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For Our Service Men and Women

memorial day

May is the time for Memorial Day and being thankful to the men and women who gave their lives so that we could live the comfortable lives we live. It’s hard to remember every day. We all have problems. The laundry needs to get done and little Johnny didn’t eat his healthy lunch again and I’ve just got to repaint that bedroom and I have to make sure I record the final episode of my favorite show on tv this week and I need to get little Annie a math tutor so that she gets in to the best private school/college she can get into.

Larry Harrington - Army
Larry Harrington – Army

2014-3-2 005It’s hard to believe that some people don’t have more than one set of clothes to wash or a tv to watch or a bedroom to sleep in. It’s hard to think that in certain countries little Annie wouldn’t be allowed to go to school at all and might be murdered for even attempting it. We want so much for ourselves and our children that we sometimes forget how truly easy we have it. And it is all thanks to the special men and women in our military.

At CrossFit Odyssey we have quite a few of those members. There is Jason Gordeuk, who went to West Point and served in Iraq. Shon Saye is still active duty army in Ft Worth, Allan Brown was in the Infantry Division of our Army National Guard and Larry Harrington and our coach, Ben Scarbro, were also in the Army. Chris Sambar was a Navy Seal.

Chris Sambar - Navy Seal
Chris Sambar – Navy Seal
Allan Brown
Allan Brown

If you have ever worked out with one of these fine soldiers, I’m sure you have noticed that they all have one thing in common… they work their tails off in the gym! In fact, they quite often push themselves harder than the required work. They have goals and they have standards for self-excellence. You will not see any one of these guys or girls doing anything half-assed. They may take it slow and they may be careful but they are deliberate and focused and they are always trying to improve. You will often see Allan making his workout a little bit harder by lifting one leg during a plank or doing extra reps during his rest time. Shon is keeping in shape for her PT test – and she scored in the “excellent” category this last time. Larry completed the CrossFit Open last year and found a lot of areas that needed to improve. He did it again this year and had a much higher score in all areas. Chris is just starting to do some of the Performance work to challenge himself a little more. He is also working on the finer details of making his movements great instead of just acceptable.

Jason Gordeuk - attended West Point and served in Afghanistan.
Jason Gordeuk – attended West Point and served in Afghanistan.

These are the people that say “don’t be afraid to go hard on me” and “I think I should do more”. These are also the people who put their head down in a workout and they don’t stop until they are done. They do not accept mediocrity or defeat. They rarely stop to rest or get water or lighten their load.

And thank God they don’t! Because these are the men and women who are disciplined and focused enough to fight to make it so that we are able to worry about the little things in life like what color our walls should be. These are the men and women who never give up so that little Johnny can lead a healthy life and little Annie can go to school without fear. We are truly blessed to have these great souls a part of our country and a part of our lives.

LeShon Saye - active duty Army
LeShon Saye – active duty Army

So thank you all of you for your service to our country. And thank you for inspiring us in the gym to work our hardest and be our best.

The last two years for Memorial Day weekends I have participated in a run/walk called “Carry the Load”. This walk is intended “to restore the true meaning of Memorial Day, and connect Americans to the sacrifices of our military, law enforcement, firefighters and rescue personnel We realize that you may never walk a mile in one of our nation’s heroes’ shoes, but you do have the opportunity to walk along side them to honor what they’ve done”. The race begins at Reverchon Park and goes back and forth down the Katy Trail for 24 hours. I have always taken my kids to this event as they have great stuff for kids to see and help them understand the meaning of Memorial Day. We don’t walk all night, but we walk the trail once or twice and then call it a day. We see lots of military men and women with their full packs on. We saw one military man with one leg and a crutch making the walk. We see lots of flags and lots of kind spirits.


This year’s Carry The Load is on May 24-25th. We will head out there on Sunday afternoon around 3pm to run the trail a couple of times and then we will meet at the Katy Trail Ice House at 4:30. I hope you will join us to celebrate our soldiers and our freedom.

On Monday, May 25th at 10am we will also complete a hero WOD “Murph” in honor of Lieutenant Michael Murphy, the soldier in Lone Survivor. Murphy, or “Murph” is a CrossFit Hero WOD named after Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, who was killed in Afghanistan June 28th, 2005. He was 29, of Patchogue, N.Y. Lt Murphy was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor after his death.

The workout was one of Mike’s favorites and he’d named it ‘Body Armor.’ It first appeared on the CrossFit site 18 August 2005.

Engaged in a frenzied firefight and outnumbered by the Taliban, Navy Lt. Michael Murphy made a desperate decision as he and three fellow SEALs fought for their lives on a rocky mountainside in Afghanistan’s Kunar Province in 2005.

In a last-ditch effort to save his team, Murphy pulled out his satellite phone, walked into a clearing to get reception and called for reinforcements as a fusillade of bullets ricocheted around him. One of the bullets hit him, but he finished the call and even signed off, “Thank you.”

Then he continued the battle. For more information about Michael Murphy and this WOD go here:

All other classes are cancelled Memorial Day in honor of the fallen.


Carry the Load
Carry the Load

For more information on Carry the Load go here:

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