Justin Connelli finds stability in combat through CrossFit Fort Bragg’s 100 Day Burpee Challenge.
Being deployed is like being in a time machine: days fly by or drag on influenced by the ever-changing tide of combat. Your time will undoubtedly be marked by key events that shape your experience, and in war that sometimes means the tragic loss of life. Daily life can be so dynamic you find yourself clutching for any type of routine to return some semblance of normalcy.
For a CrossFitter, this will no doubt involve working out, and for me, it involved the CrossFit Fort Bragg 100 Day Burpee Challenge.
I found out my home gym was putting on the burpee challenge and decided I would follow along while I was in Afghanistan. The premise is simple: do one burpee on Day 1, two on Day 2, and so on, until you ultimately complete 100 burpees on Day 100. The rules stated you could break up your daily burpees any way you wanted, and if you missed a day, the burpees would get carried over to the next day. Additionally, days 25, 50, 75 and 100 would be for time.
I figured it would be a great way to stay in touch with friends at home, as well as give me a healthy distraction with which to pass the time. What I could never have anticipated was the life-changing events that would occur during these 100 days.
In honor of Navy Chief Petty Officer Mark Carter, 27, of Virginia Beach, VA who was killed in Iraq 11 December 2007.
- 3 Rounds for time of:
- 30 Squat Cleans (95 lbs)
- 30 Pull Ups
- 800m Run
“Can movement be equated to learning? If you’re fit, are you smarter?” asks Dr. Jon Gary, a member of CrossFit Kids. According to Dr. Gary, CrossFit Kids gives us a unique opportunity to enhance a child’s brain development.
Gary cites studies that support a link between physical activity and cognitive development. Even with identical twins, IQ tracks with physical fitness, not genetic endowment.
“It’s not necessarily your genes but what you do with them in your environment that really matters,” he says.
According to Gary, ample evidence from the physiological/anatomical level and the molecular/biochemical level supports the statistics.
“If you exercise, you can actually grow new brain cells,” he says.
The part of the brain that grows new neurons is the part of the brain responsible for memory and learning.
For additional info, check out research by Dr. Charles Hillman of the University of Illinois, as well as research by Dr. Fred Gage of the Salk Institute.
Additional reading: Will CrossFit Make American Kids Smarter? by Lisa Bakshi, published Jan. 26, 2009.
Up close and delectable
Read my post for CrossFit South Bay on the health and convenience benefits of the crock pot in eating paleo.
Formula for the perfect crock pot roast:
3 lbs whole meat for stewing/roasting (any of the leaner, tougher meats)
+ 1 cm acidic liquid
+ 2T ground dried seasoning or 3-4 T whole dried seasonings
+ 2 c root veggies peeled (optional)
+ 2-4 marrow bones or 3-6 T quality animal fat or coconut creme/milk (if the meat isn’t fatty, or even if it is)
“The goal of this thing is two-fold: it’s to maximize participation and to find the fittest man and woman on Earth,” CrossFit founder and CEO Greg Glassman says as he discusses the significant changes to the format of the 2011 CrossFit Games.
“There is no aspect of this change that wasn’t an unavoidable consequence of explosive growth,”
While the feedback hasn’t all been positive, Glassman says that those speaking out against the new format haven’t thought it through. He says the CrossFit Games Open will help realize the true purpose of the Games.
“It changes the landscape significantly, and it doubly reinforces the potential that we are truly going to find the fittest man and the fittest woman on Earth,” he says.
And rest assured, cheating won’t win you the title “Fittest on Earth.” According to Glassman, there are unavoidable issues in logistics and judging, but that won’t change with any format.
“The sanctity of the top placers, I think, is fairly guaranteed in what we’re doing,” he says.
Additional reading: Get Ready for the Open!