CROSSFIT SUFFOLK  **  Forging Elite Fitness

"Mr. Joshua"

Five rounds for time of:
Run 400 meters
30 Glute-ham sit-ups
250 pound Deadlift, 15 reps

Post time to comments.

Today's WOD is named after Joshua Thomas Harris,  a Navy SEAL who drowned during combat operations in Afghanistan.  The following article is courtesy of Wavy TV 10:


Joshua Thomas Harris

A while back, during the controversy of who the top athletes are, we commented on the CrossFit main site that some of the top athletes in the world are "operators" from the special operations units of the United States military.

The death of SO1 Harris is a reminder of this fact.  We only hear about individual SEALS and some of the other operators in units of special operations when they die.  Operational security for these units doesn't allow for much reporting, rightfully so, so we may not hear about some of them even when they die in combat.

We never hear about the heroic, amazing, things of legend that the men like Harris accomplish when they live.  We rarely get to learn of the details of some of the "world class athletic events" these men perform under the stress of combat.  We shouldn't because secrecy helps to keep them alive and effective.  If we did learn of the details of some of their missions we'd hear things that are completely inspirational and motivating.  A Navy SEAL in Iraq was "clearing" rooms in the house of a group of "bad actors".  One SEAL began to enter a room and was immediately killed by a bad guy with an AK-47.  Without skipping a beat, just after seeing his partner cut down, the second SEAL entered the doorway with his pistol and shot FOUR bad guys, the ones responsible for killing the first SEAL.  The second SEAL killed all four men in the room who were armed with AK-47s.  The SEAL was taking fire and being shot during the entire event.  In fact he was shot in the vicinity of 13 times yet he never hesitated.  The SEAL never lost focus or allowed the horror of his teammate's death to interfere with accomplishing his goal. 

Was the SEAL in fear for his life?

We don't have details beyond what is reported above, but I'm quite sure he was scared.  That fear was apparently something he used to his advantage and didn't allow it to cause him to crumble under the pressure.  You could not blame anybody for not entering a room after seeing their partner go down in a hail of gunfire.  That wasn't an option for this SEAL.

Consider the nature of this event from a physiological standpoint.  Heart rate was already up from exertion, most likely, just by entering the house dynamically.  Heart rate was also elevated hormonally (FEAR) because the SEAL was knowingly placing himself in harm's way….in the nest of the bad guys.  Tunnel vision, auditory exclusion and tachypyschia (distortion of time) are affected to some degree.  After his partner went down the negative affects of combat stress had to increase.  This SEAL was able to align his pistol with one bad a guy at a time, moving from one bad guy to the other, at close range while taking rounds.  The SEAL lived.  The four bad guys are dead.

There is not an example in Olympic or professional sports that will ever impress me more than the event described above.  Imagine the conditioning, the general physical and MENTAL preparedness that this SEAL possessed.  

What enables an ordinary man to be able to accomplish such a feat?

Well "ordinary" is debatable.  Men such as Harris and the SEAL described above possess qualities that make them special operators.  Then there is the training.  The training these men go through is so difficult and extensive that most men cannot make it through.  The conditioning is so intense that one special operator commented to me, "I never had a day in combat that was more difficult then some of the training I went through."  This man had experienced very intense combat at the time he made this statement.

When getting through a workout of the day these are the "athletes" I keep in mind.  The operator cannot quit, cannot take a break and coming in second means death.

We are fortunate to have men like Harris and all the other operators doing what they do in our country's behalf.  Always remember that though you don't hear about them on a daily basis the operators are out there doing the extraordinary, willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to preserve our way of life.

God bless the hunters and the shooters.

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