I don’t know that many of you have ever been told or fully understand what the Hero WODs are, what they mean to and within our CF community. I do know several of you have heard my voice crack and my eyes fill with tears just going over a Hero WOD on the board. I don’t have words to explain what it is, but I do hope you all understand that when a Hero comes up, it’s not just any other workout, not just another day at CFJ. Those names represent lives lost.
Most of you have come to CFJ with no prior CF experience and didn’t come up following the main site of CrossFit HQ (www.crossfit.com) spending countless hours every day bonding with the online CrossFit community before we had our own CF tribe. Every day I searched out “Bingo” for his post, as they were always so incredible and thought provoking. Below is a post from Bingo from 2010 explaining the meanings of Hero WODs to new CrossFitters. I’m proud to be part of a community that is a little bit different.
“Whitten”, and heroes before and to come…
We are all part of a rather unique and special community, whether here in the cyber-gym or members of a Crossfit Affiliate gym. There are many reasons for this to be sure, but one in particular stands out today as it does each time we are introduced to a new “Hero.” We acknowledge those who have made the ultimate sacrifice on our Nation’s behalf, not as a political statement or with an underlying agenda as is the case with many of those newspaper lists, but with a true thankfulness bordering on reverence.
This, after all, is how it SHOULD be. It is how it was in the wars and conflicts of our forefathers. Neighborhoods, towns, entire states would reach out in solidarity and support for the families of the fallen. As a nation we seem to have forgotten how to do this, lost as it were in the debates about the propriety and righteousness of whatever conflict might be at hand, as the historically quiet discomfort with such things has been replaced by the braying of the disenchanted here in the present.
You may think the quiet discomfort felt in the privacy of the homes left behind by those serving is the ideal. You may be convinced that the “means justifies the ends” approach of more contemporary protesters represents a high watermark in a maturing nation. Frankly, I don’t care, and how I feel is irrelevant in this discussion.
But what you mayn’t do is forget. It is not permissible to forget that there are people who serve, some in far-enough away places that it might be EASY to forget. While we as a nation of people have not really been asked to share in any hardship through open sacrifices like rationing or the like, we must STILL openly and consciously acknowledge these men (and women) who make the ultimate sacrifice on our collective behalf.
How? How might we do this? Well, I’ve talked a little about this in the past, but there are a lot of new “faces” here chez Crossfit, so it probably bears another telling. The introduction of a new “Hero”, indeed the posting of any “Hero” WOD, is not only an invitation to remember that this particular Hero gave his life in the line of duty, but because we choose to willingly accept the suffering induced by the WOD it is an invitation to remember that there are LIVING heroes and heroines on the line right now. They leave behind families who live each day a little more fearful of what might come than, say, the family of an ophthalmologist.
How do we express our support for those on the line, outside the wire? Easy. We circle the wagons a little bit around those families they left behind when they boarded the transport, or stepped into the cruiser, or hopped on the back of Engine 44. Grand gestures are not really necessary; small kindnesses are enough. It’s now winter above the Mason-Dixon line. Maybe you go a little further with the snowblower and “forget” to stop until you’ve done the walk in front of that Marine’s house. It’s the Holiday season in much of the world–it’s just too easy to bake and deliver an extra dozen cookies to the cop on the corner. You travel a bit for business, and the bill for that burger is magically paid for that private in the airport who looks like he’s 14, hungry as he starts or finishes his journey.
It’s little stuff, I know, but not trivial stuff. These are gracious people; they will understand. They chose their paths and they do not NEED these gestures to validate their choice, but the subtle “thank you” still feels good. The knowledge that the sidewalk is clear of snow brings a small but real comfort.
So today, or whenever you get to it, as you suffer through “Whitten”, think not only of this young Captain but also about all of his brethren still on the line. Think just a bit about some small, concrete way to express your support for them and their families. For this, I am sure, is also what Coach has in mind when he offers up these epic challenges and names them after those we have lost.
This, I am sure, is what makes our community just a little bit different.
Comment #34 – Posted by: bingo at December 12, 2010 6:43 AM