Next Time You Think Your Workout or Life Is Hard…

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You'll Be Fine

You have no right to bitch.  Your sore hamstrings and screaming core
are artifacts of high intensity compound movement, enabled by firm
contact with Mother Earth and the primate’s gift of an opposable
thumb.  The very fact that your arms feel like lead and your legs like
the business end of a propane torch is a gift of inclusion, given only
because you have legs and arms to hurt.

The men of the Warrior
Transition Battalion at Brooke Army Medical Center don’t know your
pain.  They brought guns to a bomb fight, and came home with fewer
limbs than they packed, blown apart by the cowardice of other men. 

Their
pain is worse, one of exclusion, borne of wheelchairs and ramps,
endless hours of physical therapy and prosthetic fittings, hobbled by
the incessant need for painkillers.  You will never know the agony that
they’ve endured, first physically mangled, and then pitied, seen as
victims of a botched War.

Luckily, they don’t share the
viewpoint.  An even twenty, enabled by the efforts of a young
Lieutenant, are pursuing rehabilitation with revenge. 

These
men came to Alamo CrossFit to learn the tenets of CrossFit, supported
by a crackerjack crew of trainers and an unrelenting need to go beyond
the bounds of traditional recovery. 

Placed in an environment
where pity was gone and intensity was the only goal, I watched men do
handstand pushups, femurs balanced against their wheelchairs, no feet
weighing them down.  I watched a Marine pull himself up a gymnastics
ring, ripping as hard as he could while an unwieldy leg brace fought
his every effort.  I watched a man with no patella tendon sit into a
full-depth squat, and a man with no legs clean a medicine ball from the
ground.

These men, broken in body, were impossible to stop.  The
pain that we could inflict—jackhammering hearts, mental torment, and
burning muscles—paled in comparison to the months of adversity that led
them to our doorstep.  They deadlifted and squatted, ran and pressed,
displaying a fortitude far beyond our capacity to keep up. 

Every moment hammered home a single point:  You’ll be fine.

Remember
that the pain is a gift, and men have overcome far worse.  When your
training results in injury, remember that there are those whose
injuries dwarf yours by degrees of magnitude, men who would kill for
the right to feel a strained Achilles or a jammed thumb.  They will not
quit regardless of the odds, and you will not disgrace their example. 

The
next time your muscles protest or you feel a callus give way, be
thankful for the feeling, and the comparative ease with which you train
every day.  Be thankful for the gift that is your body, and the pain
that it brings.

In Northern Texas, there are twenty men battling
to reclaim lost capacity, showing the world that injury is not an
endpoint, that sacrifice does not end in martyrdom.  Their courage is
physical and mental, and their lesson is one that will serve far beyond
their lifetimes. 

Their pain is unimaginable, but their
message is easily understood:  the struggle to become a better human
being ends only in death.  Don’t let them down.

Kyle Maynard coaches Josh through a muscle-up attempt at Alamo CrossFit.  Picture courtesy of The Napping Poet.

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Someone else who never stops.  Someone else who never gives up, who always pushes the envelope, humbles us and inspires us.  Monty, you are a true warrior yourself!

Comments

  1. casey rose says:

    monty i am always stoked when i see you at the gym.your amazing.keep it up!

  2. Monty, I always in awe of you and in your determination to complete your workouts. I am inspired and proud to workout with you, but most of all to be your friend!

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