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CrossFit Andersen hosts workout honoring fallen service members

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Veronica Montes
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
The CrossFit Andersen organization will host a special workout of the day event on the Andersen running track at 7 a.m. Aug. 3 to honor 31 heroes who lost their lives during a helicopter crash in Afghanistan.

The 30 service members and one military working dog were killed when a CH-47 Chinook helicopter crashed in Wardak province Aug. 6, 2011.

This is the first year Team Andersen will join the more than 250 CrossFit affiliates around the world participating in the 31Heroes WOD.

"Everyone is invited to come out and try the workout," said Tech. Sgt. Travis Benne, 36th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Department emergency communications center NCO in charge and CrossFit Andersen treasurer. "We will have trainers on site that will be providing mentorship and assistance with the individual movements of the exercise."

The 31Heroes WOD is a team workout, where members of Team Andersen will complete as many workout rounds as possible in 31 minutes--one minute in remembrance for each hero. A round consists of eight thrusters, six rope climbs and 11 box jumps. As one training session partner begins the workout, the other person will run 400 meters with a sandbag. After the run, the team members switch, with the runner finishing any incomplete repetitions and the teammate running another 400 meters. The team's final score is the total number of repetitions in 31 minutes.

Benne said the workout is a partner workout because the 31 heroes gave their lives as a team. They all knew that they were flying into dangerous territory, however, they all trusted in their teammates. He also said the repetition scheme is eight-six-11 to honor the date the service members died.

Tech. Sgt. Megan Schmidt, 36th CES executive assistant and CrossFit Andersen trainer, organized the 31Heroes workout here to bring together the CrossFit community and honor the fallen.

"The thing I love most about CrossFit is not only being in the best physical condition of my life, but the awesome community of people pushing each other and forming lasting friendships through fitness," said Schmidt. "What better way to showcase that than through a team workout for the 31 Heroes."

The workout may seem hard for the average person, but every part of it is adjustable so people of different fitness levels can all participate.

Benne said with the beauty of CrossFit, every exercise is scalable and everyone can scale it according to their physical abilities.

Hero workouts are common among the CrossFit community and people have various reasons to participate, whether it's something that hits home to them or they just want to work out to support a good cause.

Staff Sgt. Steven Nowicki, 36th Security Forces Squadron military working dog kennel master and a CrossFit Andersen organizer, was in Afghanistan at the time of the incident and said the event is something important for him to participate in.

"I plan on completing this workout because it honors a fellow military working dog handler and other heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice," said Nowicki. "Our career field is small in nature and whenever we lose another handler it hits hard."

The CrossFit Andersen team invites all Team Andersen members and their families to take part and participants interested in supporting the cause further can support the 31Heroes Foundation by visiting www.31heroes.com. For more information, visit http://crossfitandersen.com or call Sergeant Benne at 487-1415.

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