Delta Force soldiers before the raid of an ISIS camp that cost the life of MSG Josh Wheeler

“When I go home people’ll ask me, “Hey Hoot, why do you do it man? What, you some kinda war junkie?” You know what I’ll say? I won’t say a goddamn word. Why? They won’t understand. They won’t understand why we do it. They won’t understand that it’s about the men next to you, and that’s it. That’s all it is” – Hoot

One of the things I’m most grateful for is the perspective the military gave me. I was a spoiled kid who was given everything, never faced any adversity, gave up on sports when they got hard, gave up on school when it lost value and had no focus. I hated the person I was before the military when I look back. Luckily, we control our destiny and one choice can make the difference for anyone. For me, that day was walking into the recruiters office after a long night of drinking, and doing things I wasn’t overly proud of. I was pissed off, mad at how I made my family look, mad at who I’d become and to let those around me down. I knew I needed a drastic change, and choosing the Special Forces, Airborne Infantry route was the most drastic change the recruiters had to offer at the time. I took it.

Lots of weird events in my early schools led me to D.C., where the funerals at Arlington for young soldiers had a major impact on me. I needed to be a part of an ‘elite’ unit, one where the other soldiers went the extra mile for each other. One where there was a lot of adversity, no time to even think about drinking, or cell phones, or girls. That was what prompted my move to the Tomb, which was the best decision I ever made. Looking back you never think about the 100+hr work weeks, the nights low crawling in full dress uniform for miles through the cemetery, dodging falling in already dug graves and fighting sleep deprivation for 48+hrs. Instead you get to focus on how beautifully peaceful the first walk on a perfect spring day is. Crowds of 5,000 people all completely silent, paying their respects to American soldiers from the greatest generations. Most of all I think about laughing with my friends who stuck it out with me along the way, totally delusional from shining shoes for 8hours straight after being up for 3 days. It was an experience that forged a new mentality and understanding for me, one that I know has helped me mentally.

How does this pertain to CrossFit? All of my best years, and most fit points came in conjunction with my best training partners. Jay, Hunky, Chris/John. There will always be long days where you’re dragging ass, but it’s your friends next to you pulling you up that will make the difference. Staying for Gymnastics Club because Jen is, going to the track on Saturday night because John is, texting each other ROMWOD pictures for proof and to keep each other accountable. Having lost Jay/Hunky, and taking things down a notch this past year with Chris/John…You lose something BIG when you don’t have this. For civilians a good training partner might be the closest thing they ever get to a “Battle Buddy” — and doing things “For the guy next to you” will elevate both of your games.

There is a reason that half of the most elite athletes spent weeks training in Cookesville this year, the other half go to Boston (Reebok/CFNE), and Invictus. Why? You can’t do this solo, if you think you can you’re just being arrogant. Some of you need coaches, some of you need training partners (we all do, but some already have them), ALL of you need more accountability. Instead of taking steps in your life to seclude, think about who you can INclude. Who are you going to take with you along your journey? Who makes you want to be a better person? Who has texted you something every day to help improve your mental and physical being? Part of this upcoming season will be having these pairings, they will be outwardly known relationships, they will be verbalized, and just like in the military – When one of you fucks up, you both fuck up. (Funny tangent, I was too skinny going into the military, so they put me with the fattest kid in our basic training class, he got :30s to eat each meal, and whatever he didn’t finish I wasn’t allowed to leave until I finished all of mine and all of his. He lost 62lbs in 6 months, I gained 50.)

Our culture is the process. The next step is to have people you’re accountable to for your process.

Days of completed process: 3/3 (within 5g of each macro yesterday), double ROMWOD, deficit strict hspu, OHS warm-up.