Saturday, we did a workout called “31 Heroes” to honor the 30 servicemen and 1 military working dog who died when their Chinook helicopter crashed in Afghanistan on August 6, 2011. CrossFit gyms all across the nation participated and raised money for the Navy SEAL Foundation.
We started off the workout with the National Anthem and our hands over our hearts. Coach T, a former U.S. Marine, saluted the flag. We then honored the fallen soldiers past and present with a moment of silence, while listening to a recording of Taps. It never fails, I will always get teary-eyed whenever I hear the National Anthem. There is a feeling that I get when I hear our National Anthem, something that I don’t know how to explain. Perhaps it’s patriotism. Perhaps it’s knowing and remembering that so many have sacrificed their lives so that I can live mine. Perhaps it’s a hope that I will make a difference in the world (or reminder that I need to) and do my country right. Most likely it’s a combination of all. Whatever it is, it is overwhelming and will always come to the surface when I hear that song.
I am a very sensitive and emotional person and I have been apologetic for it in the past, but I have since learned that that is who I am and to embrace it. I have learned that that is how I connect with people, sensitive or not, to feel a sense of unity, and how I see and navigate through life. We generally feel a sense of unity during our workouts, that is one of the main components of CrossFit, but there was something different on Saturday. We were all there for a purpose, not for ourselves, but to honor those who continue to fight for our independence on a daily basis. There were times when I saw that some people wanted to give up, but you could see in their eyes that they were telling themselves to keep going. There were many times that I wanted to cry, where I wanted to quit, especially while rowing with a 25lb sandbag in my backpack. I was so tired, it was so difficult, but I couldn’t stop. The soldiers don’t get the choice to stop and go home, so why should I? I was here for them, to honor them, and I wasn’t going to stop. I rolled my “good” ankle pretty bad jumping down from a rope climb too early, and my partner, Anis, came over to see if I needed anything and I told her that I just needed a moment. A moment to collect myself. I was not going to give up. I continued the workout with two bum feet, and what helped me continue on was thinking about those injured soldiers who had no choice but to continue on their mission.
I am so very proud of everyone who participated in the “31 Heroes” workout. Not just at our gym, but all of the CrossFit gyms across the nation. Some people were lifting their body weight, others were lifting their max weight. Some were even doing box jumps that were about half their height. And there were some like me, where we are recovering from injuries, but still wanted to participate and had to modify all of the skills. That was difficult in itself. As if I haven’t named all of the reasons why I love CrossFit already, another reason is that we honor those who have served and continue to serve by creating “Hero” WODs (workout of the day). These workouts are not easy and they are the most brutal workouts in CrossFit. This is the least we can do to honor these soldiers.
Thank you to all of those soldiers who have given their lives. Thank you to my uncle who was killed in the Vietnam war at the age of 19 just two weeks before he was supposed to come home. Thank you to my grandpa who was a POW and earned a Purple Heart. Thank you to Coach T for your service and friendship. And thank you to all of my other friends and their families for enduring the stress and your sacrifices to ensure the safety of our country.
AMRAP 31 Min (As Many Reps As Possible)
8 Thrusters (155/105lbs)*
6 Rope Climbs (15 ft. ascent)*
11 Box Jumps (30/24″)*
This is a Partner WOD – Partner #1 will perform the work listed above. Partner #2 will run 400m with a sandbag (45/25lbs).* Once Partner #2 returns from the run, Partner #1 will grab the sandbag and begin their 400m, while Partner #2 continues work wherever #1 left off.
Score – Total # of reps
*Modified: Thruster: 55lbs; Rope climb: after I rolled my ankle, did assisted towel pull-ups; Box jumps: did step-ups on a 12″ box
Score: Anis is always awesome to work with. She’s such an animal! We completed 5 rounds and were about to start into our 6th round. Total reps: 125