EOD Warrior Foundation fundraiser comes to La Plata gym
Coal Road CrossFit Gym in La Plata will host an EOD 133 Memorial Workout event this Saturday as part of a national program to support fallen soldiers and their families.
The fundraiser was created four years ago by a group of explosive ordinance disposal (EOD) soldiers as a way to highlight the perilous work done by this portion of the military. Individuals, teams and health clubs register online and complete a workout dedicated to giving back to EOD members and their families, and the money raised goes directly to the EOD Warrior Foundation. The “133” in the memorial title represents the number of EOD soldiers who lost their lives while carrying out EOD missions since the tragedies of Sept. 11, 2001.
“This is a unique way to give back to a those who have lost a loved one and sacrificed so much,” said Nicole Motsek, executive director of the EOD Warrior Foundation. “It is also a way to ensure that our fallen EOD warriors are never forgotten. This is a cause worth getting behind.”
The registration fee is $35, but anyone who signs up early will receive a T-shirt. Prizes are awarded for both individuals and teams, including workout equipment and apparel.
The workout can be done any-
where, but gyms across the country are holding large gatherings for those who are interested. The set of exercises is done as a two-person team, because EOD technicians are trained to work in pairs. Participants strap on a 20-pound vest and go through a series of pushups, kettlebell exercises, jumps and runs. The workout can be scaled based on individual ability, and the deadline to complete it is Nov. 30.
Coal Road CrossFit Gym is owned by a military family and used by a large population of service members. Owner Siggy Herrmann, an active member of the U.S. Air Force, heard about the program from a gym goer.
“It brings awareness to it, but it also raises money for the EOD family members of those who have been killed in the line of action, or have been wounded,” Herrmann said.
He guessed between 30 and 50 people will participate on Saturday, and heats will go on throughout the day, beginning at 7:30 a.m.
“EOD members in general push their fitness levels a little bit more. They wanted to do something that really made people suffer a little bit, when they’re thinking about the people they’re honoring with this workout.
The La Plata iteration of the fundraiser will feature a notable former service member in attendance, as EOD veteran and Paralympian Brad Snyder is scheduled to participate. Snyder lost the use of his eyes when an improvised explosive device (IED) exploded in his face, but went on to win two gold medals in 2012 London games. He’s coming down from Baltimore to honor a few friends and spread awareness for the support of the EOD community.
“It’s important to remember the people who have given up their lives so we can keep living on,” Snyder said A CrossFit workout is certainly a unique form of fundraising, but both Snyder and Herrmann explained the activity is perfect to honor this section of the military.
“EOD members in general push their fitness levels a little bit more,” Herrmann said. “They wanted to do something that really made people suffer a little bit, when they’re thinking about the people they’re honoring with this workout.
“The particular workout on Saturday is really difficult,” Snyder said. “Walking a 5K is a great way to raise money … but if you want to remember some of the most intense and awesome dudes the country has ever had the benefit of serving from, we want to do something really difficult.”