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With the 2021 Open now in our rearview, O2 — the oxygenated sports hydration drink company — is launching National Fitness Recovery Day, in partnership with Kelly Starrett’s The Ready State, to shine a light on the importance of healthy hydration, mobility, and recovery; a day for CrossFitters, Open participants, and anyone who puts their minds, bodies, and spirits to the test to spend the day actively recovering.
The Nitty Gritty: March 30, 2021, the first day after the official close of 2021 CrossFit Open, will mark the first National Fitness Recovery Day. “Exercise gets all the press, but smart recovery is just as important,” said Dave Colina, founder and CEO of O2.
The pillars of this new initiative revolve around:
- Celebrating the critical components of safe, regular exercise.
- Proper recovery — achieved through hydration, electrolyte replacement, and stretching — being as important as exercise itself.
- Fitness as a fundamental part of supporting a long, healthy life, and an active lifestyle. Staying fueled by daily hydration and faster recovery that helps the body stay supple, durable, and ready to win the day.
- Of course, you don’t need to be an elite athlete or exercise hard to need hydration and electrolyte replacement. Studies show the average American is not hydrating adequately under any circumstances, much less after periods of intense activity.
- National Fitness Recovery Day reminds people of any activity level that hydration and recovery are critical, but especially for the fitness community and those who exercise at high intensity.
And while recovery means different things to different people, for the elite athletes who just wrapped up the Open, it’s now more important than ever to put a focus on rest and recovery before the next portion of the competition kicks off.
We caught up with three O2 athletes: Kari Pearce, Scott Panchik, and EZ Muhammad, to get their insights on the last three weeks of competition, what it was like to be a part of the live Open announcements, and how they’re approaching recovery now that the first phase of the qualifying season is over.
For Pearce — who is approaching this season as the defending third place finisher, tackling the first Open announcement was an exciting way to get back to the type of competition season that we all know and love, but haven’t had a chance to experience much in the last year.
- “It’s been a year and a half since we’ve had an Open, it’s been a while since there were any Open announcements,” she said, “so it was really cool to be a part of the first announcement and, as everyone knows, [there was] a new movement in the Open so it was definitely interesting that way, especially just trying to learn the standard in two minutes before you actually have to go into it.”
- When it comes to her recovery, Pearce says she’s always focused on nutrition, hydration, and sleep. And her favorite recovery activity — baths — to keep her body relaxed and ready for everything still coming down the pipeline.
- “Because of the Quarterfinals coming up, my coach actually started a little deload for us, just to be ready for that,” she said.
In week three of the Open, the community watched Panchik go head to head with his two younger twin brothers — an experience he said they’ve been waiting for their entire lives.
- “This was something that my brothers and I have always wanted to do together,” he said. “At the Open announcements, you never know what you are going to get. And if I’ve learned anything, Dave Castro is still throwing us curveballs year after year, so coming in you have that feeling of being a little anxious, because you don’t know what you’re going to do, and it feels a lot like the Games… so for me the experience-side of things I think really played a favor to me, doing announcements before and then also just being at the Games in that similar set up. So it was great.”
- Now that it’s all over, Scott prefers to take his recovery in the form of movement.
- “When I stop moving I just feel sore, I feel tight,” he said. “I like to get in the pool… light conditioning on the machines. A little less load, a little more gymnastics, a little more conditioning, and just keeping my heart rate lower is how I like to recover.”
Once the Panchick brothers wrapped their rivalry, the Open broadcast featured a different head to head battle — EZ Muhammad took to the competition floor representing a charity near and dear to him — Project Onyx.
- “We started about six and a half [or] seven months ago, a non-profit to eliminate the health disparity gaps in the Black and Brown community,” he said. “At first it was just to diversify my gym and in the CrossFit space… and as we started to spread the word and grow a little bit now other gyms are wanting to affiliate. We have classes of kids, 14-20 years old, they workout, train, do CrossFit. We teach them the methodology, the movements, the standards. We give them a better understanding of how to move their bodies and just have fun sweating.”
- When it comes to recovery for Muhammad, nothing is more important than the mental aspect.
- “[These days] I’m taking two, three days off and not doing anything and just completely focusing on other things in life so that my body can rest. And not just recovering my body, but also so that my mind can actually get away from training or working out,” he said. “The biggest thing for me is sleep. On the days I know [I have to work hard], like a day I just got done with the Open, I’m trying to cram in like 10-11 hours of sleep in a day.”
So how can YOU recover? O2 is celebrating National Fitness Recovery Day by giving back to the community and helping athletes of all levels get the rest, hydration, and mobility they need.
On March 30, 2021, O2 is offering everyone ready for recovery a 20% discount on all their products, with 20% of sales going to charitable organizations dedicated to health, wellness, and fitness, including:
- Girl Up, an organization devoted to advancing young women as leaders, supported by Kari Pearce. To get 20% off O2 and support Girl Up, use code KARIRECOVERS
- Adaptive Training Foundation, a group supported by Scott Panchik that’s dedicated to empowering individuals with physical or traumatic impairments. To get 20% off O2 and support this group, use code SCOTTRECOVERS
- Project Onyx, founded by EZ muhammad to provide equal access to health and fitness in underserved communities. To get 20% off O2 and support Project Onyx, use code EZRECOVERS
O2 and The Ready State will also host a National Fitness Recovery Day giveaway March 30 to April 3. One winner will receive a 1-year subscription to O2 Recovery, a 1-year subscription to Virtual Mobility Coach, and a recovery-focused coaching call with Dr. Kelly Starrett and O2 founder Dave Colina. Click here for more details on how to enter and win.
This article is a paid partnership with O2.