0530 River Courts - the workout will be briefed on site!
Four years ago a few officers (Bookout, Mayo, VanAntwerp, Hoyman) started doing Crossfit a couple times a week for PT. After a couple weeks, we decided to make Friday the day for Crossfit. After a few sessions, one of the officers invited a couple cadets to join us. Within two months, the couple cadets grew to 50+ and by the following year, we routinely had 120+ cadets for the workout every Friday. Now, cadets are doing Crossfit as part of their daily workouts and the Black and Gold Crossfit affiliate is going strong at USMA.
It has been awesome to witness the growth in Crossfit, and fitness in general, within the Corps and on Post. Two of the original four officers have left West Point for new assignments, and the last two will leave this summer. Tomorrow will be the final Crossfit Friday of the 2010 Academic Year, and the final Crossfit Friday for the remaining two officers. As such, we asked MAJ VanAntwerp to provide us with some final motivational words to get us out of the racks tomorrow morning. As only he can do it, here is the "official" Crossfit Friday message (emphasis on the Firstie Class):
"Four years ago this summer, you entered through the incredibly porous security at Thayer Gat with mixed emotions. Many of you carried the memories of a special girl or guy, still entertaining the fantasy that your special someone would wait for you and that you'd always be together. Of course, this fantasy was shattered a few weeks or months later when they realized that you were basically a prisoner without even the opportunity for a brief conjugal visit. As you entered, you made nervous jokes around your family and friends, knowing full well that these jokes were the external manifestation of an internal fear burning so hot that pissing your pants couldn't quench it... and you tried.
For me and alot of my buddies, 1st year TACs working CBT, you were truly a wretched and pathetic sight. Having had the opportunity to lead Soldiers in combat in the greatest Army this planet has ever seen, it was hard for even the greatest sculptor to have seen the potential in your frail, prepubescent frames.
So here you are, weeks from graduation, preparing to get your "rivercourts on" and get some sun on that little bird chest. And here I am, laying waste to the worst this world has to offer, in utter disbelief that you've made it, but looking forward to burning them down beside you.
I'm not going to lie, there is significant sense of relief on our end as well. Cadets, like birds, are extremely vulnerable early in life, in the nest, when they are dependent on others for care. In fact, many bird species, like cadets, have a pretty high fledgling mortality rate. Assuming they survive these early weeks (years) and continue to grow at an acceptable rate, at some point they'll be ready to leave the nest. No guarantees here. I've seen more than a few birds victimized by gravity, only to have their frail bodies crushed on the pavement below.
So here's the part where I paint the dramatic picture: Here you stand, on the edge of the nest, prepared to take flight. As you do, you need to know two things:
1. This isn't nearly as dramatic as I've made it out to be, you are ready, and what makes you ready is not any class you've taken or briefing you've heard. It is the compilation of all your life experiences and hopefully a few things that you've learned in these past couple years. You will be successful because you can solve problems, you won't become discouraged when every indicator says 'you're totally screwed,' and at your innermost being is a solid core of values that when all else fails, will help you to make the right decision as long as you take the moment to think and have the conviction to do what you think is right.
2. That life expectancy in birds is closely correlated with size -- the larger the species, the longer it is likely to live - look it up.
Class of 2010, I wish I could be there to congratulate you in person. Congratulations on four great years and more importantly, the beginning of what could potentially be the greatest adventure of your life. Don't screw it up.
Enjoy the day and God Bless!"