Local gym honors local hero with intense Independence Day workout

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — First they remember the fallen. Then, the CrossFit New Haven crew get to work sweating it out in honor of Madison’s Captain Andrew Pedersen-Keel. Friends called him P.K.

His stepfather, Bob Keiser says the tribute is fitting.

Keiser said, “It’s music, working out, reading, but he was also an adrenaline junkie. He loved being active all the time. He had a lot of friends. He was a great kid and he would have done wonderful things.”

In March of 2013, an Afghan man grabbed a machine gun and ambushed Captain Pedersen-Keel and his special forces team.

“A soldier dies twice. Once, when he or she is killed in battle and second when he or she is forgotten. So, to have this event each year keeps Andrew’s memory alive and the memories of all the other fallen soldiers,” said Keiser.

Related Content: Madison Road Named in Honor of Captain Andrew Michael Pedersen-Keel

So that’s why CrossFit New Haven had an extreme work out today.

CrossFit New Haven’s Whitney Doel explained, “While we always want our athletes to be safe. We also want them to have a chance to remember why we’re here doing this and pushing outside our comfort zone is the best way to honor those who can’t be with us today.”

Each completed back squats, dead lifts, and a 400 meter sprint. Then repeated it five times with just a two minute rest.

“When you’ve got the motivation to do it for someone like APK that helps ya,” said Zack Devlin-Foltz, who is in the military reserves. I feel a little extra responsibility to bring the solemnity to the occasion, but everyone here is great. They have our back as the military in general and APK in particular who gave it all.”

Keiser said, “All of these folks coming out for PK for Andrew. Makes you feel good. It kinda gives you strength.”

All of this hard work will live on. CrossFit New Haven has raised about $2,000 for APK charities. That goes to help veterans down the road.

For more on APK Charities, visit www.apkcharities.org.

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