What would it take to get 100 Harley motorcyclists, the Paleo-diet/Crossfit crowd and a famous child guitarist to hang out for a day?
The Boise Bring Bowe Home Hero WOD on Saturday, June 30.
For the non-Crossfitters, a WOD is the “workout of the day,” and this particular WOD is Crossfit athletes’ way of spreading the story of Idaho native and POW Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who has spent nearly three years as a prisoner of the Taliban.
Chrissy and Nick Mars, who work out at Maple Valley Crossfit in Maple Valley, Wash., created the WOD, which has boxes—or Crossfit gyms—all over the country committed to using the workout for the day. Locally, Angie Baldwin, trainer at Crossfit Meridian, is the force behind Boise’s organized effort that will happen at Expo Idaho.
“I didn’t write the workout. We got it from the Washington folks, but a Hero WOD is meant to be really hard because you are supposed to keep the fallen soldier in mind while you are doing the workout,” said Baldwin.
A Hero WOD makes many seasoned Crossfitters cringe. It is meant to be a heavy, intense workout executed as prescribed, without scaling down any of the weight. Since the Bergdahl WOD is going to be done by a large number of non-Crossfitters with a wide range of fitness levels, the organizers have also created a scaled-down version.
“While this started out for just Crossfitters, I think it’s very important that it be open to everyone,” said Baldwin. Anyone can just do body-weight movements, like push-ups, to scale down the workout.
Baldwin acknowledges that the gesture is very simple, but Jani Bergdahl, Bowe’s mom, reinforces the significance of the effort.
“Bowe was always involved in many different fitness activities when he was free to do such. As you know, other than his escape attempts, he probably doesn't get much exercise. We hope he might hear about your support and this will help him to survive in a resilient way,” she wrote to Baldwin.
So what about the child music prodigy?
Zack Quintana is a singer-guitarist who is one of the music sponsors for the event. He is organizing the live music lineup for the day and providing his own tunes. Did we mention that he is 11?
As for the motorcyclists, POW*MIA Rodeo is sponsoring the Boise Bowe WOD by providing the opening ceremony, complete with patriotic music, flags and glittering hot rods. Other sponsors will be contributing Paleo food (a nutritional diet that follows the idea of eating only things our ancient ancestors might have been able to hunt or gather, like meat, fruit, vegetables and nuts), gym equipment, coaching, goodie bags and hopefully their gym’s athletes.
“So far, 60 are signed up. We are hoping for 250,” said Baldwin.
So what’s the WOD?
Three rounds for time, max time 20 minutes:
• 400 meter run
• 52 push-ups
• 30 kettle bell swings, 53/35 pounds
• 9 box jumps, 30/24 inches
• 6 front squats, 155/115 pounds
• 1,000 meter row
(It's 52 for each week of captivity, and the 30/9/6 reps are for June 30, 2009, the day Bergdahl went missing. The 1,000 meter row is to honor Bowe, who sailed the Eastern Seaboard, through the Panama Canal, to San Francisco.)
Saturday, June 30. Opening event starts at 8 a.m. Workout starts at 9 a.m. Expo Idaho. Registration is open until Friday, June 29, at boisebowewod.com.