Yesterday, I decided to take on a hero CrossFit workout by myself (hero workouts are named after members of our armed services who have died fighting for our freedoms).
I took on RJ, named after Veteran LAPD officer and United States Marine Corps Reservist Sergeant Major Robert J Cottle, 45, who was killed by an improvised explosive device while on patrol in Southern Afghanistan on Wednesday, March 24, 2010. RJ joined the Marines at age 18, and the LAPD in 1990. His various LAPD assignments included Hollywood Vice, Southeast Area, LAPD Dive Team and, most recently, SWAT.
RJ is: 5 Rounds for time of: 800 m run, 5 rope climbs, and 50 push ups.
For me, the limiting factor was the rope climbs. Last time I climbed rope a month ago, I did 18–slowly–and got a scab on my right leg despite all my protective coverings that took 2 weeks to heal and will probably scar at my age.
This workout seemed daunting.
I told myself, Well, let’s aim for 3 rounds and see how I feel.
Well, once you finish 3 rounds you’re over half-way done so you might as well finish it out. The push-ups were hard as well especially coming off of the rope climbs which burn your forearms.
But I did it! My time was 55:06, an average of 11 min a round, which was good. It took me about 5 minutes to run the 800 meters each time and then 6 to do the rest of the work.
When I started, I felt overwhelmed. I felt I wouldn’t finish. However, my rope climbs were much stronger than they were even a month ago and my push ups were pretty good as well.
My take away (besides the elation of having finished in one piece): I AM getting stronger although it doesn’t seem like it most days. Most of the time the daily training is just grinding through it.
Occasionally (like yesterday) you come to a workout, which validates all your work. You have to cherish these days, grab onto it, and use it to motivate you to keep going, keep pushing, keep fighting till the end.
That’s what Sergeant Major Cottle did. What better way to honor these often-unsung heros than with our determination to live better?