There’s no doubt about it: CrossFit is hard. But for Lani Hay, all it takes is one look at the veteran next to her to gain a little perspective.
“I started doing CrossFit about two years ago,” says Hay, CEO of Lanmark Technology. “You go there after work and you’re tired and don’t want to do anything. And you look over to see someone’s who’s missing their limbs and kicking your ass in a workout. You start to think a little more deeply.”
Last Saturday, CrossFit Rubicon in Tysons Corner hosted the second annual Working Wounded Games, a Lanmark-sponsored event designed for amputees and severely injured wounded veterans. This year, wounded veteran athletes from the Washington metro region, San Diego, and other parts of the country gathered for a day of sandbag crawls, handstand pushups, rope climbs, and more high-intensity CrossFit workouts.
Hay says the event gives the wounded veterans the opportunity to return to some sense of normalcy. “It allows them to gain back that competitive spirit they had when they were full-bodied people prior to their service injuries,” she says.
This year’s winner of the games was Matt Ramsey, who began training at CrossFit Rubicon after undergoing rehabilitation at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Ramsey lost his leg in Afghanistan in 2010 when he stepped on an improvised explosive device.
“It’s so emotional,” Hay adds. “It really does something to the spectators who are full-bodied people. When you see someone pour that much determination into overcoming their physical disabilities, it’s a very moving experience.”