EOD War­rior Foun­da­tion fundraiser comes to La Plata gym

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By CHAR­LIE WRIGHT cwright@somd­news.com

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.”

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