The infamous Hero WOD in CrossFit is one of the most respected and more grueling type of workouts performed in the world of constantly varied functional movement. Hero WODs are workouts that are created and named after a fallen hero (or heroes) who have given their life in the line of duty. The majority of these Hero workouts are named after fallen soldiers, but many are in remembrance of those heroes we’ve lost serving the public (Police, FireFighter, etc.)
Up until recently I shied away from them because they are quite grueling and taxing to the body. I didn’t find the benefit to beating myself up. My first 12+ months of CrossFit, while I was learning all the movements and allowing my body to learn and adjust to the workouts I didn’t believe Hero WODs served a purpose. While I completely understood the meaning behind them, and whole-heartedly believed they were an amazing way to honor those who died protecting my right of freedom, every time I did a Hero WOD I would be so banged up that I’d be out of commission for days.
I had decided it was the Hero WOD themselves that caused the torture and had written off doing them all together…
Until I moved.
Until I joined a CrosFit box (gym).
Up until this past June, I had been doing it all on my own with the help of a buddy at my local globo-gym. Little did I know that my self-programming was a little ‘off center’. I discovered over the past couple months that I was terribly out of shape, I avoided all things I didn’t like, and ignored all things that I sucked at. I had successfully made my weakness so glaring that anytime they showed up I was a hot mess. As time moved on, and I did more and more things I didn’t like nor preferred, I found myself with a higher level of physical tolerance. I mean my 40 yr-old body still needs extra recovery time, don’t get me wrong, but I seem to bounce back quicker even after the most grueling workouts.
…enter the Hero WODs…
Since my indoctrination to the real world of CrossFit, and becoming a member of CrossFit FBO, I’ve done a handful of Hero WODs and each time, while they are still down right body-punishing, I recover almost completely by the next day?
Weird huh? Like I said, I think my self-programming was a little ‘off’, if ya know what I mean. So ever since this past summer I have a very different approach, tolerance and appreciation for Hero WODs. To date I think I’ve done 2 or 3 traditional Hero WODs on top of the CrossFit for Hope, the HotShots WOD and yesterday our box sponsored and did The Stoddard.
The Stoddard WOD was created in honor of Army Ranger James Stoddard (Jamie) who was killed while serving in Afghanistan on September 30, 2005. He leaves behind a wife (Amy) and 3 children (Megan, James, and Makenzie) along with his mother (Kathy) and 2 sisters (Bridgett and Kate). The cost for the wod is a $25 dollar donation which will go to both a scholar ship fund in Jamie’s name as well as to the Disposable Hero’s Fund. Each particpant will also receive a t-shirt and ofcourse be invited to the picnic at FBO that will follow the final heat. Please come help us in remembering and celebrating Jamies life. All gave some…..some gave all!!!
A chipper WOD for time:
- 50 box jumps 30in
- 40 Kettlebell Swings 1.5 pood
- 30 hand release push-ups
- 20 burpee-over-in-over a tire
- 10 tire flips
- 20 burpee over-in-over tire
- 30 hand release push-ups
- 40 kettlebell swings 1.5 pood
- 50 box jumps
This one was a little close to the vest. The hero being honored was a (blood relative) family member to some of the coaching staff.This was of course my first year doing this, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Would it be like a competition-like atmosphere? Fundraiser?
It was none of the above. It was a bunch of like-minded CrossFit citizens honoring a fallen soldier who was part of our extended CrossFit family by sweating a little bit and enjoying the very freedom he fought for. It was a friendly competition with no strict judging. We had fellow athletes who would count your reps and man your timer, but that was it. A nice laid-back atmosphere full of energy, laughter, passion and pride.
Personally the WOD was quite kick-ass. The box jumps felt like they never ended coming and going (and we jumped on concrete blocks to boot!) I promised myself unbroken kettlebell swings, which I proudly completed. I divvied up the HR push-ups into 10s and/or 15s. The tire flip was surprisingly easier than expected. While it gassed me a bit, I managed it fairly well. It was the dreaded burpee-tire jumps that drained the life outta me. You did a burpee, then jumped on top the tire, in the tire and on the other side of the tire, and that was 1 rep. Man! I was appreciating your garden-variety burpee when that was all said and done.
It was pretty darn awesome. There were close to 70+ participants. The event ran with 7-10 athletes per heat and had 6+ heats including a kids WOD at the end.
I always enjoy the CrossFit family atmosphere, full of positive energy and camaraderie in light of the sweat we’re putting in..
And the after party…
Whew. CrossFitters know how to have fun. I guess it goes hand in hand doesn’t it? We worked hard, sweated a lot and increased our fitness.. it was time to play… hard.
How about some dancing? Sure…
And THEN you add CrossFitters + a long day in the sun + alcohol + tires… and this is what you get…
It was a pretty amazing time. We raised a good amount of money in honor of an American Hero who gave his life protecting the freedom we enjoy every day we wake up. This particular Hero so happened to be from my newly-minted back yard.
I’m still amazed and speechless sometimes at how awesome my new CrossFit home has become.
I never imagined in my wildest dreams I’d be doing the things I do, meeting the people I’ve met and just enjoying every aspect that life has to offer these days.
Yep, I’m a pretty luck man.