In LEO/Mil

February 25, 2011

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Justin Connelli finds stability in combat through CrossFit Fort Bragg’s 100 Day Burpee Challenge.

Being deployed is like being in a time machine: days fly by or drag on influenced by the ever-changing tide of combat. Your time will undoubtedly be marked by key events that shape your experience, and in war that sometimes means the tragic loss of life. Daily life can be so dynamic you find yourself clutching for any type of routine to return some semblance of normalcy.

For a CrossFitter, this will no doubt involve working out, and for me, it involved the CrossFit Fort Bragg 100 Day Burpee Challenge.

I found out my home gym was putting on the burpee challenge and decided I would follow along while I was in Afghanistan. The premise is simple: do one burpee on Day 1, two on Day 2, and so on, until you ultimately complete 100 burpees on Day 100. The rules stated you could break up your daily burpees any way you wanted, and if you missed a day, the burpees would get carried over to the next day. Additionally, days 25, 50, 75 and 100 would be for time.

I figured it would be a great way to stay in touch with friends at home, as well as give me a healthy distraction with which to pass the time. What I could never have anticipated was the life-changing events that would occur during these 100 days.



16 Comments on “100 Days of Burpees—and Combat”


wrote …

This story convinced me to subscribe to the journal, as well as jump headlong into CrossFit finally.

"Aim High (dot dot dot) Fly, Fight, Win!"


wrote …

Thank you for your service!!
I teach PE for grades K-8 and I had planned to do a Burpee Challenge with my students, but make it a month long challenge. We will be starting on March 1st.
I like the idea of having certain days timed! I'm thinking days 11, 21, and 31.
Again, thank you for what you do for our country!!


wrote …

Thank you so much for your service, and that is an awesome time on your century!


wrote …

Keep up the good fight Justin. Awesome burpees!


Joseph Powell wrote …

Justin, glad to meet you at the games. Stay safe Brother.

PL (cctjoey)


Joseph Powell wrote …

Justin, glad to meet you at the games. Stay safe Brother.

PL (cctjoey)


wrote …

This inspired me to start the challenge Monday. Thanks Justin!


wrote …

I've done the 100 day burpee challenge before and it improved my burpees a lot but was pretty difficult!


wrote …

Thanks for your inspiration and your service.
Our gym will be starting the burpee challenge on
March 1st. Stay safe young man.


Gabriel Haas wrote …

Thanks Justin. You're an inspiration!


wrote …

Thank you brother, I do a burpee challenge every year as my New Years resolution. I highly recommend the Burpee challenge to improve anyone's work capcity.


wrote …

Justin, thank you brother for your service and inspiration. Let me tell you how you inspired/ convicted me this week: I began a personal burpee challenge on January 1st (I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Mason in the above comment.) Just me, not the whole box, but I knew what great benefits I would reap. Fast forward to last weekend~ my wife and I were in an extreme sledding accident in Colorado on vacation (please hold down the laughter!) and I injured my shoulder. Burpees HURT. So, I decided- my challenge, my rules- I'd just lay off until it got better and then start on the day I'd stopped on (Day 51.) So, all week, that's working okay, shoulder's feeling better. Friday night, I'm back on-duty at the fire station and I read your article. well, shoot, if he can do it...So I figure I owe 320 (this is at about 1830.) Better get at it! My workout for the evening became this: 10 burpees, one station duty- as many rounds as needed to get 'em done. Of course, we also had several calls in there, one of which was a nasty grass fire which required a shower prior to restarting my burpees! Finished up at 2240 that evening. Thanks again Justin for the inspiration. Stay safe and you and your family will be in my prayers here in Texas.


wrote …

Thank you for your service Justin. I too initiated a 100 day Burpee Challenge to pass the time I am spending out here in the sand. Today is day 28 so it's officially just beginning. Thank you for your inspiration because I too have come to realize that Burpees can suck when you miss a couple of days and have to make them up. I will continue my journey as the mission allows and look forward to going home soon. There couldn't have been a better time for me to see this article.


wrote …

Justin, it's funny how I found this today. I'm deployed to the nasty territories of AFG right now and I too have engaged in the 100 day burpee challenge. I'm on day 36 today (Monday) and cruising through. While I don't have the trials to deal with like you, I understand the mental challenge of forging ahead and not quitting the challenge. To make life just a tad bit more miserable, every Monday is with body armor and day 50 will be with body armor and that ever loved protective mask.

Thanks for the read!


Frank DiMeo wrote …

Keep up the good work!


wrote …

Hooya, RIP Mark A Forester, Truely one of a kind. Thank you Justin for everything you do.
-SrA Gonce

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