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.