Veterans Day Workout For Veterans Mental Health

Crossfit Basel by Big Titan is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 .

Working out can offer a lot of benefits, obviously. One of those is improved mental health. Basically, physical activity can do a lot rebalance your mind and help stave off things like depression and anxiety.


I know I have less of both when I’m working out consistently.

But you working out can actually benefit thousands of veterans and their mental health this Veterans Day.


Well, it starts with a workout called Chad.

“Dude, I don’t do that CrossFit stuff, and if you’re naming workouts after people, it’s CrossFit.”

Alright, it’s a CrossFit workout, but it’s not just for crossfitters. Here’s the background:

Sara Wilkinson, GORUCK, and CrossFit present the hero workout “CHAD” – in honor of Navy SEAL Chad Wilkinson who took his life on October 29, 2018 due to the effects of numerous deployments, several TBIs, blast wave injuries and PTSD. Our goal is to honor Chad’s life and legacy and to raise awareness for suicide prevention.

CHAD 1000X has brought together thousands of registered participants, as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars raised since 2020, looking to be part of something greater than themselves. To not only bring awareness to the epidemic of suicide, particularly among veterans, but also to help be part of the solution through the support to the The Step Up Foundation and other veteran health initiatives.

This year, join us again in paying respect to Chad Wilkinson and all those who have been lost to suicide, while also committing to try to change the number#CHAD1000X


“OK, I’ve got the whole ‘Chad’ thing, but what’s this ‘1000x’ thing?”

That’s the workout.

It’s 1,000 box step-ups. The “full” version is with a 45-pound ruck on your back, though most people probably shouldn’t even try that. You can start with just body weight and you pick the height of the step-up all the way to the full version.

For what it’s worth, despite being a SEAL, Chad himself had to work up to the full version.

And if you’ve ever done a real box step-up, you understand why. They’re tough and exhausting all on their own. Add weight and suddenly, you’ve got a nightmare in the making.

On Saturday, I’ll be pulling out my box and doing 1,000 step-ups in honor of Chad. I’m already registered and will be going through with this.

Why? Because I, too, am a veteran and one who truly cares about mental health, particularly among my fellow vets.

I could make the case that if we can reduce veteran suicides we’ll reduce the number of “gun suicides” and take away some of anti-gunners’ ammunition, but truth be told, that’s not why I’m doing this or why I’m talking about it.


I’m talking about it because it matters.

I served during peacetime. People like Chad went to dangerous places and did dangerous things, all because their nation needed them. Then they come home, messed up so badly that no one really knows how to put them back together again or, in some cases, that they need to be put back together, and they see no way out.

They deserve better. They earned better.

We, though, can step up–pun only slightly intended–and do what we can.

1,000 step-ups are going to hurt tremendously. It’s still better than the pain so many of my fellow vets endure on a daily basis as well as the pain loved ones feel when someone takes their own life.

Join me in this.

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