April 25, 2012
Competing For A Cause: Lindsay Bourdon
By Shelby Levy

"We are not just a place to workout, but we have the chemistry of a big, strong, and cohesive family."

At the close of the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games Open, Lindsay Bourdon sat in an impressive 4th place on the South East women’s Leaderboard. When you are on the top of the Leaderboard, you are bound to get noticed, which is exactly what Bourdon hoped would happen.

CrossFit is a family affair for the Bourdons. Lindsay co-owns and trains at CrossFit Adrenaline in Cartersville, Ga. Her sister, Allison, finished 67th in the South East, while their father, Tom, finished 112th among the Masters Men’s 50-54 Division. When the trio decided to sign up for the Open, it was with one goal in mind: to bring awareness to a rare disease called MECP2 Duplication Syndrome.

The Bourdons’ 10-year-old nephew and grandson, Ethan, was diagnosed with this life-threatening and debilitating disorder about a year ago. It mainly affects boys and causes a multitude of disabilities such as developmental delays, weak muscle tone, lack of speech and seizures. Many have recurrent respiratory tract infections, which are a leading cause of death for affected individuals.

Ethan is a regular fixture at CrossFit Adrenaline where his mother, Shawna Bourdon, also trains. “CrossFit Adrenaline is his all-time favorite place on Earth, even more than Chuck E. Cheese,” Lindsay says. “He loves being there before and after classes when everyone can help him do his modded [modified] WOD. Rowing, push presses with a PVC, abmat [sit-ups], and wall touches with a med-ball are among his favorite skills. CrossFit makes him so unbelievably happy. The members are amazing to him, cheering him on and giving him experiences that are etched into his memory.”

Lindsay grew up as a competitive gymnast; winning two 2nd place all-around finishes at the Level 10 Junior Olympic Nationals in high school. She had a full scholarship to the University of Michigan where an ankle injury ended her gymnastics career. It is there she became a student coach and fell in love with coaching and motivating others.

She was introduced to CrossFit in late summer of 2010 by her boyfriend, TJ Menerey, and his brother, Matt, who owns CrossFit Refuge. CrossFit inspired her so much she decided to attend the Level 1 Seminar. Weeks later, she partnered up with Clifton Bennett to open CrossFit Adrenaline. “I have been blessed with wonderful athletes that create such a positive environment. We are not just a place to workout, but we have the chemistry of a big, strong, and cohesive family,” she says.

Although Lindsay says she was honored and thrilled to be among the top women in the South East, she has decided to go team this year and represent CrossFit Adrenaline at Regionals. “I am in awe with what these women can accomplish and wish them all the best of luck as they compete for the top spots in the individual competition,” she says. “This year was about the team and my box. Coming out of the Open, our team is standing in 10th place in the South East. We have really surprised ourselves as we all signed up for the Open for fun and had no idea that this is where it would take us.”

Chelsea Lowery, who finished 59th in the South East’s women division, will join Lindsay on Adrenaline’s team. The team’s goal at Regionals is to bring awareness to MECP2 and to compete to the best of its ability on behalf of the children with this disease who will never have the chance to do something like CrossFit. “Some moms, like Pamela Albert from Pennsylvania, had her first son pass away and has a second one with the syndrome, yet she is at the front line of the fight for research that may save lives or stop the progress of the syndrome in these children,” Lindsay says. “I hope our team can send out our message at the South East Regional and represent our cause by making a difference for mothers like Pam who are the true heroes.”

CrossFit Adrenaline will also be hosting a fundraiser on May 12th to raise money for the 401 Project, an organization established to fund for research on MECP2 Duplication Syndrome.