Honoring 31 heroes, CrossFit style

It will be a grueling ordeal for 31 minutes across the nation today. That’s when CrossFit-affiliated gyms host a 31-minute partner workout to raise money for the families of the 31 soldiers – and one military dog – killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan earlier this month.

For $31, participants receive a t-shirt and tackle 31 minutes of continuous rope climbs, barbell squats and overhead presses, box jumps and 400 meter runs with a 40-pound sandbag for as many rounds as possible.

“It’s going to be a crusher,” says CrossFit 215 instructor Kyle George, 31, of Roxborough. CrossFit 215 is among the gyms in the Philadelphia area to host the event on Saturday. The first heat at CrossFit 215 began at 10 a.m.

The workout is bound to bring out some of Philly’s most hardcore fitness enthusiasts, but George also emphasized the workout can be scaled to accommodate people of all fitness levels.

George, 34, has practiced CrossFit for 3 years. He talks about his life before CrossFit like a born-again evangelist speaks about being saved. George wrestled and played football in high school, and took on kayaking and mountain bike riding too. But in George’s eyes, he doesn’t consider himself an athlete before he discovered Cross Fit on the internet and began exercising to the workouts in his garage.

“It’s general physical preparedness,” says George. CrossFit originated in the 90s originally as functional fitness training for police, firefighters and soldiers.”In any of those jobs, you could be expected to sprint down the street, kick down a door, jump over a wall.”

Since its inception, CrossFit-affiliated Gyms have popped up all over the world, each location with its own tribe of fiercely committed athletes who eat herds of protein, avoid grains and dairy food, and will confidently say that your workout probably pales in comparison.

But while CrossFit has evolved to its own sport, it maintains close ties with the armed services community. The official CrossFit website posts tribute workouts named after soldiers killed in action. 

The proceeds of Saturday’s 31 Heroes work out goes directly to the Navy SEAL Foundation. For more information visit 31heroes.com.

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