By Bekah Dilworth

If you are semi-familiar with CrossFit, you’ve probably heard people name-dropping Hero WODs like DT, Nutts and Hidago. Arguably the most famous of these WODs, originally titled Body Armor, is now known as Murph (For more info, click here).

So why do WE do Hero WODs? For me personally, it’s a unique way to remember and say “thank you.” When the VCCF community completes a Hero WOD, we learn a bit of the backstory and how the WOD came to be. To the best of my research, Hero WODs first started to appear in 2005 by people submitting their loved ones’ favorite movements to CrossFit HQ. Among a few other criteria, honorees must have died in the line of duty, been a CrossFitter and their surviving families must support the WOD.

As a community, there is a lot different about Hero WODs. Everyone knows someone in the military (several of our own athletes are active) and that brings the focus up a bit on those days. The anticipation leading up to them, the camaraderie of everyone sweating together, the muscle fatigue that burns the next day you know everyone else is also feeling. It’s a shared experience unlike a regular day of class. Knowing the history of the WOD helps give some perspective.

What I desire for people to truly experience are the mental questions of “Do I want to finish?” or simply, “How hard can I work? What happens when you are physically exhausted and there is still work to do? You don’t always know how you would respond until you are in that situation. Do you stop really trying and just coast to the finish? Do you look at everyone around you still working and find encouragement in the fact that you are not alone? Do you start to mentally list all the aches/pains and try to decide if they are bad enough to justify stopping? Do you think about the namesake individual and how hard he/she would be working if they were next to you? When you do finish, do you look for someone else to support or simply focus on your own feelings?

On Friday May 18th, we will have a showing of Lone Survivor, the story behind Murph. Like all events at our box, your family is expected and included: friends and spouses, children and neighbors are encouraged to participate. So if you’d like to do something a little different to honor/remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice, join us for the showing. Then come to physically acknowledge and mentally commemorate Murph at 10 a.m. on Monday, May 28.

Even if you are not in the shape you want to be in, we will find a way to participate that’s appropriate for you. We want everyone to be challenged and tested but not injured or completely crushed. Step out of your comfort zone. I promise it will change you in some way.

P.S. We all know someone in the military and would like to acknowledge more than just the famous. Please submit any names and rank of anyone in your life who has died in active duty. Email or bring them to the showing on May 18th.

Image credit: BoxLife Magazine.