Thursday, 2-12-15

Strength : 15 min to work up to 1RM Power Clean

WOD: 5 rds

15 wall balls
15 power cleans 95/55


Barbell Therapy

For years my escape was in the bottom of a bottle. I was honorably discharged at the end of contract shortly after my return from a combat deployment, and I was lost. I would sleep past noon, eat garbage, and in the evening when everyone went to bed I would go to the gas station to pick up a 12-18 pack of beer and two packs of hot peanuts for the night. I did this for over six months. Eventually I became gainfully employed, moved into an apartment, and became a little more social. My evening ritual transformed into just enough for a buzz during the week, and going for broke on the weekend.

Eventually I got a girlfriend, who became fiancee, who then became wife. What she saw in me I’ll never know, but I’m glad she saw it because the road I was on was filled with peril. I began to clean up some, but I would still lean on the bottle to stay upright. Then things changed, we had a baby and I knew I needed help, but I was still too proud to go seek it. How could I be broken? I’m a war machine. Regardless, I decided to go to the VA to see if they could provide some help and in return was prescribed a cocktail of pills. I took them for a while, but I felt dull. I was never in a bottom, but I was also never on top.

Sitting with my baby girl, roughly 60 pounds heavier than I was when I exited the military, it dawned on me. Either I could dull the pain with alcohol, or I could numb myself with pills, neither would allow her to know who I really was. I knew my wife and I needed something in our life, so I began to search. Eventually we joined a local CrossFit and saw amazing results, like collective 70 pounds lost results. We stumbled onto something that I felt would save my life, and provide a better lifestyle for our family.

A couple months later we signed up for the open “just because”, and 13.1 set the hooks in. 13.1 for those who don’t remember is the following:
17 min time cap

40 burpees, 30 snatches (75/45 lbs)

30 burpees, 30 snatches (135/75 lbs)

20 burpees, 30 snatches (165/100 lbs)

10 burpees, AMRAP snatches (210/120 lbs)

It solidified the fact that burpees suck, but it also presented the fact that I have an aptitude for weightlifting. Roughly two months into CrossFit and weightlifting I was 8 reps shy of completing the 135# snatches. I had found it. For the first time in a long time, without medicating I felt alive. It was exhilarating.

Ever since this day I have embraced the barbell. It’s my escape. Some days it beats me, other days I beat it. But I always walk away with something, and my baby girl knows exactly who I am.

Maybe your escape is not a barbell, but it’s also not a bottle, or pills. Find your escape, there is one out there. Get active. Get help. Find someone or something to lean on and help you down your road. Do not become a casualty of war.

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