Staten Island’s Barbells for Burns: CrossFit event honors 9/11 firefighter hero Jeff Giordano (photos)
STATEN ISLAND, NY. — “You think it’s a lot of running?” roared John Carstensen over the beat of Saturday’s Hi NRG Sound’s soundtrack for the Barbells for Burns event at Outerbridge CrossFit.
“Jeff was a runner; so suck it up and run faster,” the co-owner of the gym exhorted 20 panting athletes, part of the 100 who participated.
Jeff is Jeff Giordano, a 9/11 firefighter who was dedicated to raising funds for the burn center at New York Presbyterian Cornell Weill Hospital.
The Jeff Hero workout at the Barbells for Burns event was created by Carstensen and Victoria Giordano, Jeff’s daughter. The event picks up where Jeff’s Run left off, raising funds for the burn center.
Each heat had three rounds and all the numbers had significance in Giordano’s life.
Three rounds was chosen because his firehouse was Ladder 3.
Three laps were run before each weightlifting event because he had three children.
His birthday was January 21: so 21 reps of a squat clean had to be completed.
His favorite number was 13: the number of burpees over bars that had to be done.
Finally, the number 15: the age he was when he met his wife, the former Marie Scotto, and the number of power presses to complete.
“Jeff always challenged himself to do the best at whatever he did. This is very fitting,” said Mrs. Giordano of the tremendous effort she saw in the participants.
Among them was Victoria, who has been doing CrossFit for the last six months. She had an enthusiastic cheering section that included her grandmother.
“She’s a wonderful granddaughter, so dedicated to continuing the legacy of her father, my son-in-law, who I admired throughout the years for his dedication to his family and community,” said Marie Scotto Calvoni.
Victoria’s brother, Nicholas, a newbie to CrossFit, participated too. They were among a number of family members — siblings, mother-daughters, husband and wives — to participate in the workout. In addition to that, Crossfit gyms in the area also participated.
Paul LoGuidice and his girlfriend Carolyn Smith from CrossFit Bayside in Queens came because “We like to support one another, to rally together for each other.”
The community aspect of CrossFit has made all the difference for John Mayrose, who lost 70 in nearly a year with Outerbridge Crossfit.
“You feel like you are part of something. People push you,” said the Rossville resident, before cheering on one of his gym members.
Ladder 3 fighters, keeping up the barbecue tradition of Jeff’s Run, were grilling burgers and hot dogs and dishing out spicy chicken from the Kettlebell Kitchen.
“It’s an honor to do it again — we’ll always be here,” said Chris Tighe. He and Jimmy Andruzzi had worked with Giordano. They were joined by Joe Coughlan, Brian Brady, Terry Walsh, Brian Minardo, Ronny Lowerre, Jimmy Watts, Chris Livolsi, Kenny Pogan and the newest members of Ladder 3, Tommy and Sean.
Barry Goldman, co-owner of Outerbridge CrossFit is happy they hosted the event.
“The whole legacy — It’s a very nice thing to continue. We’re a family oriented gym. This keeps the story going,” he said.