Earl Lundy III was born into a military family and felt it was his duty to serve in the army. Around 2008, he was deployed to Afghanistan and stationed at Forward Operating Base Salerno.
The day of the explosion started like a normal day.
“It was just like any other day in the kitchen cooking for my team. And all of a sudden, a white light,” he says. “I felt like it was a bad dream.”
Afterward, Lundy didn’t know if he was dead or alive. He immediately had to recruit all of his mental fortitude to get himself out of the rubble.
“That’s where my life truly changed,” Lundy says.
Since 2016, Lundy has helped run the Combined Arms facility in Houston, Texas, helping transitioning veterans and their families to start working out again. The facility offers a variety of fitness classes, such as boxing and jiu jitsu. CrossFit is new to Combined Arms and was introduced by Level 3 CrossFit Trainer Kidd Campbell, who offered free CrossFit classes to veterans.
“I was not on board (to start CrossFit) at first,” Lundy says. “I am already hurting. My shoulders are messed up, I have left leg nerve damage, and my back is always going out.”
Campbell set out to change Lundy’s mind. He began helping him with his mobility and adapting movements to work around his injuries.
“It was good to have him come and show me the true meaning of CrossFit,” Lundy says.
Lundy has experienced the benefits of CrossFit on veterans like himself and teamed up with the Travis Manion Foundation to open CrossFit Manion at Combined Arms. The box will be dedicated in honor of 1st Lt. Travis Manion, who was killed in Iraq on April 29, 2007. Before his final deployment, Manion touched the world with five powerful words: “If not me, then who …”
CrossFit Manion will officially open on May 1, 2021, becoming one of the first CrossFit gyms to offer free membership to veterans. The first workout upon opening will be the Travis Manion Hero Workout, which is 7 rounds for time of 29 squats and a 400-meter run.
“We don’t always know how to honor our fallen soldiers,” Campbell says. “But this is another way we can show our support and show our remembrance for those who fought for us.”
CrossFit can be a way for veterans to find community and support. Lundy battled back from his hardships through his training and continues to motivate others to use fitness to overcome their obstacles in life.
“I had to go through the dark a little bit, but it feels good to be standing in the light,” Lundy says.