By Derick Carver
“A lifetime ago…”
That was my response to the last time I was asked, “How long ago did I lose my leg?”
The real answer: almost 4 years ago. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about it. The day, the moment, every second from when the bomb went off to the seconds passing as I type this article. It’s my fuel. It’s what keeps me going.
Crossfit Rubicon is hosted a competition, Working Wounded Games, for adaptive CrossFitters on Nov 2nd. Around 50 adaptive Crossfitters from around the world are getting together to challenge each other. Based on the success of the Working Wounded Games we are hoping to work with CrossFit HQ to establish an adaptive category for the next CrossFit Games.
For me this competition wasn’t about having the opportunity to compete, it was about training to win.
My feeling is always that winning isn’t an option, it’s mandatory. Why do something if you aren’t going to go all in and be the best?
I get asked all the time what drives me. What keeps me going? The response is always the same:
Faith in myself, not God. Nothing wrong with God but we have our issues. He’s let me down in the past, so I’ve learned to overcome and push on, relying only on my capabilities and determination. This hard and fast belief in myself allows me to do things others consider “amazing,” or “inspiring.”
To me, it’s called working out.
There is this belief your life ends or you should be alone and depressed because you lose a limb. I’ve never understood that.
No one wants this. No one even thinks this is possible until you are face up in the dirt, smelling your own flesh trying to rally your soldiers to prevent the loss of an entire platoon. No one wants to learn to walk again at 26. No one wants to re-train their body after year of conditioning or endure almost 50 surgeries.
I hope that none of you ever have this experience. But what I’m telling you is, even if you did, you have the power to push on, just like I did. And that same faith in yourself can help you achieve anything.
Just remember, it’s not nearly as hard as taking your first step with a new leg.
I’m not talking about other Crossfitters, other athletes, or 30 year old meatheads out there.
I’m talking about the ones that know what it’s like to think about killing themselves. I’m talking about the ones that wonder how much easier things would be if they just hadn’t lived through that helicopter ride out.
Those guys motivate me.
The guys missing multiple limbs are the ones that keep me from feeling sorry for myself. Who am I to bitch about a missing leg when there is a 19 year old kid missing all four limbs? My hardest day is still easier than his best one.
The next time your day is ruined when Starbucks gives you 2% instead of Soy or you can’t watch YouTube on your phone, stop and think.
Learn the value of hard work and more importantly learn to appreciate the gifts and blessings you have.
Raise your standards and raise the standards of everyone around you. Lead by example. Stop waiting for someone to show you the way…..make your own.
You want to know why some people are seemingly better than those that are gifted and have everything going for them?
Some people see the big picture and know what it takes to get there. They understand it won’t be easy. If you want to be great, if you want to be the best at anything, of even if you just want to improve…..then learn to accept the challenge. Push yourself, push your boundaries, find new pain thresholds and love every minute of it.
Your body is a direct reflection of your perspective.
I don’t give a shit if you are genetically blessed or not. You go out and you train your heart out, eat good shit and know the difference between a cheat meal and going off the deep end.
Only when you have embraced the joy of the challenge will you learn to use it to become the person you always wanted to be.
America wasn’t built with an “easy button”. It was built on the backs of some amazingly strong spines.
Strong in body, strong in spirit, strong in mind.
Today, instead of just writing the perfect Facebook tribute to veterans, honor them with something more. Challenge yourself because they fought for your write to strive to be your best.
Let them motivate you, as they motivate me. You’ll find that you have more strength than you knew, and that strength is what fuels greatness.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Derick Carver served in the United States Army, enlisting in 2005 and earning his commission in 2007. After commissioning as a 2LT in the Army Derick completed Infantry Officer Basic Course, Airborne School, Mechanized Leader School and Ranger School. Derick reported to Fort Bragg, NC and served with the 82nd Airborne as a Platoon Leader for both Charlie and Delta Company 2-508th PIR. After his injury Derick recovered at Walter Reed Army Medical Center before reporting to 4th Ranger Training Battalion serving as the S3 until medically retiring in May 2012.
He currently resides in Shelby Township, MI where he runs his gym, Bayonet Crossfit. Derick grew up in southern California and was active in multiple sports before going to college to play football. Graduating from Eastern Michigan University, he earned a Bachelor's degree in History. The Army, Portsmouth Spartan Kettlebell Club, 810 Crossfit and 2POOD are major influences in Derick's Crossfit approach. All have influenced his approach and helped guide him and his gym down what he hopes will be a successful path.