What makes the natural awesomeness of a three-day-weekend even more awesome? When the highlight is a really cool fundraiser. On Saturday, Ronnie and I had the honor of participating in our local Kansas City 31 Heroes workout, hosted by CrossFit Lee’s Summit, a memorial fundraiser taking place nationwide and even overseas, to raise money and pay tribute to the 31 troops that gave their lives in the helicopter crash that took place in early August in Afghanistan. CrossFitters across the country all took part in the same workout, paying $31 per person to participate, and ended up raising over $300,000 for the families of the soldiers who died in that incident.
The owners at CrossFit Lee’s Summit had a personal connection to some of the soldiers, and in addition to hosting a wonderfully organized event with over 100 participants, they gave a moving memorial tribute, complete with the Star Spangled Banner. If anyone in there remained dry-eyed, they have a cold heart of stone.
The tribute workout was brutal, as all “Hero” CrossFit workouts are known to be. This particular workout was unique in that it involved partners, where two people teamed up to accomplish the work, each relieving each other of their “duties,” trading off work, for the duration of the workout. This was designed as an honor to those 31, as their mission was to provide assistance to another unit. It consisted of 31 minutes of 8 thrusters, 6 rope climbs (or 36 rope pulls for those of us that don’t have climbing down yet), 11 box jumps, and a run holding a heavy object. While one partner begins with the thrusters, the other partner takes off on the run. When the runner returns, the partners switch places, so the returned runner picks up on the thrusters/rope/box jump combo where the other partner left off. This went on for 31 minutes, the partners repeating the cycle until the clock stopped.
I had the pleasure of partnering with one of my old high school classmates, who I’ve had the fun of reconnecting with since she joined Ronnie’s gym and we’ve been working out together. We completed the scaled version of the workout which included the rope pulls instead of climbs, as well as a 200 meter run instead of 400. The barbell weight and box jump height were adjusted to something we could handle also. But no matter the scale or ability, the workout was trying for every single person. Ronnie partnered with one of his young athletes who recently began attending West Point, and those two rocked it. It was especially meaningful for Ronnie to get the chance to partner with him, as he’s a new representative of the US Army. I am still fascinated and crazy impressed with my husband’s athletic abilities, so it was super cool to watch him and cheer him on, as they did the full, un-modified version of the workout.
Overall it was a fantastic event, both in the cause we supported and the fun and community we had there. We got to meet and visit with other CrossFit gym owners, coaches, and members from around KC, had a great turnout from our own gym, got interviewed for the 31 Heroes news coverage, and, oh yeah, got a great workout because of it! I came away with my worst athletic injury yet; no less than 5 ripped open blisters on my fingers from so many trips up and down that rope. At least I didn’t realize it happened until the last couple minutes of the workout!