Today our Brother Ron Holmes clocks 20 years in the United States Marine Corps.  CrossFIt Wilmington extends the greatest thank you appreciation to Master Sergeant Ron Holmes.  As he quickly approaches his retirement date, we wish him the best and may the next 20 be as good as the last!
From Ron –
     Do you remember where you were on the 6th of November 1989?  I do. It was the day I left home to start my quest to become a Marine. 
     I remember everything from that day.  I got up and had my traditional "Game Day" breakfast with my Mom, Dad and Sister. I had on Nike Air Stab running shoes, Guess jeans with the legs pegged, a Coke a Cola rugby jersey, a Gap Jean Jacket, and $100.00 in my pocket.  SSgt Mitch Veriut (my recruiter) came by at 0615 to collect me.  I said my good bye’s to my family and got into the government car, a brown Chevy Cavalier. 
     I looked around the neighborhood just before I got in, taking it in and knowing that the next time I would be back here, I would be a Marine. 
     As we drove off I looked back to wave to my Mom and Dad.  My mother was tearing and smiling, and I swear my Dad was drinking a beer ha! Onward we went.  I met with some other kids at the recruiting station and boarded a bus to Bradley Airport in Hartford, CT.  We had 4 hours ’till boarding, we found a restaurant with the coolest waitress ever!  We told her the 6 of us were heading to Boot Camp and we would really like to have a few beers.  She didn’t card us and 8 pitchers later we were running to catch our plane. 
    I think there is only one way to start a journey like this and that is doing it drunk.  Actually, that may be the one thing I would not repeat.
    The following 72 hours were some of the most intense, fear-filled, and exciting start to the next 20 years of my life.  As I look back I can say I would not hesitate to do it all over again. 
     I am thankful for my parents who raised me to be a good American and a Patriot. I have been around the world multiple times on multiple platforms.  I have learned and forgotten how to speak 5 languages.  I have seen the most beautiful sunsets and seen things we do not repeat. I have loved, lost, and failed.  All to witch I have come back stronger each time. 
     One thing that’s been constant over the last 20 years is "CHALLENGE".  Everyday, whether it be self induced or directed, "CHALLENGE" has always been present.
     As Marines we are taught to constantly "Seek Self-Improvement" which translates to CHALLENGE. My HS football coach use to say "Get Better Everyday".
     This path I have walked has been that CHALLENGE.   It has made me who I am.  It’s brought so many good things into my life because I’ve earned them. 
      As it draws to the end I am faced with an entire new CHALLENGE…starting over.  It is as terrifying as it was 20 years ago. But today, I welcome the CHALLENGE.  It becomes your friend even when it feels like your enemy.  It pushes you and lets you know you are alive and that you can always go a little further.  CHALLENGE yourself and thoses around you find the good in the bad and remember… it can always be worse!  
     Thank you CrossFit Wilmington Family.  I’m not sure if you all know how lucky we are to belong to something so amazing! 
Here are a few fun facts from 1989:
Soviet Union officially withdraws from Afghanistan
The fall of the Berlin wall November 9th, 1989
Exxon Oil disaster happens off the coast of Alaska in March
Milli Vanilli win best new artist of 1989, but are stripped of their Grammy in 1990 when it’s discovered they were lip-syncing.

Laura and Rachel at the 8 mile point of Sunday’s Half Marathon
WOD:  Move 7,000lbs from ground to overhead for time…
Weight/rep choices
185 lbs x 37 reps
155 lbs x 46 reps
135 lbs x 52 reps
95 lbs x 74 reps
75 lbs x 94 reps
65 lbs x 108 reps
55 lbs x 127 reps
45 lbs x 155 reps
35 lbs x 200 reps
*Ground to overhead can be Snatch, any version of the clean and any press or jerk to go from the shoulders to overhead.

0 thoughts on “Posted: 11/6/2009

  1. taylor says:

    So very cool Ron. I'm used to your posts, and I know how you feel about your 20 yrs in…and that still made me tear up a little. Please don't show up Friday night with your jeans pegged, so very not cool BTW. Good job ladies running!! ALso, I like how you guys took off girls and guys weights, just straight weight, because really-there are guys always doing the girls weight and a lot of our girls rock those guys weights!! I love it! I can't always do it, but I love it!

  2. Colleen says:

    Thank you does not sum up the gratitude I feel for you and all others that served or are currently serving for our country. But for lack of a better term, "THANK YOU!" and to all those that complain about everything everyday, MOVE to another country and then see what complaining is all about! PS. think warm thoughts tomorrow AM! i think i am going to have a chilly swim 🙂 wonderful!

  3. Julie G. says:

    Ron I got a little weepy too. Congratulations on 20 big ones. This WOD looks awesome, wish I was home for it. I will be thinking of you guys in the middle of my wallball burpees (Yuck!). CFW Women are very unique. I go to Crossfits all over and you not only never see the women lift that kind of weight, but you almost never see the same prescribed as men. We Rock!

  4. ilario says:

    hmm, for 20 years, shouldn't it be 20,000 lbs over head? I'm just say'n….
    MB!! So proud of you bro. You Stuck with the Suck, and you are a better man for it. We are all grateful for your service and the many steps that you have taken to make the Marine Corps a better Fighting Organization. Thank you and God bless you and your brothers in arms. If there was a ever a place that could fill the void of blood Sweat and tears, you found it at Tony's House of Pain! Semper fi, bro. And Yes, I know exactly where I was on Nov6, 1989: I was shivering in the morning dew wondering how the heck it gets so cold at Parris Island, SC! Congratulations Boot! Ya made it!

  5. maria says:

    Ron- congrats, it has been a pleasure getting to know you…See you tonight! Laura and Rachel…looking good.

  6. Angela says:

    Ron, at the beginning of my CFW journey you offered to do Pain Storm with me after you had already done it once…you're a great illustration of a team player and leader. Congratulations and another big Thank you to everyone who dedicates their lives to public service.

  7. Lindsay says:

    Congrats and thank you Ron! From the day I met you so many years ago, you have always impressed me with your outlook on life and optimism, even in hard times.

  8. drew says:

    Ron, thanks for your service. From what I've only seen in the gym alone, it's safe to say every person serving today is better for having had you lead the way. Oh and in case you are wondering, I was 4 years old when you enlisted! hah. I will try my best to make it out tonight, and this WOD looks nasty, in a good way.

  9. Angela says:

    Also, Kick Butt tomorrow ilario AND anyone else who is participating in the Beach to Battleship in any capacity! I'm planning to partake in some spectating (and would be happy to hand out chicken breasts haha and/or bananas if needed)…is anyone else going out to support?

  10. mike says:

    ron, thank you for your service, and i disagree with taylor, jeans pegged, that flash jacket you got, reebok high tops with the velcro strap at the top, and a swatch(with the rubber face guard). see you tonight. oh calf length socks scrunched in between the pegged jeans and the reeboks.

  11. Tracy says:

    Ron! So proud to call you my friend and laughing partner!! CHALLENGE, we all go through them, it is how we handle them and rise up to the CHALLENGE that changes us! There is never a dull moment around you! Congrats my friend!!

  12. ChrisJ says:

    Ron, what you and the rest of the men and women do for our country on a daily basis can not be properly expressed with simple words. Humbly let me say "thank you immensely", even though the words do not do justice to the gratitude felt. -ChrisJ

  13. Tracy says:

    Ilario! The moment has come, the Ironman! Even though you are already an Ironman in so many ways!! I will be out there cheering really really loud for you and Colleen!!!! Enjoy the moments! IP, I sent you an email on Facebook, try to check the info out. I will be going down to the beach at 6:30am to support and then head downtown after if anyone wants to meet up 620-9513. Laura and Rachel look at you two go!! Nice work ladies!

  14. Maura says:

    Ron, thank you for all you have done and congrats! Ladies, great job on the run last weekend. Good luck to everyone competing tomorrow, you will all do great!

  15. Meagan says:

    I am with Colleen. In 1989, I was 9 living it up in some 80's gear 🙂 Thank you so much Ron for your dedication. You are a great inspiration. There are no words to describe the thanks to all who serve. You rock man!

  16. No GOOD says:

    Thank you all for the kind words! Tony that was a good one. I am speachless by all your words. Update Movie time tonight is 1740 (540 pm). I know it is early but the next time after does not work. See you there or at Main St around 830ish.

  17. Matt says:

    Ron, you are truly an American Hero. Thank you for all you have done for this great country and our gym. I will see you tonight brother

  18. Tracy says:

    Julie that is awesome! The Ironman starts at 7am at the South End down by the parking lot loop. Watching the swimmers go in is breathtaking!! I know it maybe cold but I may ride a beach cruiser down from the police station. Don't know how the parking will be that morning. I will text you in the am to see where you are. I am bringing the camera to capture Ilario's and Colleen's moments! So exciting!

  19. ju says:

    Ron, words can't descibe what I felt after I read your post. I read it last night at the kitchen table and started crying. I quickly dried my eyes as Tony rounded the corner. I didn't want him to call me a girl! Thank you so much for making it so that I can go to the grocery store without having to take cover. Thank you for doing your job so that I am able to lay my head down at night without fear. God bless you for doing your job, and may he bless you on your new adventures in life.

  20. Jill P says:

    So sorry we wont be able to celebrate with you tonight..Please know we will be there in spirit.
    I am planning on watching Ilario a couple of different times tomorrow with the kids but am looking for company to watch him come thru the finish line..Anyone want to tailgate with me???

  21. Em says:

    Ron…congrat on 20yrs of service. As others have said, "thank you" does not fully express the gratitude to you and the others that serve and protect our freedom day in and day out. Wish I could be with you guys tonight, was supposed to be working, but I'm home sick (yuck). Have a great time! Wish I could've done this WOD, looks very challenging…next time!

  22. KC says:

    Way to stick it out Ron! On another note, I can't beleive or President has the audacity to say don't jump to conclusions about Ft.Hood. WOW

  23. DC says:

    Nice work Ron.. and Ladies looking strong and good.. congrats to you guys.. also i found this and just something to keep in mind..The 2010 CrossFit Games will take place at The Ranch in Aromas, CA on July 16 – 18, 2010.

    Stay tuned for more details. This year, you will have to qualify for the Regionals by being a top performer at one of many smaller Sectional competitions. That is, unless you competed in the 2009 Games, in which case you are automatically qualified for the Regionals.

    There are not quite as many regions, and most regions will not be sending quite as many competitors. Only 100 athletes will make it to the Individual competition in Aromas '10, fifty men and fifty women.

    The events and scoring system for the 2010 Games will be kept a mystery until right before the competition. Only one thing is known: they will be different from any of the past CrossFit Games.

    How do you prepare for a competition of an unknown nature? Easy! Specialize in not specializing. Overcome your weaknesses. Fortify your strengths. Get comfortable being uncomfortable. And, develop tremendous power across broad time and modal domains.

  24. Scott S says:

    Colleen!! Didn't mean to leave you out girl. I will be there with you in spirit. Show them how it is done CFW style!

  25. Scott S says:

    Ron – I know the 20 year journey you have been on has been filed with lots of good times and not-so-good times. But, since you are one hell of a man, it must have been more good than bad. You should be proud of all you have done.

    Ilario – heard you on the radio today. You have a face,,, I mean, voice, for radio. You not only sound intelligent but also convincing. If only that host hadn't interrupted you every ten seconds. Oh well, the message is getting out about what you are doing. Remember Winston Churchill tomorrow when he said, Never, Never, Never give up! You can do it and you will do it. Have fun this weekend, all. Pat and I are in Richmond with one of the coolest cakes ever, thanks to Taylor.

  26. Scott S says:

    Colleen!! Didn't mean to leave you out girl. I will be there with you in spirit. Show them how it is done CFW style!

  27. Debb says:

    Ron, You have been a great example for all of us, you have inspired me in different ways from our conversations.This to you and others that I know, Thanks for the freedom to have hopes and dreams that come true!
    Tracy, Ju, T, I may be there with Ava in the morning if I can find ya's.

  28. chad"AK Soul" says:

    You are the man brother Thank you so much for your dedication to securing freedom in a very unjust world. The paragraphs on Challenge are so inspiring. Henry Rollins said it best… When you push hard enough to acomplish something impossible you realize you have never failed at anything…. you just didnt try hard enough! Love you Broship, see you in march to destroy some powder, Chad