Ranger School at 40 years old… congratulations are in order.

LTC. Christopher Colavita at Ranger School Graduation

On 10 December, 2010, at nearly 40 years of age, I graduated from the United States Army Ranger School and I absolutely could not have done it without the help of Ron Holmes and the unbelievable group of men and women that trained with us in Bagram, Afghanistan!

Prior to meeting Ron I was training for Ranger School on my own and I was getting increasingly frustrated with my lack of progress.  My motivation was right where it needed to be but I was lost in my training plan and my workouts were unorganized and not mutually supportive.

About three weeks into my training, I found Ron and his dedicated group of “Cross-fitters”.  I was reluctant to join them because they didn’t seem to follow what I thought the correct path was: Push-ups, Sit-ups, Chin-ups and Running, PERIOD!  Nevertheless I decided to join the group if for no other reason than to say that I at least gave it a shot and it didn’t work for me…  We followed the Cross-fit Wilmington and Cross-fit Main websites and on those nights where Ron was feeling particularly sinister – he either combined the two workouts or created his own form of pain for us!

It took no time at all for me to recognize the immense value and payoff from the workouts, and after a few weeks, I was completely obsessed with the program Ron was providing us.  However, the real proof would be my physical (and mental) performance at Ranger School.  I went in with some apprehension because after running an average of about 40 miles a week, I dropped down to only running the distances and or duration prescribed in the cross-fit workouts.  Remarkably when I ran the five mile portion of my Ranger Physical Fitness Test (RPFT), my time actually decreased from 36 minutes to just less than 33 minutes!  As it turned out, the run and other events from the RPFT (Push-ups, Sit-ups and Chin-ups) were just a small taste of the success I would have at Ranger School.  The real proof came much later as I was training in the rugged mountains of Dahlonega, Georgia.  After more than three weeks of severe physical and mental stress and very little sleep, my strength was still there and my legs never failed me!  Even several weeks later while walking between 8 and 17 Kilometers a day through the difficult swampy terrain in Florida, my conditioning never let me down!

Now that I am home, I am going to take a week or two to heal and recover a bit, but come the first of the year, I’ll be back in the gym following the Cross-fits Wilmington and Main website and working out with other Cross-fit believers!

I can’t thank Ron, my incredible group, and the rest of the Cross-fit Wilmington team enough!

Rangers Lead the Way!

LTC Chris Colavita
United States Army

The “Not Normal” Contest is over!
Tomorrow is the weigh in and picture day for the “Not Normal / Give yourself Abs for Christmas” contest.  We’ll see who stuck to their pledge and proves to everyone dropping a few pounds is not difficult if you set your mind to it.  On Monday we’ll announce the winners and show to everyone who’s rocking a new look for Christmas.

Technique first! Charisse has developed great technique in only a few weeks of Olympic Lifting classes. I can't compliment our Olympic Lifting coaches enough! With their expertise and experience and our students' dedication, CFW has become quite the Weightlifting Gym. Stand by for the official announcement of Wilmington's First USAW Weightlifting Team.

CrossFit WOD
100 Wall Ball Shots (10ft-20lbs/9ft-14lbs)
Rest 2 minutes
100 Wall Ball Shots
Rest 3 minutes
100 Wall Ball Shots

15 thoughts on “Ranger School at 40 years old?

  1. t. says:

    Ltc. Colavita, congratulations. We’re proud to have been a small part of your success. I’m not sure what possessed you to go at your rank and age Sir, but I’m impressed.

    There is a USPSA pistol match at Ant Hill Range Sunday if anyone is interested in going with me. It is much like the steel challenge match we went to a few weeks ago, but with moving and magazine reloads too. More shooting = more fun!

    Let me know if you’d like to go!


  2. Matt M says:

    Charisse your looking great! I haven’t had the pleasure to make it to many of the oly nights because of work but finally had a Thursday off and was able to make it this week, it was well worth it! Thanks again Rob for the great coaching.

  3. No GOOD says:

    Ltc. Colavita….I heard brother as I am back over here now, I heard you were killing it….rember I told you you had something the young bucks didnt…OMS (Old Man Strength)….Thank you for the words my friend but like I said and Tony said becoming a RANGER at 39 is an accomplishment that I do not think many could do… Enjoy that time off rest ….Ill be home in less than 2 weeks and in your AO I look forward to seeing you …again COngrats to you and your family…WHOA!!!!!

  4. No GOOD says:

    ONe more add to Ltc Colavita’s success…he never recycled an poirtion of RANGER School. I do not know the exact stat but the percentage is high on service members that attend the course all usually recycle one section or more…antoher HUGE stamp for my friend CHRIS.

    How could I miss Charisse…great job glad to see you stayed with it looking good!!!!

  5. Felice says:

    Congrats to Ltc. Colavita! Wow, your story is inspiring. and Charisse, awesome job! You have improved so much in such a short period of time. I was so impressed watching you lift yesterday…your confidence and technique has definately grown, and it shows. Peiwen, same for you. I remember your first Oly lifting class… Tony asked you if you liked oly lifting and you told him “no” haha…now look at you! you are registered for a USAW competition! you are gonna rock it girl!

  6. Drew says:

    Sir, that is freaking outstanding! Ive known quite a few beasts go through ranger school, and to make it on your first try is astronomical. Now-a-days recycle rates are close to 80% for first-timers, so that is a ridiculous accomplishment.

    Just the fact you ran 5-miles in under 33 minutes… dear god.

  7. Charisse says:

    Thanks so much guys! All of you have been so encouraging and helpful. I’m finally beginning to conquer the fear of putting weight over my head. Crossfit and paleo definitely create a lifestyle change…many have noticed, and many think I’m crazy…or “obsessed”. And you know what I say to myself…Obsessed is the word lazy people use to describe dedication. My new favorite quote 🙂

    You all did awesome last weekend in Durham! Once again, never thought I would say this, but my goal is to compete in the first competition following tax season. Peiwen, your enthusiasm is awesome! Wish I could compete in the Triad Barbell Open with you. You will rock it out! Rob, we’ve got to figure out a way to get Peiwen pissed off at that bar!

    I want more, therefore I WILL do more!

  8. sara! says:

    Hey guys, I did that CFC final WOD this morning at CF Winston Downtown, and it was fun!

    I spoke to Peter, and I get to help them move to their new (bigger!) location tomorrow morning. It’s going to be awesome; lots of space, and high ceilings, so they can finally hang ropes!

    He is super psyched about the USAW stuff, and VERY excited about the interest coming from our Oly folks on the coast. I can’t wait till you guys have the opportunity to come up here and check it out. The ties between CF and USAW seem to be getting stronger each day, and it seems like it’s really going to benefit both communities.

    LTC Colavita, congratulations! Best of luck to you, sir, and I hope you’ll come visit us in Wilmington!

    Charisse, I love your attitude, girl! And I think Peiwen should totally head up some sort of Paleo-test kitchen, ’cause her food is awesome!

    It’s cold and icy here – can’t wait to see you guys Monday! Be safe!

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