“It was horribly hard (when) I realized I’ve been a widow longer than I’ve been a wife,” says Ann Schmalstieg, an artist and a coach at Oceanside CrossFit.
Her husband, Marine Staff Sgt. Justin Schmalstieg, was killed Dec. 15, 2010, while serving in Afghanistan. The 28-year-old bomb-disposal technician had previously served three tours of duty in Iraq. On Dec. 15 in Helmand province, he was clearing a path through a minefield so Marines could get back to base and avoid an anticipated ambush. After his death, he was promoted to gunnery sergeant.
Justin and Ann actually did CrossFit Hero WODs together, and Ann says it was only fitting that her husband is now honored with a Hero WOD of his own. Beginning and ending with an 800-meter run, Schmalls also contains two rounds of 50 burpees, 40 pull-ups, 30 one-legged squats, 20 kettlebell swings and 10 handstand push-ups.
Throughout the course of the video, Ann and members of CrossFit Oceanside talk about what it means to suffer through a Hero WOD to honor the fallen.
“I can honor my husband. I honor my husband all the time. But knowing that other people honor him too, that’s beautiful,” Ann says.
Schmalls is the CrossFit.com workout of the day for April 23, 2013.
Video by Gary Roberts.
HD file size: 1 GB
SD wmv file size: 358 MB
SD mov file size: 419 MB
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Additional reading: What Would Andy Do? by Emily Beers, published Aug. 17, 2011.