Just when you think you're tough enough


Scott Weaver: Honouring Heroes through CrossFit

Scott Weaver CrossFit

In the spirit of Veterans Day, Reebok is honouring American heroes by sharing empowering stories of veterans who have used meaningful fitness experiences to go in directions they once thought impossible.

 To say “thanks” to our nation’s heroes, from now until Thanksgiving Reebok is donating a portion of Reebok.com proceeds to Operation Enduring Warrior, a nonprofit dedicated to honoring, empowering and motivating America’s wounded military service members. Click here to learn more.

Scott Weaver knows all too well what it takes to endure through physical challenges. In the Navy Special Operatives training he completed to become an explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) technician. One of his primary responsibilities was to dismantle improvised explosive devices (IED) that enemy soldiers often bury on roads.

The Navy SEAL was on patrol, having just dismantled his 30th IED by hand, and was clearing the way for an Army truck to pass through. The truck’s driver accidentally veered into a field, stopping next to an IED. As Weaver guided the driver out of the field, the truck’s wheel set off a second IED that sent Weaver flying through the air, knocking him unconscious and sending a piece of the truck through Weaver’s leg, missing major arteries by millimeters.

“Something like that should kill you. I probably shouldn’t be here,” he says.

The explosion took off part of his calf. Doctors initially thought they couldn’t save his leg, but they did. Still, the severity of Weaver’s injury left him physically weak, which also took a toll on his mental state.

“The hardest pill to swallow was that I had been a high-level athlete my whole life. I had always been into working out, and that all got taken away from me in the blink of an eye. Imagine the depression that hits you.”

Scott Weaver was awarded both the Bronze Star and Purple Heart for acts of bravery during his deployments
Scott Weaver (left) was awarded both the Bronze Star and Purple Heart for acts of bravery during his deployments

Weaver began talking to other soldiers who had similar experiences after being injured and heard about the Working Wounded Games, a CrossFit-inspired competition adapted for severely wounded veterans and permanently injured civilians. The thought of being physically competitive again ignited something in Weaver: “It gave me a spark out of the depression that I was in.”

Weaver had been involved in CrossFit before his first deployment, to Iraq, working out with his wife at a local box near their home in Virginia Beach. When he had recovered enough to begin exercising again, Weaver returned to CrossFit with the goal of competing in the Working Wounded Games.

“It was absolutely paramount in my recovery. I was working harder and had more to prove, than I ever had before.”

All that hard work paid off. Weaver finished first in the 2012 Working Wounded Games, and has gone on to win two more. He’s also a member of the adaptive CrossFit powerlifting team Some Assembly Required, which brings injured veterans and civilians together to compete in CrossFit competitions around the country.

Through CrossFit, Weaver has not only rediscovered his physical strength, but he’s found an emotional support that has also been integral to his recovery.

“That family mentality that CrossFit brings got me working out. You’re welcomed with open arms. Even at the competition, as soon as you are done lifting, you turn around and start cheering for the person you’re competing against.”

The experience of performing their WODs is hard to explain, Weaver says. “It hits home when it’s someone you know.” But he says performing those Hero WODs and others, like the well-known “Murph,” “EOD 130 Memorial,” and the “31 Heroes,” which was created in memory of soldiers who died in a helicopter accident in Afghanistan in August 2011, are a way to bring public awareness to these soldiers’ stories and the sacrifices they made.

Weaver, who was awarded both the Bronze Star and Purple Heart for acts of bravery during his deployments, has returned to active duty since his injury. But his focus is also on a new goal: creating a Hero WOD for his dear friend, Navy SEAL Seth Lewis, who died in a pool accident during training exercises in Virginia Beach this past April. Lewis’ death was particularly hard on Weaver.

He’s hopeful that one day CrossFitters globally will be doing the Lewis WOD, a combination of heavy deadlifts, hand stand push-ups, pull-ups, and other exercises that remind Weaver of his friend, so that the world will know the sacrifices of yet another soldier and the endurance of a lifelong friendship.

Source: Reebok Fitness