Monday, September 30, 2013

Wearing The Eagle at the Fenway Spartan- AROO!!

I am FIRED UP for the Fenway Spartan Race coming up in November. I will be representing Team Red, White, and Blue, an organization focused on enriching the lives of America's Veterans. I am a Wounded Warrior and finishing this race with Old Glory and yelling “AROOO”  will be yet another opportunity to show the world that Wounded Warriors are ‘Warriors” and not victims.  Events like this are  mini-crucible events. I come out a better person for having faced the challenge.

My family is FIRED UP as well. This will be our third Spartan. The first one was in Burnett, Texas in 2012, followed by another this past June in Tuxedo Ridge, New York.

 We can’t wait to be at the starting line again listening to the crowd yell “I am a Spartan”
The best part of signing up for this race so far has been the functional fitness workouts we have been doing together as a family. We have been flipping tires (click here for video) as well as lifting and moving other heavy things. I have always emphasized physical fitness with my family, but more so since recovering from my injuries I received when I was in Iraq in 2004.

 Green Monster here we come. AROO!! IT'S OUR TURN!!!

Monday, September 23, 2013

By Dawns Early Light

Last week over 30 members of Team RWB-West Point  and Black & Gold Crossfit, two groups  who share a passion for physical fitness, community and leadership, came together for a CRUSH IT workout at West Point.

The workout was a challenging one. As many rounds as possible in 30 minutes:
15 Partner assisted leg throws
30 Air Squats
15 Kettle Bell swings
1/4 Mile partner run with a 45lb bumper plate

The group split up among the four stations and  the workout started with the blast of a horn. The teams ran station to station carrying American flags, the stars leading the way. 

Workout sessions such as this are an example of how a shared experience can bring two groups together for one purpose, to enrich the lives of America’s Veterans.  FIRED UP!!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Inspiring Others To Get ACTIVE

One of the things that gets me FIRED UP about working with Team RWB is the opportunities to conduct Veteran outreach events and interact with Veterans and community members in the area. Yesterday I got to workout with a group of Veterans and community members in Carmel, NY. There were Veterans and community members of all ages. 

The workout was a circuit consisting of several functional fitness stations with various pieces of equipment (slamballs, weight sled, medicine balls, etc..). At first glance this type of workout can be intimidating, especially to people who have not been physically active in a while.  Before the workout started I gave a few remarks and stressed that “if you can move or walk you can be an athlete.” That message had an energizing effect on the group because it removed a potential obstacle to participation. The workout went great and team members were encouraging each other and cheering as they rotated between stations.

Being physically active does not mean being an elite athlete. From my perspective as a wounded warrior, and from having several friends whose combat related injuries have placed physical limitations on them; I believe if a person can move/walk they can be an athlete. If that is walking around the block than so be it. As long as they are challenging the baggage, and making changes not excuses they will improve, which will influence and inspire others to get active.  And that is exactly what happened during this workout. 

In the picture above,me and another team member are standing with Vietnam Veteran and Silver Star recipient Karl Rohde. Karl was pretty FIRED UP after the event, and is looking forward to getting active and working out with the team next month.  Talking to Karl and the other Veterans reminded me of the letter General Jonathan Wainwright sent to soldiers getting out of the Army after their service during World War II (Read the letter here) His charge to them “Start being a leader as soon as you put on your civilian clothes."