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.