CENTRAL, LA (WAFB) - Although these Geaux CrossFit athletes are conditioning with the same intensity and focus as every other training session, this particular CrossFit workout is a little different from the rest.
Member and coach Patrick Gianelloni said they aren't just there to exercise. This time, the sweat and occasional words of encouragement are dedicated to fallen members of the military, more specifically Lance Cpl. Taylor Conrad.
Conrad's helicopter crashed Tuesday, April 3, in a training exercise in California.
Lance Cpl. Conrad was a 2012 graduate of Central High School and the father of a newborn.
Gianelloni, a former Marine, says "Hero Workouts," or workouts dedicated to the fallen, are his favorite.
"Whether you know that person or not, it's just really great to have a chance to show them in some kind way, even if it's exercising, we are backing them and supporting them," Gianelloni said.
"I think all of us, as Americans, feel something when we lose a soldier," said co-owner of the gym, Johnny Blount.
Blount said as part of the CrossFit tradition, workouts are tailored to a few of the fallen soldier's all-time favorite moves.
"They wanted to pay tribute to the heroes. How do you do that? What better way than to dedicate a workout to them?" he said.
The workout Saturday morning was built for Conrad. As a devoted member of the powerlifting team at Central High School, friends of Conrad said he enjoyed deadlifts, squats, and the bench press. Gianelloni said he thinks about those people when doing moves that are tough.
Members of Geaux CrossFit said putting in extra work is the least they can do for those that made the ultimate sacrifice.
"He was a soldier and he gave his life for his country. We owe him a workout," Blount said.
The Marines say Conrad was a CH-35 helicopter crew chief assigned to HMH-465.
The other Marines killed in the incident were Capt. Samuel A. Schultz, 28, of Valley, Pennsylvania, First Lt. Samuel D. Phillips, 27, of Pinehurst, North Carolina, and Gunnery St. Richard Holley, 33, of Dayton, Ohio.