2nd Annual Wade’s Army

Author / John

I just got home from taking part in the NorCal Power Athlete Team Series hosted by CrossFit One World’s Freddy Camacho and company. The event was a massive success for the Power Athlete team as we saw 25 teams compete and over 300 people come in support. With the final event coming down to a critical error that cost the second place team the win.

As the event was coming to a close, I got a chance to talk with a friend’s father about life and raising children. He was at the event taking pictures of his daughter and the competition. He offered me some fatherly advice on raising girls and things he thought were important reflecting back on the last 25 years.

I was raised in a family of boys and played football till I was 33 years old. So when I learned we were having twin girls, I knew I was going to be at a disadvantage. So whenever I meet fathers with successful, well-adjusted daughters, I am more than happy to listen to their advice.

He gave me three things to remember as a father.

“Never let your fears, become their fears.”

He told me a story of living in Hawaii and watching local kids jumping off cliffs into the ocean. He encouraged his girls to jump and not be afraid. When they asked him to jump with them, he was petrified, as he could not swim. He was scared of the water, but knew if he did not jump or explain why he was afraid, his fears would be become their fears.

What did he do? He jumped.

“Never be too busy.”


Your kids need to know you support them. They need to look up and see you in the stands cheering for them. They need to know you are there to help with homework. He believes if you are never too busy to listen they would grow to be honest and never feel compelled to lie. Reflecting back, he thought lying was the worst thing a kid could do and if a kid grows up with parental support she should never feel the need to lie.

“Be as positive when they fail, as when they succeed.”

He felt if you were only positive when they succeed, they would be reluctant to try new things. Growing up is about exploring what the world has to offer. I remember reading the famous quote, “What would you do, if you were you would never fail.”

During the drive home, I had time reflect on the conversation and Wade DeBruin. The advice about never being too busy kept replaying in head on the drive home. Our children need us in the stands cheering. They need to know we support them. This could not be truer as it relates to Wade and his fight.


For those of you new to the Power Athlete family, Wade DeBruin was a two-year-old little boy we lost two years ago to Neuroblastoma, a deadly form of pediatric cancer that attacks the nerve tissue. Wade’s mom and my wife grew up together and while my wife was pregnant with our girls we saw his heart wrenching struggle play out on Facebook. What hit so close to home was when I saw a picture of Wade with his twin sister. Being a father of twins, I cannot relay the closeness I observe with my girls. It is as if they had their best friend genetically coded from birth. My girls have been inseparable since that initial spark and do everything together. So I can only imagine how hard it has been on his family.


Wade passed away one month after my girls were born and it crushed us. But seeing the strength and struggle this little boy and his family put up was inspiring and my wife asked me if there was something we could to remember Wade and bring the fight to this cancer.

Knowing I could not do this alone, I needed to enlist the help of my friends in the CrossFit Football Nation.

We are asking for you to help us remember Wade and his fight by raising funds to support Wade’s Wings.

Leading up to the November 12th workout we are asking all Power Athletes to join Wade’s Army by donating and receiving our limited edition Wade’s Army t-shirt.

November 12th will mark the two-year anniversary of Wade’s passing and we will remember him with a workout that will be posted on CrossFit Football.


Complete 5 rounds for time:

50 lbs One Arm DB Power Snatch – 11 reps
50 lbs One Arm DB Thrusters – 12 reps
Pull Ups w/ the 50 lbs DB – 11 reps

*Alternate hands as needed during the workout to complete the total reps.

Post times to comments and help us support Wade’s Wings by joining the fight.

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John Welbourn is CEO of Power Athlete and Fuse Move. He is also creator of the online training phenomena, Johnnie WOD. He is a 9 year veteran of the NFL. John was drafted with the 97th pick in 1999 NFL Draft and went on to be a starter for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1999-2003, appearing in 3 NFC Championship games, and for starter for the Kansas City Chiefs from 2004-2007. In 2008, he played with the New England Patriots until an injury ended his season early with him retiring in 2009. Over the course of his career, John has started over 100 games and has 10 play-off appearances. He was a four year lettermen while playing football at the University of California at Berkeley. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in Rhetoric in 1998. John has worked with the MLB, NFL, NHL, Olympic athletes and Military. He travels the world lecturing on performance and nutrition for Power Athlete. You can catch up with John as his personal blog on training, food and life, Talk To Me Johnnie and at Power Athlete.

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