30 Days of ZooFit: Conservation Hero WODs

Ah, Spring. Here in the Pacific Northwest, at last.

Well, for the moment. April on Whidbey Island is like a crapshoot. Today was absolutely gorgeous.  This weekend is supposed to be raining and dreary again.

Spring, to me, is where ZooFit thrives. ZooFit is very much about exploring and appreciating the outdoors, nature, and the environment. A favorite quote of mine from Baba Dioum says “we will conserve only what we love”. This is true, to me. The more time we go outside, the more we will love being outside. This leads us to caring about what happens to our sacred spaces, those spots we enjoy more than anything else. And what we love we will protect.

I started outdoor workouts four years ago, when I was still a zookeeper. I got in the best shape of my life and several of my friends began to notice. Wanting to do something with my friends, paired with my gym closing down, I created Zookeepers Keeping Fit. My friends changed it to SMF, So Much Fun, and it’s been a lot of fun for me.

As I said in a previous post, I invented a new way to program our workouts for the season. I have six categories of workouts, each containing six workouts. We did a Harry Potter workout from the Fandom Fitness category on Sunday. I made one category a focus on my favorite exercise, burpees, which we have already done two workouts. Today we rolled a 2. This is a special category, and I was THRILLED we were going to experience our first outdoor workout of the year with my special workouts I call ZooFit’s Conservation Hero WODs.

In CrossFit, there are special workouts which are particularly challenging called Hero WODs (workout of the day). These programs are named after military servicemen who died in line of duty. They are often long, grueling, and demanding of strength and endurance.

With ZooFit, I wanted a special way to honor conservation heroes who have passed to the next life. I certainly don’t want to disrespect Hero WODs, but since I am influenced by CrossFit, I wanted to make my own Hero workouts. I created amazing and challenging workouts and named them Conservation Hero WODs.

Today, we christened ZooFit summer season with my all-time favorite, Steve Irwin. Steve Irwin was the Crocodile Hunter. He inspired so many young people to learn, care, and act for conservation and preservation of wildlife and their environment. His enthusiasm for wildlife was infectious, and he died doing what he loved best. He was taken from us too soon, but we are lucky his children, Bindi and Robert, have taken up his mantel.

My favorite signature workout is one I created a little over a year ago. I called it the Burpee Countdown, and if you are wondering how on earth someone can love burpees as much as I do, this is the workout to do. You know you’re in for a doozy when burpees are your rest.

Burpee Countdown is 10 rounds of burpees and running. I do this workout on the soccer field and follow the perimeter lines for my laps. Start with 10 burpees and go down by one repetition each round. After your set of burpees, run a lap.

So, written out, it looks like this:

  • 10 burpees, run a lap
  • 9 burpees, run a lap
  • 8 burpees, run a lap
  • 7 burpees, run a lap
  • 6 burpees, run a lap
  • 5 burpees, run a lap
  • 4 burpees, run a lap
  • 3 burpees, run a lap
  • 2 burpees, run a lap
  • 1 burpee, run a lap


Because it’s my favorite workout, I decided to honor one of zookeepers’ favorite fallen heroes by naming it after Steve Irwin. And today, we celebrated ZooFit with Steve Irwin. It was quite fitting, and a great workout.

Welcome to ZooFit season. Have you found your sacred space to find your motivation and drive to succeed in achieving your fitness goals? Go on and get outside. Have the time of your life, with a purpose.


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