Army Specialist Blake Whipple, 21, of Williamsville was killed November 5, 2010 while serving in Afghanistan.
CHEEKTOWAGA, NY- It's truly a workout for the mind, body and spirit. It's high energy, high intensity, and for many at a gym in Cheektowaga, highly emotional.
"When I get to the point where I just can't hold back the tears, then I've worked as hard as I need to work and that's my goal here," said David Whipple.
Crossfit Buffalo, a gym in Cheektowaga, has a tradition of doing workouts in honor of fallen service members. Two years ago, one such loss hit close to home. Army Specialist Blake Whipple of Williamsville was killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.
"Blake was not one of ours, but he was a friend of one of ours. So they asked us can we do a workout for him and we of course said yes," said Dave Rice, owner and trainer at Crossfit Buffalo.
And thus "the Whip" was born. Blake Whipple was killed on 11-5-10, so they do 11 pushups, 5 squats, and 10 box jumps. The squats are 155 pounds for Blake's weight. They do it all over and over and over for 21 minutes- Blake's age.
"These guys in the military have sacrificed so much, that for 21 minutes you can just give it your all and push through anything," said Crossfit's owner and trainer Jason Gemmer.
Blake's family, including his father David, came to see the Whip performed, and it was then he knew if friends and strangers were doing this for his son, then David himself owed it to Blake to do it, too.
"The one thing I've always said since we lost our son is I just hope people remember, not only Blake but all our fallen soldiers, marines, sailors, and this tells me that these folks remember. They didn't know Blake but they know of his service and his sacrifice and they're remembering, and I'm moved beyond words," said Whipple.
As the pain of the workout combines with the pain of his loss, David feels the support of others, and feels his son's strength from within, and finds a way to continue on.
"I just wanted to exert as much energy as I possibly could. I didn't want to have anything left when I was done, because that's kind of the way he was. He gave everything he had for our country. He gave up all his tomorrows, so we could enjoy our todays," said Whipple.
Word of the Whip has spread and now a handful of Crossfit gyms across the country, as far away as Hawaii, perform the workout.