Why Do I CrossFit?

By Ben Lunak

In LEO/Mil, Medical/Injuries, Videos

April 12, 2010

Video Article

In 2005, Ben Lunak was with 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, India Company in Iraq. On Feb. 25, he was sent to secure a damaged Humvee, and after leaving the wreck, his own transport hit an IED. Ben was catapulted off the road and sustained severe injuries.

He was transported to Camp Ramadi, where he was stabilized with a direct pour of blood from a comrade. After waking up, Ben was shocked to find that his severely damaged leg had not been amputated, and he made the decision to have it removed to speed his recovery.

Ben has been CrossFitting at CrossFit Southwest for about six months and finds that memories of fallen friends sustain him during the workouts. He also believes CrossFit helps him face any challenges he encounters.

“I go to CrossFit. That’s mainly my therapy ... . The workouts sometimes are just miserable. You just keep going. Every time you finish, they make you feel like a million bucks. Every time you’re like, ‘Shit, if I can do that, I can do just about anything.’”

On March 27 and 28, Ben competed in the San Diego/Arizona Sectional. In an inspirational, determined performance, he completed every workout and placed 80th out of 103 competitors.

Additional reading: Improvising, Adapting and Overcoming by Maj. Andrew Thompson, published May 19, 2009.

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35 Comments on “Why Do I CrossFit?”


wrote …

wow!! you are amazing!!


wrote …

wow, you are a real man in every way. much respect.


wrote …

Awesome inspiring story. Thank you for your service, and your inspiration.


wrote …

Very inspiring brother. I have a good friend who is an amputee from OEF VIII and he has similar drive and motivation to overcome.

God Bless you man.


wrote …

From a fellow serviceman: Your dedication to realizing your power and inner strength is something that I admire greatly. During my service in Arlington National Cemetery I met a lot of disable veterans that are never able to move on, or find something to structure their lives around and end up letting their injuries run the rest of their lives. Those men, like you, are our countries greatest patriots, but I hate seeing these great men unable to become a productive part of society. You have made that transition strongly, and are giving something to the Crossfit community, and our countries society, that is rare, and much needed. The brotherhood expressed from your story is something that most people are never able to understand or fathom, or for the very least, are never able to come in contact with. Some may have passed it by but when you said that a member of your team laid next to you and offered as much blood as they needed, that is what the military is all about. He would've offered much more than that I am sure, as would most members of the military for a fellow brother, and that is why we fight, and do what we do. Your story is one I will show to my family and friends when they complain about crossfit being hard, and will be proud to do so. You will rarely get a Semper Fi out of an Army guy, but I give you one now. Semper Fidelis!

Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier #563.


wrote …

All heart! and balls, and guts, and muscle. Thanks for the story.


wrote …

Ben. Thank you. Semper Fidelis.


Lauren Del Rosario wrote …

Thank you for your service to our country. You're story brought me to tears, and your passion for Crossfit is something I can relate to. Thank you!


wrote …

Semper Fi, Ben.


wrote …

From a Soldier to a Marine, thanks bro. Made me choke up a bit. I'm fortunate enough to have come back with all my limbs, but I know all too well what it's like to get blown up, get wounded and lose your brothers. You're doing a great thing by using your experience as a positive force in your life, and what's more important is you've touched the lives of others too.


wrote …

Thank you for your service and God bless you brother... Words cannot express how much admiration I have for you and your boys.


wrote …

One of the most inspirational videos I have seen on this site. Glad that Ben's story was featured because its exactly what crossfit is made of. Heart, Honor, Determination, Integrity, Service, and Perserverance.


wrote …

One word- Inspirational. You're a warrior, Ben. Thanks for your service and your willingness to share your story. This is what I love about Crossfit, you meet people from completely different backgrounds and they share in the love and fellowship of the WOD.

Vires et honestas.


wrote …

As a fellow brother in arms I can only say thank you. Thank you for sharing your story, for the sacrifice you made, and for your dedication and testimony. You are a rare breed for sure. Stay strong, keep kicking ass, and good luck with your affiliate. I know it would be an honor to serve along side you or train with you.



Bob Guere wrote …

Your video should be required viewing at a Level 1.

Semper Fi Brother. You and your boys are American Heros, and an inspiration.


wrote …

That's a tough Mother Fucker.


wrote …

All that you've been through would have killed the average person. Semper Fi, brother.


wrote …

Eyes are leaking... thank you on so many levels... I will reference this any time I, or anyone else, want to give up.


wrote …

Awesome heart! Great to hear your story.


wrote …

Wow...being a Squid I feel bad for every Jarhead joke I ever told or laughed at... Wow, really impressive, gut-wrenching and inspirational. His positive attitude is beyond belief! If you read this, from one of the guys who drove you guys around the world, my "cover" is off to you!


God Bless you bro. You better believe they're looking down and pushing, and yelling and cheering you on. You will NEVER quit, and you'll lead others to do the same.


wrote …

Awesome story, and awesome editing, again! Crossfit Media is really nailing it lately with the edits!


wrote …

Speechless. I watched this last night but was just so blow away by this guys character that I couldn't put my fingers to the keyboard. Simply amazing.


wrote …

WOW!! I'm speechless. I honestly don't know what to say. Thanks everyone it makes me happy that i can inspire the crossfit community! I can not wait to start training people (one of my goals is to open a box). I watched Kyle Maynard at the Georgia sectionals a couple nights before the s.d regionals. He really inspired me got me so motivated i had to do burpees in my living room to calm down a bit. He is a true inspiration and hero. Shows why we do crossfit not just to workout but prove to ourself s an everyone else that we can can still kick some ass.
Thanks again everyone !!
cant wait for regionals!! god luck everyone competing! I will be there to cheer everyone on!
Semper Fidelis

Ben Lunak


wrote …

Ben,you definitely have to open a box!


wrote …


You may be getting a lot from crossfit but you are giving it more. Inspirational stuff mate.



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wrote …

Great Video.

Crossfit HQ - when are you guys going to start a Crossfit Games for amputees and other disabled individuals aka a Paralympics? I bet this guy would kick some ass. Box Jumps!?!, Double Unders?!? with only one leg - impressive.


wrote …

That was absolutely awesome! When I am struggling through a WOD, or complaining my knee hurts, I am sure you will cross my mind. Semper Fi brother, from a former Marine 3d Bn 1st Mar 1982 to 89. Thanks for all you have done and for more inspiration than you may realize.

God Bless you



wrote …

CrossFit Media: Amazing video. Ben, you are such a positive, motivating force! God bless you brother! Semper Fi!



Frank DiMeo wrote …

Ben, thanks for all you've done!


wrote …


Best CF Journal video I've seen! Thanks for sharing your story...I'll keep your spirit & courage top of mind should I find myself slacking!

Morgan Wells


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Be - awesome stuff, bro. From another soldier to a marine, I have to echo the Semper Fi. I've got some good buddies who are marines and i have the utmost respect for them and the corp as a whole. You serve to strengthen that respect. The story about your buddy laying on the table next to you to give blood and your video as a whole is the kind of shit that makes me want a go at a WOD even though I just finished one. I'm showing this tomorrow in my affiliate before we start the WODs. I hope one day to meet you and shake your hand after finishing a WOD next to you.


wrote …


Thank you for your service, passion, and drive; I am in awe.

Semper Fi


wrote …

Thank you for your amazing inspiration and dedication. I appreciate your service and attitude! Excellent work! Stay strong!

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