Most of Furman’s community events occur in the daytime as the sun shines – but not this one. On February 2, ROTC hosted a 6 a.m. workout that was open to the entire student body. ROTC tends to operate on a different schedule than most students, meeting either early in the morning or off in the woods. So, this was a great opportunity for Furman students to get a glimpse and taste of what cadets on campus experience weekly. Instead of showing students tactics or field training tasks, ROTC showcased a chief pillar of the program: physical fitness.
The program opted for a Hero WOD, which translates to "workout of the day." If you have never heard of Hero WODs, they are very popular in the fitness and military community as they are named after someone who gave their life in service. On Feb. 2, cadets and students joined together to do the workout named for Captain Whitten. Captain Whitten was killed on Feb.2, 2010, after his vehicle was attacked with an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan. Captain Whitten is survived by his wife, mother, father, and sister. This workout holds a special place in the Paladin Battalion as Captain Whitten was the brother of the current Professor of Military Science (PMS) LTC Whitten. The workout served to honor his sacrifice and service to the United States.
Bright and early on a cold Wednesday morning, the entire battalion was joined by numerous students, and their workout included a total of five rounds and consisted of the following:
22 kettlebell swings
22 Box jumps
22 wall balls
Furman students took on this grueling workout with fiery grit and determination. Students from Panhellenic, SGA, the men’s soccer team, and others all woke up before the sun to complete their workout. The music got everyone in high-spirits as students cheered each other on, especially as everyone worked their way towards the final round of the workout. Not only did this serve as some’s daily workout, but it gave students an inside look into what the ROTC program actually does. Normally, we do PT (physical training) 3-4 days a week, and we rotate through a cycle of strength, HIIT, and cardio in addition to road marches with a weighted pack. During this workout, I had several people ask, “so, is this what PT is like every day?” or in-between deep breathing during the 400m run, “do you guys work out like this all the time? Furman's ROTC program caters to people of all physical fitness levels from those just starting their workout journey to those who have years under their belt. What a great event to start the morning; a fun and challenging workout with peers and faculty sounds like the perfect recipe to brighten our days. And it wasn't just students who struggled through this Hero WOD, so did the Cadets.
The workout was closed with a speech by the current PMS of the Paladin Battalion, LTC Whitten. She thanked those who joined the battalion for this workout. As a cadet in the battalion, I was doing the workout. This Hero WOD was a nice break from our usual PT routine and provided challenging exercise. Many people expressed that they enjoyed the workout and several days later many participants commented on still being sore! After this workout, ROTC became just a little less mysterious to some. Many students commented on how they enjoyed seeing and being a part of what ROTC does. Along with honoring Captain Whitten, this community workout served as a jumping point for more community involvement from ROTC. While ROTC hosts several military appreciation sports games, this morning workout allowed the battalion to showcase their abilities and connect with the campus. Turnout and reactions from other students play promise that future events will be well attended by all of Furman's campus.
Please take a moment to read CPT Whitten’s bio: https://thefallen.militarytimes.com/army-capt-daniel-whitten/4485429
Interested in more Hero WODs? Find a full list along with the stories behind those the workout is named after here: https://www.crossfit.com/heroes