When it was announced a few weeks back that we would be doing the 31 Heroes WOD as the first Saturday workout at the new box, I honestly didn’t think I would do it.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of the hero WOD’s. Everyone has their story of someone they knew and lost when they were serving our country, and I’m no different. But let’s be honest here kids. These WOD’s are hard as shit. I’m still a novice at this Crossfit stuff, and half the time I look at the weight or reps and it just sort of makes me want to cry.
All that said, I participated in the Memorial Day Murph this year, and actually did the full workout (minus running with the weight vest.) As the 31 Heroes workout drew closer, I knew that I was capable of physically doing it, and I knew that like all things Crossfit, there would be scaling for every level.
In the middle of the week last week a fellow Crossfitter posted on our facebook page that she was also terrified of heights and rope climbs, but still wanted to come to the workout and needed a partner. That was that, I volunteered and signed up for the event.
I don’t really get nervous about WOD’s anymore, but going into Saturday, I was nervous about this one. I knew I would have to scale the weight on the thrusters pretty significantly, but set a goal to do it as heavy as I could for the 31 minutes. I also knew that it was really unlikely I was going to wake up no longer afraid of heights and scurry my bottom up that rope. I would be doing rope pulls, and man was I relieved to see that I was by no means alone in that.
For those who don’t know, here is the 31 Heroes workout, along with the background on why we WOD for these brave soldiers. (source: www.31heroes.com)
AMRAP 31 minutes (As Many Reps As Possible)
8 Thrusters (155/105#)
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 (45/25). 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 is your total # of reps
This WOD was created specifically to honor the 30 men and one dog that gave their lives for our country on August 6, 2011. It is 31 minutes long—one minute in remembrance of each hero. The rep scheme is 8-6-11—the date of their ultimate sacrifice. Finally, this is a partner WOD. The men who gave their lives were from multiple branches of our military, working together as a team. In the workout you and your team member will constantly be taking the load from each other providing much needed support and relief. We realize that no physical sacrifice made during a workout can come close to the sacrifice our brave heroes made, but we consider this WOD a CrossFitters “moment of silence.” This is how we can honor those that gave all in the name of freedom.
We all met at the box at 11 a.m. on Saturday. As per usual, it was a big group, and everyone was excited. Pervy-but-we-love-him-anyway coach said a few words, and then turned it over to fellow Crossfitter affectionately known here as Lickable-Abs to get us pumped up. Both of those bastards about made me cry with their pep talks.
One thing that Lickable-Abs said that stuck with me for the whole workout is that we “get to go home after this, they don’t.” Powerful stuff.
After that, 3-2-1 and we were off. I started running and my partner, we’ll call her Rainbow-Brite (she had some awesome socks), started with the Thrusters. In our twosome, we were running with a 25 lbs slam ball rather than a sandbag, and that was a challenge in and of itself.
In truth, the WOD is kind of a blur. The whole time I was running/waddling/trying not to die the 400m I kept thinking I had to hurry my butt up because my partner shouldn’t have to do all the “work.” Then when I was in the box and she was running, I kept thinking that I needed to keep moving and get our reps up. I ended up doing the rope pulls, using 53 lbs on the thrusters, and doing a combo of box jumps and step ups. Near the end, I had to do the thrusters in sets of 2, and I totally face planted on one of the box jumps. I think it’s safe to say, I gave this WOD my all.
I was in the box for the last minute and a half of the workout. When the clock ran out I had just completed my last box jump in a set, bringing our score to 8 rounds even for the WOD. Rainbow-Brite was still running, and as much as I wanted to collapse, I wanted to bring my partner home even more.
I started walking in the direction she would come from, and before long saw her rounding the corner, STILL RUNNING with that damn 25 lbs slam ball. I don’t even remember what I said, but I know there was a lot of yelling and hooting and hollering, and bringing her home.
THEN we collapsed.
It was an awesome WOD. I was both humbled and honored to be able to participate in this event, and kept thinking that I needed to do whatever movement I was doing, because I could. These 31 brave souls can’t any longer, so those of us who are left do it for them.
To all who have made the ultimate sacrifice, I will say it again and again, thank you. You are loved. And my God you are missed.