Approximately 70 people took part in the second annual Dylan Meier Hero WOD Memorial Workout Challenge Saturday morning and into the afternoon inside Memorial Stadium on the campus of Kansas State University.
The event is staged in tribute to former K-State quarterback Dylan Meier, who played for the Wildcats from 2002-06. He died April 19, 2010 after falling from a cliff in a hiking accident in Arkansas with his family.
The workout was put together last year in a joint effort by Crossfit 785 and The Dylan Meier Foundation – further well known as “Get Busy Livin”.
The event ran from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and was free to participate in. The workout featured nine different lifts and exercises – in honor of of Meier’s former jersey number – and was set at 27 reps, which was the age Meier was going to be before the accident.
The Crossfit training program is a fast and intense workout designed to make the body uncomfortable and to keep the body in constant motion. Between each lift – which includes deadlifts, weighted situps, rows, thrusters, etc. – the participant walks or jogs to a large tractor tire and flips it. The entire workout is timed, and the goal for each Crossfit trainee is to complete the workout faster than before.
Crossfit 785 founder Jason Lembright said honoring the memory of Meier with the Hero WOD — or Workout Day — was a no-brainer.
“It’s an encouragement to get young people, or really anyone, to get busy livin’, as the motto of The Dylan Meier Foundation says,” Lembright, who was a wide receiver for KSU from 2000 to 2001, said. “The Hero WOD is a part of what Crossfit does nationally and are usually performed in the honor of a fallen solider, or police man, or if a fireman dies in the line of duty.
“Usually (the Hero WOD) is very challenging, and some of them aren’t even completable. Dylan was an adventurer and always tried something new, different and challenging, so we thought when we decided to do this last year we’d do it for him.”
Scott Eilert, who is the Director of video services for K-State football, helped Lembright organize the event and said the workout is daunting on purpose, and like Lembright, said Meier was an easy choice as the person to honor with it.
“The Hero WOD is built to make you struggle,” Eilert, who participated and regularly uses the Crossfit method, said. “If you don’t struggle, you’re doing it wrong.
“Dylan was one of those young guys that would keep me, and everyone else, young in the building. He loved life and loved talking about life. When he left football it was so exciting to watch him try (other things). When you and I sit around and think ‘that would be cool’ or ‘what if’‘, or ‘someday I would like too…’, he didn’t ask himself those questions or make those statements. He just did it.”
One of those “what ifs” for many people can be something extremely adventurous like running with the bulls… which Eilert said Meier did.
“I’ll never forget him telling me his story about his running with the bulls,” Eilert, who has been in video production for K-State football since 1989 as a student, said. “It was a scary, scary story, as he explained it to me, but he met so many really neat people doing events like that. We just come out here and honor him and encourage everyone to try something different, like everyone in his (foundation) tries to do: get busy livin’.”
K-State head football coach Bill Snyder was also in attendance. While the 72-year old “Miracle in Manhattan” architect was obviously not dressed to take on the workout, as he was adorned in his patented black suit – though some joked with him on which lift he would start first – Snyder smiled and praised the legacy Meier left, and the one the Hero WOD has set to memorialize.
“It’s wonderful,” Snyder said. “They are doing it for the right reasons and I appreciate it a great deal.
“They do it because of Dylan. He was a wonderful young person and meant a lot to this community, Kansas State University and obviously all of these people that have been here today. As you can see I’m not dressed for the occasion, but it’s really a caring, caring venture. Dylan enjoyed life and was a young guy that had a great deal of fun. He was a guy that would try virtually anything, as long as it was something appropriate, and lived his life that way.”