2nd Annual “Xander” Tribute


I can’t believe more than a year has passed since I lost Xander. Today was quite an emotional day, but fortunately I was surrounded by many, many friends who helped both keep me distracted and help ease my pain.

Today was the 2nd Annual Xander Tribute WOD held at CrossFit Durham and with all proceeds being donated to the Animal Protection Society of Durham. A HUGE Thank You to Dave Rubin, owner and proprietor of CFD, for once again hosting the event. A HUGE Thank You to CFDers, Zealots, and friends, including Kelly, Patti, Doug, Karen, Christine, Jamie, and Jay and Josh. I estimate that 70+ athletes attended one of the WODs, and many went out of their way to do so. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you.

Like last year, I did 6 rounds of the WOD solo, modifying slightly. Also like last year, I’m glad no one was around, as I was an absolute wreck, particularly while running. For those of you who know me, the reasons are obvious.

Complete 6 rounds of 13 reps of the following (except running) as fast as possible:
boX jumps, 24”
wAll balls, 10” wall ball & 10’ target
kettle bell swiNgs 52#
Dead-lifts, 170#
Run 400m

I completed the WOD in 44:47 last year. Like last year, I ran 1200m at the end to make sure that I ran 2 miles total. I set my goal to complete burpees unbroken and to complete the WOD in less than 44 minutes. I knew it was going to be tough, and it was.

I used the first round as a warm up, and this, in retrospect, was a mistake, as I was unable to complete wall ball shots unbroken. I did, however, complete remaining rounds unbroken.

I completed all rounds of box jumps, kettle bell swings, and burpees unbroken, but struggled with dead-lifts. I didn’t take any more than 3 rounds per round to complete, and completed last round in reps of 7 & 6.

I was very tempted to not do the last round of burpees unbroken. I had to count down from 3 to prevent myself from stopping. I was that spent by that time.

I completed rounds between 5:45 and 6:30, and completed the entire WOD in 40:12. I thought of Xander the entire time, and doing so often brought me to tears.

I then led sessions at 10, 11, and noon. I am thankful that all athletes listened to and followed directions, that most scaled appropriately, and that all finished within the 45-minute time cap. I led each group through a run-through of the WOD including proper form, gave them 5 minutes to strategize, and started the WOD at 10 minutes past the hour.

In teams of 2 alternating activities EXCEPT running

8 rounds of 13 reps of the following as fast as possible:
boX jumps (24/20)
wAll ball shots (20/14; 10′/9′ target)
sNatch (53/35 KB; r-hand rounds 1, 2, 5, & 6; l-hand rounds 3, 4, 7, & 8)
Dead-lift (170/130)
Run 200m (both teammates run and must start and finish ALL rounds of 200m together)

Why 13 reps? Because he lived 13 years.
Why 170 and 130 lb for dead-lift? Because I weighed 170 lb before we started running together and 130 (actually 129) lb when I joined CFD.
Why 200m? Because teams would run a combined distance of 2 miles, the minimum distance Xander and I walked/ran every day.

Kirk and Josh from CrossFit Brier Creek posted the fastest time of 27:24. Amazing. Our good friend, Kelly, traveled from Wilmington to once again participate this year, and she and Jeff completed the WOD Rx. Impressive!

Other observations:

  • Amy and Sandra were my favorite team for no other reason than they are 2 of my favorite people.
  • Claire and Alex were the most consistent from start to finish.
  • Lauren and Tim were the nerdiest cutest couple.
  • Paul A. and Jeff were the nicest, as they alternated rounds with Erica during the noon session. Very gentlemanly!
  • Paul K. and Nick were kind enough to attend a weekend session, be in a team of 3, and let Paul’s son, Whirlwind, run with them!
  • Mandi partnered with Paul A. For this she is a saint.
  • Nathanael completed dead-lifts with the most ease.
  • Christine and Chad as well as Kristin and Krista were the most supportive of each other during the WOD. Imagine that!
  • Nicole and Johanna looked the best from start to finish. Not in terms of form, they just looked good.
  • Very few of last year’s CFD participants did the WOD this year. Why not?
  • Leah, Heather, Kabool, Britt, and Michael Kelley, while not participating as they are all recovering from yesterday’s competition, were nonetheless there to offer support.
  • Leah and Jeff took some great pictures!
  • Dave has lost some weight.
  • Michael Kelley is my best friend.

I’m hoping that with online donations we’ll match last year’s donation of 2K!

One thought on “2nd Annual “Xander” Tribute

  1. I was very happy to be able to remember your sweet Xander! I tell ya I would only do that extremely difficult WOD for a few people. You and Jeff just happen to be on that list of people 🙂

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