Namesake WODs: Honored Through Sweat

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by J. HUMENAY

Namesake WODs: Honored Through Sweat
Last week, my trainer assigned me a WOD called “Dork”. At first I thought he was making fun of my goofy Disney-fandom, or my love of all things sci-fi, but he quickly explained that it had nothing to do with my hobbies outside the gym floor. It was actually named after a hero.

“In a way, he keeps saving lives.”

Even though he no longer trains, he’s still making people stronger.
“Dork” is named after Mike “Dork” Kennedy, a 33-year-old Iraq War veteran, Boston firefighter, and CrossFit trainer. He was one of the first responders to the Boston Marathon bombing. After serving for 6 years as a firefighter, Mike had given the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty just two weeks prior to my introduction to the WOD that bears his name.

As I squatted, burpeed, deadlifted, swung, panted, sweated, and cursed my way through it, I couldn’t help but think of the man it was named after when I did come up for air. What did he go through? How have those who loved him found peace? How many lives he must have impacted for the better…

When I was done, though I’d never met — nor would ever meet — the man, I felt better for being introduced in this unique way.

The fitness world is a unique community — and the CrossFit community is perhaps even more distinctive. In car clubs, vehicles might be dedicated to loved ones who have passed. You’ve probably seen the stickers that say “In Memory of…”. In the fitness world, we honor people by naming and creating torturous feats of strength and endurance after them. It’s a different kind of immortality. Every time I do Dork, or assign it to a friend or client, I know I’ll feel a little bit of gratitude for his contribution to the world outside of fitness and for his memorial workout as well. Even though he no longer trains, he’s still making people stronger. In a way, he keeps saving lives.

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