Honoring the fallen. CrossFit Hero WOD: The Stoddard| CrossFit FBO

Every so often people ask me, or just ask this question in general: “Why CrossFit?”

Today is why. It’s because of the ‘more’ factor. CrossFit will of course increase your fitness, but it does so much ‘more’. It’s the ‘more’ that draws you in and keeps you coming back. It’s the ‘more’ that separates CrossFit from the others. The ‘more’ I’m talking about is the community.

I’ve mentioned it before here:

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.)
This one was a little close to the vest. The hero being honored was a (blood relative) family member to some of our coaching staff.

This year the Stoddard honored not only its namesake, but a local veteran who recently passed suddenly.

The 4th annual Stoddard WOD. This event was created 4 years ago to honor Army Ranger SFC James J Stoddard Jr who was killed in action serving his 3rd tour in Afghanistan in 2005. The Stoddard Sr/Jr Memorial was started to honor both Jamie and his father James John Stoddard Sr (Chuck). Since the memorial fund was created, we have been able to make donations to several great causes including Wounded Warriors, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, March of Dimes, and scholarships for graduating seniors from the Stoddards hometown highschool. The cost for this years event will be $25 and will include an event T-shirt. This years proceeds will go to Erie’s own Vietnam Vet Memorial Wall. Please come out and join us honoring a hero and raising money for a fantastic local cause.

This year, A chipper WOD for time:

  • 50 box jumps 30in
  • 40 Kettlebell Swings 1.5 pood
  • 30 hand release push-ups
  • 20  yard burpee broad jumps
  • 1 run around stadium w/ plate of your choice above head (45lb, 25lb, 15lb, 10lb)
  • 20 yard burpee broad jumps
  • 30 hand release push-ups
  • 40 kettlebell swings 1.5 pood
  • 50 box jumps

This past summer, a member of the color guard who helps with the opening ceremonies of our Annual Garage Games Great Lake Challenge suffered a life-ending medical illness during this years event. He was a veteran of the Vietnam War and was very active in supporting our local War Memorial Wall. He was remembered for always wanting to ‘keep the lights on’ this particular war memorial.

A portion of the funds that were raised during this event today will go towards ‘keeping those lights on’.

While I did not physically participate this year, I was there to watch, volunteer and show my support. It was held at a local football stadium and it was quite the turnout. While I don’t know the exact number, it far exceeded the approximate 70 participants from last year!!

While I cannot speak for other CrossFit communities around the world, ‘m always personally touched at the outpouring of support from our local community. This was just a simple fundraiser, not a ‘competition’. It was to honor the memory of two fallen heroes who decided that our freedom was worth fighting for.

This was a small way of showing our appreciation and speaking a resounding ‘Thank You’.

A large group of CrossFit citizens honoring a fallen soldier who was part of our extended CrossFit family and supporting another veteran by sweating a little bit and enjoying the very freedom they helped defend. 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. Another amazing event full of energy, laughter, passion and pride.

The weather was suspect the entire morning with some sprinkles here and there, it looked like it wanted to down pour, and ironically the rain held out until the very end of the kids heat. I guess our soldiers were looking out for us.


I’m honored to part of such an amazing family. Thank you.

I’m living the dream…

It’s been a whiiiiillle…

(yes there’s a song in there somewhere)…(http://youtu.be/D1xdGTh-aWo?t=28s)

Life’s been  busy. Every time I think I’m going to set my fingers to the keyboard ‘something comes up’. Quite honestly my weeks have been packed. I work my shifts at my awesome job. Each night after work I either partake in some training or I’m coaching others at my box. On my days off from work, I’m at the box training or coaching.

I guess I failed to mention I went and got my CrossFit Level 1 Trainer certification huh?

2014-07-14 08.09.42That was a blast by the way.

In the midst of all this, my summer just flew by. Everything from CrossFit competitions, attending local entertainment, Cirque de Soleil, Lindsey Stirling concert, Wine tasting tour, The Zoo, Zip-lining, road trips to Arts Festival, road trips to other states, and then some nursing student teaching sprinkled on the ends.

I’ve truly been living the dream.

I’m doing a job I love, at a great establishment that supports my profession well, and I work with some pretty awesome people. Not only great colleagues, but great physician partners and great bedside nurses. Not to mention all the other staff I interact with. I mean I have fun at work. Period.

Then when I’m not at my full-time paid employment job, I get to exercise my other passion of coaching excellence of movement. I get to coach weightlifting and CrossFit all under one roof with some pretty awesome fellow coaches and a great group of athletes from all walks of life. I mean I have fun at my gym (my second home). Period.

Truly. Living. The Dream.

Here’s the crazy thing. Last year when we moved up here, we said to ourselves we hit the jackpot. We live minute away from the beach. We’ll live at the beach!!

We’ve been so busy this summer we never put our feet in the sand the entire summer.


I guess that’s a good thing isn’t it?

Along the way I had some major physical ups and downs. I sustained a fairly severe hip injury that sidelined me for months. At the beginning of this year I started to pursue weightlifting full time, with CrossFit sprinkled on the side. I wanted to see what I could do with that barbell. I set a goal in January. I wanted to be able to Snatch 200lbs. I pretty lofty feat for someone who could barely get 45bls over his head just one year earlier.

Two injuries and a total of 2+ months of complete rest later… I accomplished my goal!!!

My summer briefly in pictures:

Oh, and of course I did the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS:

I forgot to mention that I’m still v-logging to my heart’s content over at Scrubs Beat with my partner Katie Duke. Here’s my latest episode. A funny nursing student story about the Hopper:

The next several weeks are chock full of more ‘stuff’ going on, including this weekend. I have another CrossFit event with my extended family celebrating the life of a fallen hero. More pictures to follow.

How has your summer been?



62 days later

2 months and 1 day. That’s how much time had passed since I injured my hip Memorial Day weekend (technically now 2 months and 2 days).

3a22b1de5b0b9b5227d7ceb1555c16d5I still remember that night like it was yesterday.  I had just finished a long 7-day stretch at work. My training had lapsed due to lack of time and I was wanting to move some weight.

I had set a goal of hitting 200lbs on my Snatch, and the last time I tested my Snatch PR I hit #195, so I was itching for it.

That night I tried and failed miserably. I missed weights I should have, I was sloppy and I was frustrated.

I moved on to the Clean & Jerk, and failed even worse. It was not pretty.

I thought I’d finish the night on a good note and test my 1RM Back Squat. Weeks prior I had hit a milestone PR of 300lb Front Squat, so I was due to push the envelope on my back squat. I PR’d my backsquat… but my legs were feeling good, so I thought I’d up the ante.

I went down in the squat… on my ascent back up I felt a ripping sensation in my lower abdomen… and the rest was history.

When I injured my groin/abs/hip back in May I told myself it was going to take me 6 weeks or more to recover. I was right on the money. 6 weeks later I was picking up the barbell again. I started with no weight, and have slowly worked my way back up.

As for the 62 days. It took that many days before I could run pain-free. The days leading up to that 62nd day, I couldn’t run, jog or take a large stride without some pain or tightness in my groin & hip. It took almost the 6 week mark before I could climb stairs at a brisk pace without pain or tightness. Well, last weekend I attempted a very slow, very sloppy, very short run. And it didn’t hurt.

I’ll say that again. It didn’t hurt my hip!!!

This was my wake-up call. I have the ability to run, and I’ve neglected that ability for too long. This hip injury has me re-evaluating my relationship with running. While I doubt I’ll ever LIKE or LOVE running, I will start to run more.

While I hate to run, I hate not being able to run more.

Life should be lived in comfortable clothing

I’ve decided that I’m pretty darn lucky. I get to wear comfortable clothing in both my personal and professional lives. Now, don’t get me wrong, ‘comfortable clothing’ is definitely up for interpretation. But, lets be honest here, would the majority of the population honestly admit that wearing a suit or professional dress be the most comfortable clothing?

I’ve lived in the world of, “I can’t wait to get home to get into my ‘comfies”.

Well, now I ‘work’ in my comfies.. so to say. Heh heh.

I’m a Nurse Practitioner who works at a hospital, in the ICU. My professional garb is scrubs and maybe a lab coat.

2014-07-10 09.17.46*UPDATE*:

I happen to see this pic on allnurses.com. How befitting?


The majority of my time spent outside of my profession is spent within the walls of my CrossFit world. Yes, a gym. So I workout and/or I coach CrossFit (including weightlifting). So, yeah, gym clothing.

2013-11-25 13.30.38

Yep. Pretty darn lucky.


Image source: http://allnurses.com/about-nursing-student/scrubs-in-school-940807.html

New events on the horizon. Did I mention I have my very own YouTube Show??

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!!!  We celebrated by taking a road trip to Chicago. Yours truly is finally taking his CrossFit Level 1 Certification course. Here are a couple pics from our road trip:



Other exciting news?

Oh, yeah… I have my very own YouTube show. Me and another nurse will have weekly videos featuring everything nursing. Real nurse. Real talk.

You may have heard or even seen this other nurse. Her name is Katie Duke. Ever heard of her? Ever heard of that reality TV series on ABC called NYMed?’

Yeah. She’s that nurse.


Our YouTube channel is called scrubsBeat. It may sound a bit familiar. This channel is partnered with the folks over at Scrubs Magazine, where I’ve been blogging for the past several years.

Here are some videos to get you started.

Here’s my premiere video:

And don’t forget to have a look-see at Katie’s video:

Be sure to visit our channel and subscribe!!!!!


The diabolical injury, rest, recover, rile, rest, recover cycle

Day 12

It’s been almost two weeks since my wicked hip injury. I’ve discovered a couple things during my lay-off. Well, hold on, let me re-phrase that. I have been reminded of a couple things. These thoughts are not ‘new’ by any means, I have just been KINDLY reminded.


#1. I suck at taking my own advice.

I can certainly dish out the injury advice, but I suck at following my own direction. The whole ‘rest’, active rest, and active recovery thing is ridiculously difficult for someone who thoroughly enjoys fitness. Most non-athletes, or people have never participated in competitive sports just don’t ‘get it’. My wife is a non-competitor, and we always chuckle about how this lay-off is driving me mad, but if it were her, she’d be fine. Heh heh.

#2. There is a natural order of things related to injury no matter how bad you want it expedited.

Time is all you have. Take the proper time to heal. Take the proper amount of time to evaluate your plan. Take the time needed to fix what was broken. No matter how impatient you really are, you can’t skip a step in the recovery process. The minute you ‘skip’ something, you’re back to square one and starting all over again.

#3. The cycle of an injury is a revolving hamster wheel. It consists of INJURY -> REST -> RECOVERY -> RILE -> REST -> RECOVERY -> RILE.

RILE: (thank you Google)

  1. 1.
    make (someone) annoyed or irritated.
    “it was his air of knowing all the answers that riled her”
  2. 2.
    North American
    make (water) turbulent or muddy.

Yes, rile. Rile was the best description I could come up with the describes this scenario: you start to feel a lil better and you begin functioning more ‘normal’. Instead of favoring your un-injured side, or ‘babying’ your injured side, you walk, sit, stand, etc like you would pre-injury because you’re feeling good!

Aaaaaaaaaand then BLAM. You’re injury reminds you.. ah-ahh.. slow yer roll buddy. Back off. You’re still hurtin’.

This has been the most frustrating part of this whole recovery process. I start feeling pretty darn good and then KA-BLAM I aggravate my hip in some small way. And I won’t be doing anything unsafe, unusual or high-risk. I could just be turning or standing or sitting and move a certain way and my hip gives me this nasty jolt to remind my oh-so-kindly how severely my injury is.


While I’m on the injured reserve list I’m making vain attempts at working out, but I’m very limited. I was a bit excited today though, I got through Push Presses today with little to know pain in my abdominal stability (yes, I partially tore my ab muscle.. and core stabilization has been challenging).

One day at a time.

Image Source: http://www.brainaneurysmlawyer.com/brain-injury-rehabilitation-washington/


Resting and insanity

It looks like I’m sidelined. I’m officially on the ‘injured reserved’ list as of last Sunday. I suffered quite the hip injury last Sunday night weightlifting.

I just finished a 7-day stretch of shifts and went in to test my 1 rep max for my lifts. I failed miserably with both lifts. I was definitely tired, but I wasn’t sloppy. i just wasn’t on my game. I finished the night out with max back squats by testing my 1 rep max. Everything was going well, until the last rep. I met my previous max weight, and actually had upped it by 5%. I was feeling pretty confident, and my legs felt fresh, so I added another 5%. Then..


I’m pretty sure if there was anyone around who could see my face, it would have been ghost-like. I was convinced I suffered a hernia injury, an inguinal hernia of all things!!

an example of an abdominal muscle tear

Thankfully I did not suffer an inguinal hernia, but a severe hip injury. I have a severe muscle strain and severe ligament sprain (I’ll spare you the details). The disheartening news is that I’m out of commission for probably 4 -6 weeks, given the nature and location of my injury. It’s going to take some serious time to heal properly.

I must admit, I haven’t experienced that level of pain in a very long time, if ever. And the injury itself has scared me silly. Now squatting of any kind has been scarred for life. I’m always going to think about this injury every time I squat now.


I spent about 36 hours wallowing in anger and self-pity, before I snapped out of my funk. It was just so defeating, since I had been working so hard, training so diligently and making such huge gains in my lifts and training. Now I’m going to have to almost start over.

So, now my new mantra: #downbutnotout

Operation rehab has already started. I’m taking the advice of my primary care provider, and letting pain direct what I do and don’t do. I experimented with various movements at the gym to see what I can do pain-free, and my exercise are very limited, but I refuse to stay down.

Besides, If I do nothing for next 4-6 weeks???? Whew. I don’t even want to think what kind of CRAZEE I’d be. Not to mention I’d probably get kicked out of my house for being the most unbearable husband on the face of the earth (I’ve been known to get a LITTLE cranky when I miss just a couple days of training)

So I’m attempting to take the high road and rise above this. I’ve decided to take this opportunity to provide a good example to others on how to properly recover from an injury, and what measures you can take to fully heal. I guess I’m putting my money where my mouth is so-to-say, heh heh.  As a former Certified Athletic Trainer and current Nurse Practitioner, I better act right huh?

I can’t help but continually run that moment through my mind, over and over again to figure out what went wrong, what failed, what weakened. Most injuries like this are caused by either an imbalance or some sort of mechanical failure. Ironically I have a video of ‘the injury, and I can’t seem to answer any of these questions floating around my head. I’ve even shared the video with fellow coaches, and they can’t answer the questions either.

I’m supposed to accept that it was just bad luck, I guess. Grr.

Regardless of the why, why not, woulda, coulda or shoulda’s. I’m going to take this road to recovery one day at a time so that I can heal completely and get back to picking up that barbell.

Image source: http://www.wakeworld.com/MB/Discus/messages/65919/241307.html?1121708796