August 6th, 2011, 40 miles south of Kabul, Afghanistan. The Chinook helicopter callsigned Extortion 17 (“one-seven”) took off into the darkness and accelerated toward a destination less than 20 miles west. Extortion 17 carried 38 men, 15 of them SEALS from Gold Squadron of the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, popularly called SEAL Team 6. A Taliban fighter would shoot the helicopter out of the sky with a rocket-propelled grenade; all aboard would be killed. It was the single most significant loss of American life in the Afghanistan war. Those killed ranked among the world’s most highly trained and experienced commandos.

August 6th marks the anniversary of Extortion 17, and CrossFit gyms around the globe will be doing Hero WODs.

Like it or hate it, everyone has an opinion about CrossFit. The eyes of half of you just rolled so hard you almost fell over. According to its website, CrossFit is a lifestyle characterized by safe, effective exercise, and sound nutrition. CrossFit can be used to accomplish any goal, from improved health to weight loss to better performance. The program works for everyone — people who are just starting and people who have trained for years.

You have undoubtedly seen the crazies running down the street in their wild clothing, sometimes carrying odd objects or just pulling a sled… for fun. My personal experience with Crossfit has been very positive and has undoubtedly helped me accomplish very specific goals, such as the Special Forces Combat Diver Qualification Course. My personal opinion is that you give it a chance if you’re looking for something new. But if you don’t like it, don’t drop it right away; give it six months. The joke is, once you get the CrossFit bug, that’s all you’ll ever talk about.