Challenge Accepted

In less than two weeks, or exactly eleven days, I will be taking on the Chesapeake Bay Swim.  As I wrote that sentence I recognized that I knew immediately it was exactly eleven days because I’m starting to get pretty nervous.  OK, scared.  The swim is 4.4 miles across the Bay from Annapolis to Kent Island, and for some people that identify more as aquatic mammals than humans, that’s not a really big deal – there are some that do this event every year.  But I have never swam in open water for more than a mile, so this is a big deal for me.  Those of you who know me well know that back in the day when I was a young pup I was training to be a Navy SEAL.  But it wasn’t because I was an elite swimmer – I was hoping just to gut it through that part.  I can hold my own in the water, feel pretty comfy swimming and diving, but when I first showed up to my first Sunday morning swim training at Penn State Navy ROTC, I was surrounded by all-state swimmers wearing Speedos and talking about their best 100M freestyle times, and I was wearing board shorts and mentally wavering between making fun of these kids that I didn’t identify with, having never competitively swam, and thinking I was in for a world of hurt.  I was right about the second part.  I worked hard in the pool, moving from consistently last to midde-of-the-pack, but an elite swimmer I was not.  So back to present day, the Chesapeake Bay Swim has been something that I have wanted to do for a while now, to prove to myself that I can do it, and also as the next hard challenge in my life that keeps me motivated and always advancing in my training.  Every time I drive over the Bay Bridge though, I look down at that choppy water and pucker up a little bit.

Many of you are taking on the 12-hour Heroes Challenge this weekend, which is another hard physical and mental challenge in itself.  Twelve hours of CrossFit hero workouts that are each designed to test you in a serious way.  We’re taking on the workouts with a team, which lightens the load a little bit but also adds a special intensity to each workout.  When it’s your time to go in a team workout you have to be ready to push the pace, and when you’re resting you’re staying motivated and encouraging your teammates.  Not an easy thing, to be “on” the whole time.  But as the day presses on you will find that extra gear and finish strong, which is a pretty amazing feeling.

These hard challenges that we take on are important and very valuable because they provide us with something looming on the horizon that we know we need to train hard for.  These crucible events also propel us forward with great momentum and confidence to take on the next challenge, whether it’s something that we have planned or the unknown challenge or crisis that we’ll need to respond to with the same vigor.  I’m super proud of our CFKI community for consistently stepping up to the plate for these special events in the gym as well as all the crazy challenges that you take on on your own.  Asking around during a regular class at CFKI, I’ll hear all kinds of tough races that you all are getting ready to crush, or individual goals in strength and endurance that are well beyond the “normal” person’s reach.  We belong to a pretty incredible community of individuals that make up a super-motivating team.  Yes!!

Here are the Hero workouts that we will be taking on this Saturday.

7am – “Glen” for US Navy SEAL and CIA operative Glen Doherty

8am – “Tumilson” for US Navy SEAL Jon Tumilson

9am – “Kalsu” for US Army LT James Kalsu

10am – “JT” for US Navy SEAL Jeff Taylor

11am – “Badger” for US Navy SEAL Mark Carter

12pm – “The Seven” for seven CIA operatives that were killed in a suicide bombing

1pm – “Holleyman” for US Army Special Forces Sergeant Aaron Holleyman

2pm – “Coffland” for US Army Specialist Chris Coffland

3pm – “Adam Brown” for US Navy SEAL Adam Brown

4pm – “Hammer” for US Army 1st Sergeant Michael Bordelon

5pm – “Randy” for LAPD SWAT Officer Randy Simmons

6pm – “Tama” for New Zealand Army Corporal Luke Tamatea

If you haven’t signed up yet, there’s still time, and we can find a team for you to join.  Click this link to register, and then we’ll help you out from there.  And if you’d like to come out and cheer us on and contribute to the cause for the Catch A Lift Fund, you’re welcome to do that too!  We’ll be raffling off some great prizes, and raffle tickets will be going on sale at the gym tomorrow!

Thank you all for continuing to train hard and step up to hard challenges.  This is how we keep evolving, getting stronger and tougher every day.