Chuck Benslay- FF Combat Challenge World Finals

Chuck Benslay- FF Combat Challenge World Finals

From Laura Benslay

Congratulations Chuck Benslay!! Chuck is headed to Firefighter Combat Challenge World Finals in Sacramento, CA! See his story and update below in the 'more info' section.

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Recent Updates

Update #5

1 day ago

Happy Wednesday everyone! A great big THANK YOU to Firefighter and Paramedic Jeff Wayne who made this last video of Chuck while I was at work. Wow!! Someone is really feeling a lot better!! Nice work guys! Way to go Chuck...almost a full minute off of your time from the other day!! You Rock!!

More Info

Well...he did it!!  Our very own Chuck Benslay is now a finalist for the Firefighter Combat Challenge World competition!  Chuck has been working out, researching, practicing, recovering from injuries, learning and relearning, and implementing new techniques,  all the while becoming stronger with the help of the Firefighter Combat Challenge.

The Firefighter Combat Challenge (FCC) is a head to head competition where firefighters wearing full bunker gear, perform 5 job related tasks including climbing a 5 story tower, hoisting,  chopping, dragging a charged hose line and finishing with  a 175lb dummy drag.  Chuck  competed twice in 1998 with a fellow firefighter, however no one from his department returned the following year.  Several years later, in 2012, with a passion to regain his health after two back surgeries, Chuck returned to the Firefighter Combat Challenge individually.  Since that time, Chuck has competed annually while working hard to rebuild his strength and decrease his time.  As his wife, it has been my honor and pleasure to love, support and encourage Chuck as much as possible to reach his goals. 

Chuck re- entered the FCC as motivation to continue healing from two back surgeries resulting from an injury which could have ended his firefighting career.  ' I just wanted to recover...I  felt I could hardly do anything for a year...then I was scared to do anything for another year'.  Fighting his personal battles while healing, my husband competed in three challenges in 2013 and 2 challenges in 2014 working to build is strength while learning various training techniques. Then in 2015, just when it appeared as though Chuck had a shot to qualify for World Finals, he fractured  his foot on duty while fighting an apartment  fire. This took him back out of competition for the remainder of the year. It was heart breaking to see the training and effort he put in, only to be met with another physical injury, but I was grateful his injury was not worse than it was. 

 In 2016, Chuck returned with greater physical and mental strength making the individual run in his best time since 1998! He nailed it!!  Then, in 2017, with the gift of a new custom painted helmet , Chuck was ready to make a run to achieve a qualifying time for the World Finals.  Unfortunately, after only one run for the season,  he broke his finger during training and missed  the remainder of the season.  Quit?...oh how tempting...but not my husband, though many times he considered the thought, he never gave up on himself, or his faith and instead he went back to training...again...and again.  How much I respect the courage to return...over and over again...no matter his circumstances.  My pride for my husband has never been measured by the personal times he beat...but by the times he mentally overcame to train and run again.  I am so very proud of him!!

Then, on June 23, 2018, in Lexington, KY, after some subtle persuasion convincing him to compete,  Chuck qualified for the World Finals in the individual competition. The next day, Chuck went on to qualify for the World Finals in tandems with retired Battalion Chief Bill Christiansen from Lansing,  Michigan.  Chuck is currently the only firefighter from the Indianapolis Fire Department competing in the Firefighter Combat Challenge.  His persistence, blood (literally), sweat and resilient attitude has finally paid off to take him all the way to the World Finals.  At the end of October 2018, at 51 years of age, Chuck will compete in Sacramento, CA against firefighters  from all over the world! Way to go Chuck!!

Chuck works hard to stay fit in hopes of a healthy retirement one day, but also to continue to be the firefighter God has called him to be. He understands how vital it is for him to stay physically and mentally prepared on the job for any situation and anyone who is in need of help.  He doesn't expect others to rescue him...he expects God to work through him to rescue others, even his fellow firefighters if ever needed.  The Firefighter Combat Challenge is the motivation Chuck has used to recover and rebuild his strength to  keep him ready to serve others whenever or wherever he may be needed.  

The financial costs to compete in the Firefighter Combat Challenge can be somewhat concerning.  Competitions are held over two day periods in various major cities which requires traveling. Most of the time we use the camper for lodging which has been an incredible blessing from God. However, it would cost us more money in gas than in airfare to travel to California and back in the camper. So that means we will have to provide for lodging, transportation, and meals while we are there. The whole process can be just a little financially challenging in and of itself. 

As Chuck's wife, I am asking for ANY support you could give Chuck while he prepares to represent Indianapolis in world competition.  Whether you offer support through your prayers, words of encouragement or a congratulations for coming this far in competition, I am grateful.  Please pray for his safety and good health as well as our financial ability to cover costs. Please also pray that God would continue to help me to provide the support Chuck needs  to help him reach this very personal and professional goal.

Thank you all so much for the blessings you are in our lives!! We love you all so much!!  I'll keep ya posted!!  

Laura Benslay

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Laura Benslay posted a new update:
1 day ago

Update #5

Happy Wednesday everyone! A great big THANK YOU to Firefighter and Paramedic Jeff Wayne who made this last video of Chuck while I was at work. Wow!! Someone is really feeling a lot better!! Nice work guys! Way to go Chuck...almost a full minute off of your time from the other day!! You Rock!!

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Laura Benslay posted a new update:
3 days ago

Update #4

A big Thank you to IAFF Local 416 for assistance to Chuck for registration fees!

A note to everyone at MJ Insurance...Round two of a double batch of cookies and brownies are headed your way! Sure hope you enjoy them!!
For those of you in Arizona....we are working on a special treat for you too!

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Laura Benslay posted a new update:
3 days ago

Update #3

Ok...very funny Chuck....so...alright then...this is 'Fred', the hosedummy...as you can see I am very grateful for him because before he was created I had to wear Chuck's bunkercoat (firejacket) with weights in the pockets while he pulled me down the street...Praise the Lord we have graduated from that level of training!! Thanks Fred!!!

Some fun facts while we are waiting to post the next two videos to update you on Chuck's training...
There were 182 total competitors in World's last year, 28 of them were over 50 years of age.
The fastest time last year was 1:14:76!! Can you imagine?!
The fastest time over age 50 was 1:41:75!! Wow!! Good for them...but seriously....who does this?!.....That's our Chuck!!

Next up...one video showing the changes Chuck has made in his practice runs, including running in most of his gear.
Instead of the vest Chuck will now practice in his bunker gear and airpack (10lbs more than the vest he wore before).

The second video is the practice run he made this morning. Unfortunately he was not feeling very well. He has been on antibiotics for a sinus infection and battling a chest cold as well. So...there is hard....then there is REALLY HARD...Way to push through Chuck!!

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Laura Benslay posted a new update:
about 1 month ago

Update #2

We want to thank Vickey and Steven Bundy for depositing the money from the cash jar on behalf of all of the Arizona and Indiana employees of MJ Insurance.

we feel so blessed to have the outpouring of support that we have received from all of you. We were over our goal even before the $420 from the jar was received. Our prayers are that each and every one of you would be blessed beyond measure for all the different ways you have supported Chuck and I.

As a thank you to all, I will be bringing some homemade cookies and brownies to each department over the next few weeks. We may have to start another Fundly page to fly out to Arizona to deliver yours! LOL

Wishing all of you in Indiana the best on your move to Carmel and the greatest of success to all of MJ. May God bless you richly.

Laura

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Laura Benslay posted a new update:
2 months ago

Update #1

Hey everyone, I just posted two videos of Chuck. In the first one he is describing how he has set up a course to practice his run time. The second video is an actual practice run time. In between his workouts, Chuck uses this to evaluate his progress. Pay special attention to 'Fred' the dummy...he's got it pretty easy!

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