On Saturday, April 8, WOD to End Veteran Suicide, one of Actives Heroes’ National Events, held their annual spring occurrence. This year there were a total of 13 gyms and CrossFit boxes.
The WOD is a coined CrossFit fitness term and stands for workout of the day. For this event, WOD is a workout of the gyms choosing, but must consist of 22 exercises and 22 reps of each. This is to help the participant truly understand and comprehend the original number of veterans who take their own life daily; 22. During the event, at minute 22, a 2-minute moment of silence is taken for those who have lost their lives to veteran suicide.
While the number of daily veteran suicides has dropped to 20 in the past year, Active Heroes still carries out the 22 in remembrance of how high the number has been.
“It’s so rewarding to watch what the WOD does in these CrossFit boxes and gyms,” said Jeremy Sneed, WOD Event Manager, “With such a mix of civilians and veterans in these gyms, there’s so many people that don’t realize how high the number of daily veteran suicides are. Hopefully by educating people we can work together to fight this epidemic.”
Highland Rim CrossFit, one of this year’s CrossFit box partakers had an increase of 80 more participants from when they hosted last year. They also had over 30 sponsors compared to 0 in 2016.
This year, gyms ranged from Alaska all the way to Connecticut and over 500 people joined the mission to end veteran suicide.
“Highland Rim CrossFit was honored to host its second WOD to End Veteran Suicide event on April 8. With only 18 participants in Year 1, we knew we could do better,” said John Upchurch, owner of Highland Rim CrossFit, “This year was approximately 100 people in attendance and 64 participants in three different versions of the same WOD. We raised $2500 for Active Heroes.”
WOD to end Veteran Suicide brings together military families into brick and mortar locations that have a suicide prevention certified Team Leader. This Team Leader could be the gym owner, a trainer or a coach, who was trained by Active Heroes. In 2016, Team leaders reported that more than 215 lives were saved from all Active Challenge Programs.
WOD to end Veteran Suicide helps veterans establish camaraderie to cope with Post Traumatic Stress which can range from anger, depression, loneliness, substance abuse and suicidal tendencies. This event also unites veterans, families and supporters to care for each other in times of need.
“Highland Rim CrossFit is proud to partner with Active Heroes for our veterans and their families and looks forward to many years of working together,” said Upchurch.
The next 2017 premier WOD to end Veteran Suicide date is on September 9. Sign up before June 1 and registration is only $40 per gym! There is also an option to choose your own date as well. Please find more information here at activeheroes.org/wod/. If you’re interested in becoming a suicide prevention certified Team Leader find that information at www.activeheroes.org/activity-team-leaders/.