RB Fitness Crawl Enjoys A Resilient Run Despite The Rain
By Kami-Leigh Agard
Rockaway is certainly known for its pub crawls, but on this past Saturday, April 25, locals certainly showed their dual passion for fitness, as well as a frothy pint at the Fourth Annual Rockaway Beach Fitness Crawl. Despite a dismal day of pouring rains, over 30 people came out for a day of wellness at several locations, culminating with Rockaway good times at local restaurant, The Wharf. For the crawl’s founder, Broad Channel resident, Brenda Kittle—the biggest bonus? Raising money for local charity, Chait Domestic Abuse Center of Far Rockaway (CDAC).
In 2017, Kittle founded the annual Fitness Crawl, and though today, a busy mom of two-year-old Harper and eight-month-old Hudson, with both babies in tow, she proved that fitness is not just a passion, but a necessity, especially in her continual effort to pay it forward to a community in need.
Kittle shared, “I love seeing people find their fitness journey. You could be a runner, or just like to walk or do yoga. I thought hosting the crawl was a good idea because Rockaway has so many different types of health and wellness, and fitness classes for people to sample. They might not like all of it, but I just figured it was fun for people to discover something rewarding for their health journey. Also, it’s great for the studios and gyms to give crawlers a sample of what they have to offer.”
She shared that for the first three years of the fitness crawl, proceeds were raised for Comfort Cases, a nonprofit organization that provides children, from infants to age 19, who are entering the foster care system, with a bag filled with essential needs as well as comfort items. The organization also provides foster and child protection agencies with large duffel bags that can be used instead of trash bags at the time of the children’s removal from a home.
Then COVID hit, and the crawl went into hiatus with this year being the first back. However, the Broad Channel mom said that though having her hands full with two infants, she was determined to bring the crawl back.
“When I was thinking about hosting the crawl again, at first, I wasn’t sure because we just had two kids, but as we were on a smooth path with managing the children, I was like, ‘Alright, let’s just do it and see how it goes.’ Last year, I was pregnant with Hudson. So, for 2023, I was ready.”
As for why Kittle decided to pivot and support Rockaway-based nonprofit, CDAC, she said, “So, last summer, I met CDAC founder, Angie Chait, a domestic violence advocate. I wasn’t even thinking about doing the crawl at that time. However, with COVID, politics and everything else going on, I thought to myself that we all want and need to do better, and it should start at home, in our community. Don’t get me wrong, Comfort Cases is a great organization, but it’s countrywide. Angie’s organization serves people here in Rockaway.
“So, I just got into the mindset of we need to start bettering and helping each other at home first before moving out into the world. It’s really all about locals supporting locals. It’s more meaningful when it starts at home.”
The fitness crawl had three stops. First stop, yoga and Pilates at Ocean Bliss Yoga. Then a strength training body camp at Good Form Studios, ending with a running and rowing workout at Orangetheory.
After burning calories, crawlers refueled with snack stops at Bagel Barista Station and Cuisine By Claudette. Crawlers were also gifted swag bags filled with items donated by local vendors: Channel Creations, Rockaway Candle Co., Holland Avenue Soap Co., Milestone Occasions and NurtureU Wellness.
Despite the rain, the after-party was filled with crawlers at The Wharf, partying it up to music by DJ Teddy, while vying for raffle prizes, donated by a wide variety of local businesses.
According to Kittle, since founding the Rockaway Beach Fitness Crawl in 2017, over 200 people have participated, and she’s looking forward to 2024. “Despite the rain, folks came out and showed how resilient we are as a community, and I’m looking forward to 2024. Moving forward, each year, we are going to continue our mission to support a local charity, while sharing the fitness and wellness opportunities Rockaway has to offer,” she said.
For more information about future Rockaway Beach Fitness Crawls, visit: Channel Creations on Facebook or Instagram.