Strength

3×12 Barbell Lunges, As heavy as possible

Wod

0-10 minutes to perform

1x max effort double unders

1x  max effort pull ups

1x max effort wall balls

10-20 minutes to perform

3 Rounds

400m Run

15 Push Press 115/75

*Once the clock begins, you have 10 minutes total to complete  your 3 different max effort attempts, in any order you would like.  Once you come off the bar, break rhythm on the jump rope or wall balls, that set is finished. Once the 10 minute mark is reached, the wod begins immediately.

Score is total repetitions, and time finished.

The Story of  the “Go Ham” Plates that were given to us by Jess S.

 

photo

Adam S. Hamilton was killed in Haji Ruf, Afghanistan, on May 28, 2011 when he stepped on an improvised explosive device while attempting to clear and secure a location for his unit as they took enemy fire. He was 22 years old.

By Jessica Sieff (Article from Evolve Magazine)

After

“We’re different people now,” says Scott Hamilton from the living room of his home in Kent, Ohio.

Scott has a grandiose presence about him, towering over most people and carrying his weight in his torso. He walks into the living room and throws himself into a large, plush, brown leather chair. He and his wife, Connie, have three little dogs and they look as though they would fit in the palm of Scott’s hand. They run and wriggle their way into the chair. The dogs, he says, are a source of comfort now.

Recently, the Hamiltons moved into a new home in a still growing development in Kent. It is an attempt at a fresh start, Scott says. Away from Adam’s old room. From where the family was last intact.

But evidence of loss is everywhere. 

The development where Scott and Connie live runs alongside the cemetery where Adam is buried. The cemetery is across the street from the high school where Adam graduated. The high school is on a street dedicated to his memory.

His face is everywhere. Pictures hang on the walls of Scott’s office. He’s on the stationary announcing details for the second annual “Hammy” event, a workout designed in Adam’s memory that serves as a fundraiser for the Adam S. Hamilton Memorial Athletic and Academic Scholarship fund.

His image takes up wall space inside CrossFit Cadre, in Hudson, Ohio where Scott and Connie are members. When his workout is finished, before he leaves to start the day, Scott will press his lips to his hand and his hand to that picture. He’ll stop at the cemetery on the way home.

Scott says visitors are often out at his son’s grave, where black marble stone is etched with the likeness of an American flag draping over one side, framing Adam’s face. Scott will stand a few feet from it, allowing space between himself and where his son rests, as if to take it all in. Before he leaves, he will kiss the stone.

Before

“He calls me his freshman year, not even his first semester and he says ‘Dad, it’s not for me,’” Scott said. “And I said, okay what are you going to do? He said, ‘I’m going to drop out and join the ultimate team.’ He said, ‘I’m going to join the army.’”

The decision would test their bond. The country was at war and Scott was at odds with the idea of Adam enlisting.

“It was a big disagreement,” Scott said. “It wasn’t a drag out fight, but we had many, many discussions of…this is the absolutely wrong thing. That was in my eyes. In his eyes, it was absolutely the right thing.”

Months later, during the graduation ceremony for Adam’s basic training, one of the speakers emphasized the importance of “taking care of things at home.” Those words would change the perspective of one man sitting in the audience, still uncertain of his son’s decision.

“You come to the realization as parents that you have to support your children in anything that they truly, truly want to do,” Scott said. “Even during times you know it’s not the absolute best for them. You still have to try to accept it.”

In that moment, Scott gave his son his full support. It would become one of those moments not to be questioned later. “The result of that, the loss of him…to this day it was the right thing. It was his calling.”

After

Deployment had given the Hamiltons a new set of normalcy. The days were broken down into hours, the hours into minutes. There was military time, Kandahar time, and borrowed time. Every member of the family knew what time it was in the faraway reality of the Middle East.

They jumped at the ring of a phone. It’s easy to imagine the severity, the sharpness of deployment calls, cutting through the otherwise quiet domestic mornings.

Scott and Connie were on duty when they picked up the phone. They’d read Adam’s voice for clues to his mood. Conversations were strategic, nothing was mentioned that might worry him or make it hard for him to focus. Topics were light. Questions were held back.

“As a parent, I don’t really think people realize how difficult it is on a family, how difficult it is inside the family, the dynamics when someones deployed,” says Scott. “Because you’re always worried.”

The mission had been postponed, so far as Scott and Connie knew. They were relieved. Every day Adam wasn’t on a mission was a day he was out of danger. There had been a sandstorm, Adam said. That’s why the mission had been cancelled. Scott and Connie went on a planned vacation to Las Vegas.

Two uniformed soldiers came to the Hamilton house while they were away. Only Shawney, Adam’s younger step-sister, was at home. They couldn’t tell Shawney anything, Connie says, and they left with only the implication of their visit to unofficially break the news.

When a neighbor saw them leaving the house, word quickly spread and Connie received a phone call by the pool at the resort where she and Scott were staying. She headed up to the room, their friends suggesting Scott go check on her so they could receive what was imminent in private. Scott shrugged off the idea that maybe Connie wasn’t feeling well and he should check on her. He was ready for lunch and drinks and to enjoy his vacation. Until he saw Connie’s face. 

“I just knew,” he says. “Parental intuition is really something.”

Within a matter of minutes, two uniformed soldiers knocked on the door.

“I was like a caged animal in that hotel room,” he says.

Within hours, the Hamiltons were on a redeye home, the grief unbridled despite the close, public quarters. “Everyone had to know,” Scott said. “They see this big guy just sobbing…”

The days that followed were a succession of protocol and process. They flew home to see their children and then to Dover Air Force Base to receive Adam’s body. Scott stood next to his wife, watching a cargo bay door open before them.

“It was the most dignified thing I’ve ever done in my life,” he says.

Resting in a container, draped in an American flag, Adam Scott Hamilton returned to American soil on Memorial Day.

The last time Scott had seen his son was approximately three months earlier as he stood with Adam beneath the fluorescent lights of an airport terminal. They spoke. They cried. Scott couldn’t shake the feeling that something bad was coming.

“It was an eerie feeling to hold him at the airport and I knew, I just knew something was going to happen,” he says. “To let your child go and even have that thought is just…gut wrenching is almost kind words for it. To this day, to even go back to that terminal…I couldn’t do it. There’s no way I could walk through that terminal knowing that’s the last place I held him. That’s the last place I saw him. I can’t go there.”

Before 

Adam was based at Fort Riley Kansas. After basic training, before even experiencing the realities of combat, he wasn’t quite the same. He was, at times, anxious. Eager to get back to his base. Always on the phone with friends from his unit.

“It’s almost like a whole different culture,” Connie says. “He’d come home and we’d be like, Who is this kid?”

“It was weird all the time,” Scott says. “You didn’t really see your child, who you’re used to. You were replaced. His family became the military. He loved us very much, very dearly, but the military. That was his family.”

He was itching for deployment. There had been talk and rounds of specialized training, but he remained stateside.

“I battled with him even while he was in there,” Scott says. “Why the fascination with getting deployed? But for him, for them, that’s the next step. That’s like practicing for the team and never playing a game.”

In February 2011, Adam deployed to Afghanistan. He was killed three months into his first tour.

After 

Scott fights through push presses, a row for calories, box jumps and a 200-meter run. At every box, there are CrossFitters who hold back a little during a workout. The ones who can have a chat while moving under the bar. Scott Hamilton isn’t one of them. He looks up, flashes a smile, and his eyes are back down, focused on the next step, sweat gathered at his brow. When it’s over, he’s gasping for breath. His workouts were once a way to get active, get healthier, lose weight. But they’ve taken on a new mission now. They’re a lifeline, a part of how he copes.

He’s at CrossFit Cadre five days a week.

When Adam died, a service was held at the high school for those who wanted to come pay their respects prior to the funeral. Scott and Connie stood for hours to greet them all. Like shrapnel, moments like those have left scar tissue behind. In the same place, during an event for his daughter, Scott remembers how hard it was to be back. He held his head down, he says, and shook.

Scott and Connie have started a scholarship in Adam’s name, to be awarded to two students from Theodore Roosevelt High School, where he graduated.

What started as an informal WOD competition held at another Kent box, SPC CrossFit, has turned into a growing annual event. Two years and a grassroots effort later, “Hammy” is a fully organized event, taking place on the field at Kent State University. In February of this year, CrossFit HQ memorialized Adam with “Hamilton,” an official Hero WOD.

The workouts, the scholarship fund, the visits with Adam’s unit, who Scott and Connie refer to as their sons, are all pieces of a life lived in the aftermath of tragedy. Loss is not a condition, it is a state of being. Scott is fragile now, he says. He cries often, his emotions still raw, still just below the surface.

“That day I lost not just Adam, I lost my husband and I lost my family,” Connie says.

The silence after she says this is not uncomfortable, but a sign of acknowledgement, as if Scott knows it too.

Before

Before the explosion. Before the deployment. Before the phone call, the first semester of college, the bitterness and the wounds that don’t heal even with time, there is a photo of Adam Hamilton, as a young boy dressed in miniature Army fatigues as a Halloween costume.

Scott has it in his office. Tilt it and the image changes to the one that hangs in the local BW3’s in downtown Kent and on the wall at Scott’s barber shop.

There was a time Scott hadn’t really given the photo a second thought.

“I guess when you look back on it now,” he says. “Adam was born a soldier.”

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