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by Mark Nolan



Molon Labe CrossFit Memorial WOD

6.7K 27
  • 4 Rounds for Time
  • 4 Rope Climbs (15 ft)
  • 9 Wall Ball Sit-Ups (20/14 lb, 5 ft target)
  • 12 Thrusters (100/70 lb)
  • 400 meter Weighted Run*
  • Round 1 Run with plates (2x25/15 lb)
  • Round 2 Run with barbell (45/35 lb)
  • Round 3 Run with plates (2x25/15 lb)
  • Round 4 Run with barbell (45/35 lb)

Start with the bar and plates assembled. Each round for the run athlete must disassemble the bar and plates and run with the specified item(s) for the 400 meter run/carry. After completing each of the 4 rounds the bar and plates must be reassembled. Athlete must then finish on top of a 24” plyo box to stop the clock.

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namesake photo

Background: In 1998, Mark Nolan, who owns Molon Labe CrossFit @molonlabecrossfit (Macedonia, Ohio), lost his 32-year-old sister Jennifer to domestic violence. She was shot and killed by her common-law partner.

Nolan says he designed this workout to “Celebrate Survivors and to End Domestic Violence,” and named it as a tribute to his sister.

“‘My mom showed up at my sister’s house to drop off my sister’s three kids and found her lying on the bathroom floor. He was still there at that point, up in the attic. She grabbed the kids and called the police, and when they got there, (her partner) shot and killed himself,’ Nolan said.

“‘That morning, she left me a voicemail basically just before she was killed. If I would have answered my phone, I would have talked to her. I couldn’t save her that day. I never got to give her a hug or say goodbye. It was something I battled with for a long time,’ he said.” – CrossFit Journal

From Mark: “The WOD is simply called “32” … because my sister Jennifer lived 32 beautiful years on this earth. This workout is not only a tribute to her memory, but will tell a story. It will take the athlete through some of her life and it will bring many of the same feelings of struggle, hardship, and victories she experienced. It looks like a big workout, long and difficult to remember, yet when thinking back on my sister’s life prior to her death she was raising 3 children, working full time in a hospital and taking 18 credit hours of college. So really we don’t have much here to deal with and remember.

There are 4 rounds of this WOD and it includes 4x 400 meter runs … one of the events my sister participated in during her track and field career. Jennifer loved to run and jump and had set many records doing so. As children growing up in north east Pennsylvania we were surrounded by trees and we loved to climb. Therefore the rope climbs are reminiscent of those happy times.

Her youngest daughter, Haley, was 4 years old at the time so 4 rope climbs per round. Jennifer’s middle child Kendal was 9 and I added 9 wall ball sit-ups to a 5’ target. Matthew was her oldest at 12 [for the] Thrusters.

During each of the running portions of the WOD you will notice the plates and bar get disassembled and different items are taken and carried. This symbolizes the continual disassembly of the 3 children’s lives and Jennifer would need to carry them from time to time. She would give anything for their safety and security. Although at times they did not want to and this disassembly of the family sometimes is so difficult to put back together…but we have to do it. You bring the plates and bar back together as one unit.

Jennifer would have loved CrossFit. She would have loved the camaraderie and competition of the sport. She would have loved all of you. The community that is willing to bond together for someone they have never met to try and help make a difference in another person’s life. You are saving lives. Know that there will be points during this WOD you will want to quit but just remember that it’s not about you, it’s about Jennifer’s life. She never quit especially when things became difficult. When you reassemble the bar and plates on that final round of 32 and stand on the box. Know that you have victory, and know that you have helped save someone’s life and know that Jennifer would be so proud of you.”

The workout was originally performed at Molon Labe CrossFit on September 7, 2013 as part of a fundraiser benefitting the Battered Women’s Shelter of Akron, OH.

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