• Cass Lau

A socially responsible #ACFTurns5

As the world hit a reset in two-oh-two-oh, everyone seemed to be holding their breath indefinitely, waiting for... what’s next?

We rolled into June... and spent most of the time adjusting our policies, our schedule, class structure, etc etc, to be inline with government directives and the safety of our members.

then July... we added new classes and programmes to meet the demand for a burgeoning membership base which we were also getting used to, with a shortage of manpower as well.

and in August... we started exploring new platforms and systems to grow the business, whilst refining and optimising our class schedules and procedures... We saw growth, which was a surprise given the situation with COVID-19 and the restricted measures, something we really wanted to have, but something was still missing.

I thought back to why I stuck with Actualize CrossFit in 2016, and why I felt so satisfied being in this box— it was the community that I was blessed to be surrounded by.

That was a gap that needed to be filled. We had all these new members, but where was the community?

It is the events that bring the community together.

And I remembered something that CK said before— it is the events that bring the community together. He looked pointedly at me when he said that. I won’t forget it. 😂

A belated opening ceremony? Something for the 5th anniversary? The original plan was really to combine the two, which now seemed impossible with the global pandemic showing no signs of improvement.

I thought, if the Rogue Invitational could be conducted remotely, why couldn’t we do a Team Series-style Anniversary celebration?! So i audaciously called for a meeting with my events team and we begin brainstorming.

And thus, A SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE #ACFTURNS5 WAS BORN, and “Macpherson”, “Petain”, and “Jalan Besar”, followed.

While the event started off a little uncertain with so many things left to plan, the momentum started picking up. Everyone was excited to have an event in the local fitness space. Anything to break the monotony of uncertainty and inaction.

It was awesome to see new members show an interest to participate, and it was even more awesome to watch people speak with a common language, referring to each event as 5.1, 2 or 3, and practicing HARD to get the skills they needed to.


2 member teams

2 divisions: Open & Scaled

Mixed and Same Gender Teams allowed

3 workouts

3 weeks

We got sponsors from ArmourUp Asia and WOAH! Group, as well as our physiotherapy partners, Thrive Healthcare to contribute prizes to the event. Upon announcement that the winners would EACH get a Flow Mini Massage Gun, the heat cranked up a few notches and the competition was so on.


We were obsessed from the get go with planning the events. And these were the WODs we cooked up:

5.1 was named after the first road ACF was located on, 5.2 our previous location, and 5.3... well, pretty self-explanatory.

Ian got excited planning "MacTaggart", also the infamous WOD of the anniversary. Structured as a ladder that keeps on giving, you'd have to know yourself and TRUST that pacing yourself early on would pay off. This was a fun one. That I ended up doing thrice with 3 different people, 1st with Alvin as a test (13:43), 2nd with Ian because the designer deserved a try (11:5ifty something), and 3rd with Kylie (we hit like 10:42).

Alvin wanted something like a take on Fran for the second WOD, and a rep max test of sorts so we came up with "Petain", and threw in a rep max thruster. It turned out to be a better test than expected, synchronization, communication, and strategy (as with all WODs). It was fun watching teams watch other teams, test the workout, and strategize, beating each other by a hair's breadth.

Left with a handful of movements, I put "Jalan Besar" together, which got a few curses along the way. It was awesome watching people practise so hard to get double-unders (DUs: when the skipping rope passes under your feet twice) and getting them just before attempting the workouts! That's what we wanted, an event that would give people a goal to work towards... so throw me whatever curses you want guys! You got your DUs!!! I tried this 2x... And died both times at the DUs. 🤷🏻‍♀️

I also apologize for this WOD. Doubling the skips for scaled division was the cause of many judges sore throats.. myself included.

Team Complaining Mira!

Somehow this became a #TeamComplainingMira designed menu. At least I got some kind of a Team WOD in then!


#TeamJudgement was truly the unsung heroes of the event. They made time to read the instructions, explain the movement standards, and took the time out to count reps again and again, and had to bear with my nagging them to put in their results, and to abide by certain rules and standards set out.

The newer judges took the initiative to ask to shadow more experienced judges as they watched athletes have a go at the WODs. These guys took their jobs VERY SERIOUSLY, and I couldn’t be more grateful to have them on board 🤗.

Here are some awesome teams I judged:


The showing turned out to be quite spectacular, with a close fight in both divisions. We watched as the placings on the leaderboard shift, up until the last minute.




We had a couple of bonus awards up for grabs. After all, it’s not ALL ABOUT THE LEADERBOARD. These teams showed sportsmanship in their reattempts, creativity in coming up with their team names, and spirit in supporting the operations of the event.

Best Team Name: Masters Mutant Ninja Terters

Most Redos: Los Capitáns & Muscle Fatigue

Best Dressed: Muscle Fatigue

I wrote this in the event groupchat:

I know this is coming abit late but we really are so proud of all of you. Look back to how you were before the anniversary events to after, some of you have PR-ed and pushed yourselves further than you thought you could. Some movements were unlocked through your sheer grit and hardwork. More importantly, you guys made friends along the way:)

I loved seeing the energy and sportmanship in sharing strategies and encouraging one another along the way. Y'all volunteered to change each other's weights, judge, cheer, clear the area at the end of each day... That's the spirit of a true crossfitter and one we want every Actualete to have.

We are sorry we cant do a proper closing ceremony but when we can, let's celebrate these moments, and your daily acheivements:) Thank you all for being a part of this community ❤️

If I had a choice, I'd give everyone a prize (i guess that's what the goodie bags are for)

And with that... we closed off the event! A few mishaps with keying scores and judging here and there. But what's an event without a few little things to learn here and there?

My conundrum now? How do I end this well such that it doesn't fall off a cliff? And such that it provides a good runway for the next big thing.. which is what exactly? The Open?

A little peek into my 🧠... Personally, I always enjoy planning events, but I do very much like to be a part of the event as well. This time there was a major case of #fomo when I watched the teams have a go at the events, discuss strategies, and try again. I threw in my two cents worth here and there simply because I could not bear being out of the conversation! 😱

I do believe that I am very blessed to have people support me as I do these events. Every time we launch something, I'm praying that somehow it'll roll out well, and it does. People pick up the pieces, tie up the loose ends, and are willing to evolve and develop the event with me. Do all events happen like this? A lot of faux confidence and good dudes that #MakeItHappen along the way?

For this event, Marv, the other "media OG" on the management team was out of the picture for most part, preparing for our system migration (from our Wodify platform to PushPress & SugarWOD), and for a status upgrade to DAD*. My headcoach was not around for most part of the planning and participated as an athlete instead. But new people came on board, and gave their inputs and helped manage the event in whatever way they could. Judges called reps until their voices were hoarse, and people came by to help change plates and cheer.

Some semblance of organization appeared by some stroke of luck, as it always did. But as I plan this and the faults surface, a little voice in me knows that I should no longer leave these things to chance.

I suppose that's where I get stressed out.

Being an activator, I dive head first into commitments, and expect that things would unfold without a hitch, yet I do not put the steps in place to ensure that they do. And as with managing people, it'll never be a perfect process. The community can be forgiving but we can't always bank on that. I'd have to plan future events in greater detail and with greater foresight than being reactive as I usually am.

Did I also mention I am overly self-critical? But you probably got that from the ramble up top^.

Well enough about what went wrong though... just so touched and thankful for the positive notes that came post-event. (Well, 98% of them were positive, but we always need that 2% to help us improve🤗)

Photo with my fam:) glad they could come to watch and support me in the little ways that they do! A side story... it took my whole schooling lifetime for my mum to come to terms that I'd be involved in planning events for a loooong time. I used to come home late, and get stressed up with organizing these events, that she'd heckle at me for not focusing on my studies. I'm pleased that now they are proud to watch these events and know that I'm a part of it too!

Until the next event <3!

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