October officially became “Breast Cancer Awareness Month” in 1985, and since then, it has become a big part of our October. It seems everywhere you look everything is covered in pink.

October officially became “Breast Cancer Awareness Month” in 1985, and since then, it has become a big part of our October. It seems everywhere you look everything is covered in pink. Major League Baseball and especially the National Football League have both embraced this month with pink ribbons painted on fields and players donning pink shoes, gloves and bats in support of promoting cancer awareness.

The high school soccer teams I have coached have raised close to $1,000 over the past three seasons, which we donated to a charity that provides money to local cancer patients to offset the costs of treatments and doctor visits.

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RedLine Gear's limited-edition pink ribbon digital camo WOD shorts

The CrossFit community has always been up for supporting a worthy cause. Each year, throughout the month of October, CrossFit affiliates worldwide raise money and awareness for the fight against breast cancer. Amazing Grace is an annual fundraiser that combines the efforts of Mammograms in Action and Barbells for Boobs, and 100 percent of the proceeds are donated to Mammograms in Action, a nonprofit organization that provides funding for qualified women who need screening and/or diagnostic procedures in the prevention of breast cancer.

The first time I participated in Barbells for Boobs was October 29, 2011. This was my first attempt at the workout “Grace,” also known as “Amazing Grace.” The workout is 30 clean-and-jerks for time at 135 pounds for men and 95 pounds for women. I did it at 115 (because I’d never tried it before and I was barely a year into my training) and finished with a time of 5:37. That year, we had a few people bring in money, which we donated as an affiliate to the Barbells for Boobs website. In 2012, I again knocked it out at 115 and bettered my time to 4:28. Then in October 26, 2013, I Rx’d at 135 pounds in a time of 4:50.

This showed growth in my training, but more important, each year the event grew bigger. No longer was Barbells for Boobs simply a once-a-year fundraiser. I was able to surpass the $500 mark in fundraising and get a cool shirt, but you’ll see some of our top CrossFit athletes supporting this foundation at the Regional and Games level by wearing shirts and hats and talking publicly about their cause.

While the exact date is now more of a monthlong event known in part as the “Pink Bra Tour,” boxes and athletes all over still actively participate in this worthy cause. Apparel companies have become involved in their own fundraising efforts. Recently, one of my favorite CrossFit gear companies put out pink shorts of its own. RedLine Gear is making limited-edition pink ribbon digital camo WOD shorts for men and women for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Twenty-five percent of the proceeds are going to Barbells for Boobs. They're available at

Unfortunately, almost every person reading this has known or will know someone who will have to battle cancer in their lifetime. That’s why Pink-tober is so important to millions of people around the world. Support Barbells For Boobs if you have the means and the time to do so. Host an Amazing Grace event or find out more about the Pink Bra Tour and how you can help. What’s your story with Grace or participating in Barbells for Boobs? Share your story in the comments of our Facebook page. Let’s work together as a community to help eliminate this horrible disease.

Stay on the grind.

James Toland
Twitter @JTolgrinder