News: Centurion CrossFit hosts hero workout, honors fallen soldier
Story by Sgt. Christopher Calvert
FORT HOOD, Texas – When 1st Lt. Daren M. Hidalgo’s unit was attacked by an improvised explosive device in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, he received multiple injuries.
Despite needing emergency surgery in Germany to remove shrapnel from his knee, the 24-year-old Waukesha, Wis. native elected to remain in country and lead his platoon of infantrymen with the 3rd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment from Vilseck, Germany.
It was this choice that would ultimately cost Hidalgo his life during a patrol just two weeks later following another IED attack Feb. 20, 2011.
In honor of his decision to stay with his fellow Soldiers, the Centurion CrossFit Fort Hood conjunction, local CrossFit affiliates, and 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division Soldiers hosted the Hero Workout of the Day “Hidalgo” at Kieschnick Gym Feb. 23 to more than 40 Soldiers and civilians.
The grueling workout required participants to run two miles, squat clean 135 pounds for 20 repetitions, perform 20 box jumps, walk 20 lunge steps with a 45 pound plate held overhead, and then repeat all exercises in reverse order, all while wearing a weighted vest, to push their cardiovascular and muscular endurance to its max.
“The workout is designed to test your tenacity, just as my brother did when deciding to stay in Afghanistan despite his injuries” said Capt. Miles Hidalgo, commander of Company A, 3-8 Cav., Waukesha, Wis., native and brother of Daren.
“After my brother was killed, his personal belongings were sent to my parents, including the workout log he kept while deployed,” Miles said. “It was then that my older brother Jared, a Marine captain, took items from Daren’s log and sent them to CrossFit Headquarters for them to create a hero workout.”
Using exercises Daren had performed during his past years of CrossFit training, the Hero Workout of the Day “Hidalgo” was created and posted online for competitors to pay their respects to the fallen warrior while pushing their bodies to the limit, said Miles.
“The workout really has given us an opportunity to do something unique in memory of my brother, and it’s something I think he would really appreciate,” Miles noted. “Our family tries to stay active and is a big fan of it. We do this workout around the anniversary of his death and on Veteran’s Day as a way to remember his sacrifice.”
After speaking with Miles about the workout, Lt. Col. Andy Sanchez, plans and strategy officer for the Operations Section, 1st Cav. and Centurion CrossFit leader, decided to put together the event to show the local chapter’s support.
“Back in December, Miles asked if our affiliate would be interested in doing the hero workout around the anniversary of his brother’s death,” said the Corpus Christi, Texas native. “I immediately understood the importance of the event and we began putting it together in order to get max participation and a great turnout.”
The event ended up coming together as the CrossFit community and local affiliates from all over Central Texas brought their sense of community and support to make the event a tremendous success, said Sanchez.
“Everyone here accomplished today’s workout to honor Daren Hidalgo, his service, and his memory,” Sanchez explained. “Every ultimate sacrifice helps give us the ability to gather as a community, and acts as a reminder that freedoms not free.”