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8 Reasons to Hit Up Wodapalooza 2018

Posted by Noah Dean, PhD, CFL1 on

Make no mistake, there is no fitness competition on the planet like Wodapalooza in Miami. This article is for those who may question such but are considering the trip. Here I give the top eight (of several) reasons to be in Miami this coming January.

1) It’s a Party… in Miami.

If Will Smith has taught us anything, it’s that rich folk live in Bel-Air and that “goin’ to Miami” should be on everyone’s to-do list. Lucky for us fitness junkies, Wodapalooza (WZA) unwraps a 4-day festival of comfortable weather, six pack abs, traps to match and perhaps the most energetic, athletic atmosphere this side of the globe. If you like to have a good time and witness da fitness, WZA is for you.

2) The Crowd

Sure, we all know you’ll find an aesthetically impressive crowd at Wodapalooza. After all, bayside Miami during an intense competition of physical prowess will draw such. However, the kind, humble, fun, supportive and spirited mass in the stands is what really distinguishes the onlookers. Everyone’s there to have a good time, making social interaction with strangers part of the experience. I guess it makes sense, though. Everyone involved with fitness loves to talk about it. So when you get thousands of them together, it’s gonna happen… a lot.

                                   ("Bayside Stage" from the 2017 Wodapalooza)

3) The Vendors

Wodapalooza, like many other fitness competitions, will have a “vendor village”. However, this one is very personal... and HUGE. There’s a good chance the person you’re talking to at the OSO booth is the owner. And the woman at Unbroken Designs, yep, she started the company. Sponsored athletes? Yeah… they’re not just on the poster. They’re hittin’ you with info about the gear and joining everyone else in the fun. Oh, and if you care to become a sponsored athlete; step 1… get to Wodapalooza 2018.

4) The Athletes

Unlike some competitions that seclude and hide the athletes during a competition, everyone hangs together at Wodapalooza. Don’t be surprised to see Jason Khalipa as just another face in the stands during the Thursday night lift-off, or Ben Smith chillin’ at the Reebok tent. Everyone is part of a family at Wodapalooza… and everyone’s welcome at the table. Let me also mention that they’re all cool as $&!). Guido Trinidad, the co-founder of Wodapalooza, encourages the athletes to make the fans feel welcome and important… and they do just that.

(Lauren Fisher, Stacie Tovar and Molly Vollmer of "Team Progenex" at the 2017 Wodpalooza)

5) The Organizers

As aforementioned, the organizers of Wodapalooza are on point when it comes to making WZA the highlight of anyone’s year. They pour every conceivable aspect of clean, fun entertainment into a single, energizing event. And, as if their commitment to that isn’t impressive enough, the original three of WZA (Steve Suarez, Guido Trinidad and Dylan Malitsky) are good dudes. I mean, like sincerely, genuinely kind and respectable people. If I knew nothing else about Wodapalooza I would support it just for their involvement. Lucky for us, however, their virtuous spirits are microcosms of the entire competition itself.

6) The Venue

The location of the event (Bayfront Park) is comprised of The Hill, Flagler and Bayside, three arenas of glorious pain, sweat and nausea as athletes partake of the heart-racing workouts that only Wodapalooza can provide. Each offers a unique working environment, maximizing versatility for both the athletes and spectators. Oh… and it’s not scattered over 4,000 acres. Everything is close, personal and convenient.

7) The Extras

Have you ever seen a helicopter dodge Miami skyscrapers and spit out a former Navy Seal (Andy Stumpf) who parachutes down and lands directly on the competition floor between heats? How about a nighttime lift-off between Taylor Stallings and Sarahbeth Phillips that culminates in a standing crowd with deafening energy? Well, these are just two of the “extras” offered to those in attendance of Wodapalooza 2017. I have no clue what will happen in 2018… but it will be worth an Instagram post (or two).

                                        (Nick Urankar in the 2017 WZA Lift-Off)

8) The Adapted

I intentionally left the best for last (in my opinion). I’ve seen record-breaking athletic sprints, Olympic winning lifts and dozens of other history making performances. However, nothing… and I mean NOTHING has compared to the emotion, power, and sincere supremacy of athleticism that is witnessed by the adaptive athletes. In truth, giving examples would not begin to do the environment justice. All I know is that, while calling the event as an MC, I was emotionally compressed by excitement, awe and unbelief… sometimes to the point of fighting back tears. If there is no other reason to attend Wodapalooza 2018, watching the adapted athletes overcome is your justification.

         (A few of the athletes from the Adapted Division of the 2017 Wodapalooza)

I’ll see you in Miami!

Noah Dean

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