I occasionally like to write about the real life situations that drive us to be inspired… motivated to take on new challenges. You might recall my recap of Aron Ralston’s book, Between a Rock and a Hard Place. The Daily Sprout, entitled Up Against A Wall (http://www.healthsprout.com/up-against-a-wall/) goes through all of the amazing details of his 127 hour ordeal ending with him amputating his arm.
This vacation, I read Lone Survivor, the story by Marcus Luttrell of 4 Navy SEALS entering an area of the Hindu Kush in Afghanistan in search of a Taliban/Al Qaeda leader Ben Sharmak. This was one of those rare occasions, where instead of success, the decision for humanity made by “Murph” and his team, resulted in these four highly trained SEALS being put under attack by close to 200 Taliban fighters. The four fought hard, cutting the enemy forces in half before three of the four men fell in the battle (yes, they are that good at what they do).
Marcus is the one, lone, survivor. Who under an incredible turn of fate, which he rightly credits to God in my mind, ends up surviving for days under the protection of a local village. The story is exactly as Marcus lived it in 2005, with all of the details of the firefight that led to the deaths of his friends, as well as all of his near death experiences.
The reasons I chose to write about this book are two-fold. First, you were made to be in the middle of an adventure. Not perhaps to run off to hunt terrorists, but to do something outside of the box (and yes, it might be to run off and fight terrorists). I am gearing up for another 30 hour adventure race, this stuff is necessary because I know that fire in me would want to pick up a sword if not a compass (if you want to pick up a sword, try North ATL Fencing Center – http://northatlantafc.wordpress.com/ ). Fighting an uphill battle with my calf along the way, but it is time for me to get back out into the woods and go nuts for 30 hours straight. Wild at Heart (John Eldridge) is such a good starting place for any man who hasn’t found their wild self yet, a Biblical view on why God made you to want the adventure.
The second reason, is that there is a need to understand the plight of the soldier. Especially the specialist. The guy who was been trained to his physical limits, to the level that the smallest fraction, of the smallest fraction are successful in completing their training. As I typically write only about health, I feel the need to write about our duty to at least be aware of these soldiers, and what they go through in the name of freedom. I know I cannot necessarily convince you that you should support the war on terror, but I am sure you would agree we should support the soldier.
Over the last eight years, I have learned more about individual special forces agents who have given their lives, than I ever would have thought. The reason I have become so deeply entrenched in the world of heroes, is due to CrossFit naming workouts after fallen heroes. I honestly believe the single most important movement to bringing knowledge and concern for the American Hero, has been CrossFit naming WOD’s after fallen heroes.
Murph is a name that I have come to associate with heroism and pain. Heroism because I read his story years ago. Pain, because the point of the workout is to put you through pain. So, as I read through the story of how Lt. Michael Murphy died, as told by his best friend, who stood beside him through his last breaths, I felt attached to him, perhaps because I have done a workout in his honor more than a half dozen times in the last few years. Run 1 mile, do 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups and 300 squats, then run 1 mile. Do it as fast as you can… and oh yeah, wear a 20# weight vest while doing it. Yeah, I did it two times three days apart a few years back. Wanted to test it doing the 100, 200, 300 in order, vs. doing 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups and 15 squats 20 times to get the totals. I was nine minutes faster three days later when I partitioned it. Both times I thought of Murph during the work.
But more often, I found myself in conversation with God… “Thank you for the sacrifice of Michael and so many others… for those who have worked to track down evil, and to end it… for those who are preparing themselves already for the pursuit of the next king of evil who steps into the spotlight… bless them and their families, and receive them into your kingdom”.
I think of so many tragedies when I think of the hero workouts, and there is sometimes a moment when the question comes, “is it worth it?” Which is the question that becomes questionable. I think the better question is, “will another 2,977 people die in a moment of terror if these men do not go out… willing to give their lives”. I think 9/11 changed a lot. There were people who were giving their lives to the battle to pursue freedom across the world before, and after. But we have all been re-directed to the reality of what this battle could mean. All since 9/11.
With that, I hope it leaves you inspired to at least do what you can for the benefit of our country. To believe in the importance of the pursuit of freedom and safety for all. I don’t believe it will ever happen. I am Biblical in my approach, so I truly believe it has already been written. But in that writing, I believe we are all called to love without end. And to do that, we must identify those who need to be loved because of their oppressors.
Be Blessed and Be Well! – Dr. E