To Be a SEAL

By Mario Lanza and John Warnek

In CrossFit, HD Videos

February 27, 2013

Video Article

Mario Lanza had it figured out: he would go to college on a baseball scholarship and doors would continue to open. There was one problem: Lanza didn’t make his studies a priority.

“I thought I had everything because I was pretty good at baseball, so I had scholarships,” the 20-year-old explains. “And then all of a sudden (it) just kind of went away.”

Today, Lanza is focused on becoming a Navy SEAL. Likewise, he’s training at CrossFit Phoenixville, roughly 30 miles northwest of Philadelphia.

“I’m trying to do something new and exciting and travel and become something,” he says.

At the box, co-owner and coach John Warnek tutors Lanza in math so he can pass the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) required to enter all branches of the U.S. military.

“It’s been really nice working with him,” says Warnek, a former physics teacher, “because for the first time in a long time, I assign homework and every bit of it gets done and then some.”

After this video was filmed, Warnek reported that his student’s work had indeed paid off: Lanza passed the ASVAB.

Video by Mike Donofrio.

7min 15sec

HD file size: 136 MB
SD wmv file size: 87 MB
SD mov file size: 43 MB

Please note: For smoother viewing of HD videos, please download the entire file to your hard drive before watching it (right-click and choose Save Link As...).

Additional reading: Full Mission Profile by Rob Ord, published March 1, 2009.

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13 Comments on “To Be a SEAL”


wrote …

Damn I love Crossfit!


wrote …

Best of luck Mario. It is great the folks at CrossFit Phoenixville are helping you out with joining The Navy. Great video and story.

-James Ryan


wrote …

Mario best of luck in the Navy. Keep kicking ass man your an inspiration to many!
- Dylan Lacey


wrote …

Great Story, Mario sounds like an awesome kid...stay on top of him John.


Update on this story - just last week Mario passed the ASVAB! Congrats Mario, so proud of you. Your determination and hard work are paying off!


wrote …

Forget about your past blunders because that doesn't define who you are. What you're doing now is the important part and is admirable. Keep it going Mario, you can do this!


wrote …

Wow! Good luck to you Mario! I know you will crush that test!!! And John and Nikki sound like "salt of the earth" type people. We need more of them in this world.


wrote …

awesome story!!!!! Great job on passing the ASVAB!!!!!! Wish you the best of luck with your military career........


wrote …

Good Luck with it man. Alot of the military training is all mental. Whatever you put you mind to, your body will follow.


wrote …

Awesome. Congratulations Mario!! All you're hard work has, and will continue to pay off. John and Nikki, How Amazing are you. Thanks for caring, and showing that Crossfit is about bettering life.


wrote …

Congratulations Mario!!! Mario is a pleasure to wod with and a phenominal athlete. Great job Nikki and John!!! You guys are awesome and so is the community that you two have built!


wrote …

Great story, I would love to see a follow up. Talk about great coaching try getting your local global gym owner to help you with your math, please.


Frank DiMeo wrote …

Great to see mentoring, not just coaching .
Tremendous article!

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