| Training For Wade’s Day

Author / John

November 12, 2014 marks the third annual Wade’s Day. Power Athlete Nation will be banding together to honor Wade DeBruin and his fight against the pediatric cancer, neuroblastoma.  Over the past 2 months Scott DeBruin has been sharing his training leading up to Wade’s Day on our Wade’s Army blog.

Please read the latest entry below, and join us in honoring Wade and the DeBruin family, Wednesday, November 12th with the Wade’s Day workout.  Many gyms are opening their doors to the community on Wade’s Day, so if you are either looking for a place to participate or host, please go to this page.

Thank you,
Power Athlete


2 weeks till Wade’s day.  I’m entering the final stage of my training, trying to squeeze in as many workouts as I can in hopes of being successful on November 12th.  My pull-ups are improving….slowly…real slowly.  While I’m certain I’ll do better than last year, I have to be honest with myself that I’m not going to be able to complete the workout as prescribed.  Still too far to go.

While that is disappointing, I’m encouraged by how great I feel otherwise.  I feel stronger than I have been in years.  My overall conditioning is better.  I’m now getting through WOD’s just like everyone else in class.  I’m still far from wowing people with my fitness, but given its only been two months, I’m wowing myself.

I’m energized to do the “Wade”  in two weeks at the CrossFit Primeval in Monmouth Junction, NJ.  For any locals, it would be great to have your support as I give these pull-ups all I’ve got!

On a more somber note, this is also a very difficult time for me personally.  In particular, Halloween.  For most dad’s it is a fun time to spend with your kids and see the delight in their eyes as they get dressed up and fill their bags with candy.  For me, it’s far more bittersweet.  This year, I am looking forward to seeing Elsa, Olaf and our newest little monkey get dressed up.  But Halloween is also a haunting anniversary because it was the last day I spent with Wade before he went into the hospital for the last time.  In fact, as I sit here and try to write about it, I keep getting blocked up.  Instead, I’m just going to repost something I shared two years ago.

I haven’t talked about it since, but this post is/was the best way for me to try and show the emotional challenges I continue to work through.  For me, all of this is more than just a physical challenge, it’s an emotional one as well.  For those of you who are reading this, I think that’s a really important thing to know.


As written 10/31/12:
“Today is one of the toughest days yet. On the one hand, I’ve got a unicorn (Ella) and a bumble bee (Haddie) who are so excited to go out and get lots of candy.  On the other hand, I can’t stop thinking about the day I spent w/ Wade one year ago today.  To Heather’s disappointment, he only wanted daddy.  Wade and I left trick or treating early because he didn’t feel well.  He clung tight to me on that walk home.  For some reason, his quiet calm stood out to me and I remember feeling like it was a special moment worth remembering.  It would prove to be the last of those moments I’d have with my son.

The next day I drove him and Heather to the hospital and to his final fate (just 11 days later).  Even in those final days at Cincy Children’s; the pain meds, chemo, and PICU environment made it impossible to have a “real” moment with my son or to truly say goodbye.  In fact, I barely remember any of those final days.  I am haunted by that walk home because I think it was the first time I “knew” that he was not well – though I didn’t want to admit it then.  In hindsight, I think Wade also knew something wasn’t right and wanted this time with me – when I wasn’t working or trying to stay busy doing something. Just a father embracing his son – one last time.

I hope you all enjoy this Halloween and are haunted by far happier things – like your own smiling little unicorns and bumble bees, hopped up on chocolate and not a care in the world.”

Scott DeBruin


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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.


  1. DavidMck on November 1, 2014 at 8:03 am

    So sad. Reading this really makes you put all your insignificant shit aside. Inspiring.

  2. mattischenko on November 9, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    This is a brutal/ awesome post. I have two boys (3 and 1 years old). I could never imagine what you went through. But your story and writing is more heroic than all of they keyboard jockies on the interwebs. Inspiring stuff!

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