year’s fundraiser.

While doing long cycles for an entire hour looks extremely challenging, the key is technique, Reed said: “It’s a very ergonomic exercise.”

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