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 #18

26 days ago

This is Chuck and I want to take this opportunity to thank EVERYONE for all of your support and encouragement. I could not it have done this without ALL of you! To my awesome wife - thanks for believing in me and supporting my workouts and travel schedules! Your love and support means more to me than I can ever express! To my co-workers at MJ - thanks for the encouragement, financial support and the PDP! To my fellow firefighters at Station 28 - thanks guys for the support, encouragement and constant teasing about how I smell at lunch after my workouts! Also, my Peer Fitness Trainers at IFD that helped me get started on a plan for next year! Thanks to my family for thier love and support as well! Mostly, thank you Lord for my health and the ability to even do this!

I am disappointed that I didn't make the finals, but I did have a good run on Wednesday. That was my best time in 2 1/2 years... I learned a lot from other competitors and from having more time on the course. I know my Keiser sled needs work and I need to keep my pace up on the easier parts of the course too!

Laura and I are planning on going to Montgomery County Alabama next year for the World Challenge XXVIII! I picked up 94 sledgehammer from the manufactured in Lawrence and am storing them in our garage until April. My Grandson Jax just had to help me unload all of them from the back of my truck! He's pretty tough for a 7 year old that's had a back surgery too! Anyway, the Challenge is covering my entry fees for the World's next year as a token of thier appreciation.

So, let the training begin... after treating my wife to a short vacation in California! I'm going to try and get a few things for my training to be better prepared for next year.

God bless all of you for following along and supporting me!
Chuck

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:
26 days ago

Update #19

This is Chuck and I want to take this opportunity to thank EVERYONE for all of your support and encouragement. I could not it have done this without ALL of you! To my awesome wife - thanks for believing in me and supporting my workouts and travel schedules! Your love and support means more to me than I can ever express! To my co-workers at MJ - thanks for the encouragement, financial support and the PDP! To my fellow firefighters at Station 28 - thanks guys for the support, encouragement and constant teasing about how I smell at lunch after my workouts! Also, my Peer Fitness Trainers at IFD that helped me get started on a plan for next year! Thanks to my family for thier love and support as well! Mostly, thank you Lord for my health and the ability to even do this!

I am disappointed that I didn't make the finals, but I did have a good run on Wednesday. That was my best time in 2 1/2 years... I learned a lot from other competitors and from having more time on the course. I know my Keiser sled needs work and I need to keep my pace up on the easier parts of the course too!

Laura and I are planning on going to Montgomery County Alabama next year for the World Challenge XXVIII! I picked up 94 sledgehammer from the manufactured in Lawrence and am storing them in our garage until April. My Grandson Jax just had to help me unload all of them from the back of my truck! He's pretty tough for a 7 year old that's had a back surgery too! Anyway, the Challenge is covering my entry fees for the World's next year as a token of thier appreciation.

So, let the training begin... after treating my wife to a short vacation in California! I'm going to try and get a few things for my training to be better prepared for next year.

God bless all of you for following along and supporting me!
Chuck

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Laura Benslay posted a new update:
26 days ago

Update #17

Good evening everyone....we just heard the news of the final runs scheduled for Friday and Saturday...only the top six tandem over 50 groups were taken. Unfortunately Chuck and Bill's time did not make the cut. So we are out on individual and tandems...bummer...
I will say that I as heartbroken as I am for Chuck, I am twice as proud of him for all he the effort he has put into all the years of training and hard work he has put into this.
To Chuck I say....this was only practice and it was an amazing experience...we have both learned a lot and you will be back stronger than ever next year! I couldn't be more proud of you..not just for all the blood, sweat. Injuries and tears you have put into this. , but for the incredible man of character I am so blessed to be married to. I love and respect you so very much..MLASTYAAF!!
To our family, friends and co workers. Thank you again for all of your wonderful love, support and encouragement..this could not have been possible without you....you are such amazing blessings in our lives!
To our awesome Heavenly Father...Thank you. THANK YOU. THANK YOU for this amazing gift and opportunity...may we give back twice as much to others as you have given us!
To Bill Christiansen ...we will be out there cheering you on all the way to the end..you've got this!!
Love and appreciate you all so much...see ya all soon!!
Laura Benslay

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Laura Benslay posted a new update:
27 days ago

Update #16

Good evening everyone! What a day it has been in Sacramento....quite the emotional roller coaster ride. Chuck had his best individual run time in 2 1/2 years!! He took more than 20 seconds off of his time from his run yesterday! Nice work Chuck!!
I know some of you saw his runs live streamed on ffcc.tv today, but for those of you who weren't able to see them, I have posted them below. The first one is Chuck's individual run and the second is his tandem run with his partner, Bill Christiansen. We will not have the final results until late Thursday evening, but we are pretty confident Chuck and Bill will be in the finals for their tandem run!!!
As for the individual runs, Chuck is currently ranked 25th in the 51-59 age group,. Unfortunately, as we understand it they are only taking the top 16 in this category,, so at this time it doesn't appear Chuck will be in finals for individuals, even with such a wonderful run today. But he sure has a great deal to be proud of....he did a fantastic job!
On a sad note...we found out from a fellow competitor who we are also friends with, that his wife was given a diagnosis of breast cancer just before he left to come to World's. In the tandem run video you will probably notice a pink ribbon on the back of Chuck's helmet. This is for breast cancer awareness and to show support for our friends. Our prayers and thoughts...love and support will be with them through the tough battle ahead.
Tomorrow is a rest day for Chuck and for Bill, so I probably will not have anything new to post unless we hear of the standings sooner than we think. As soon as we know about finals I will put out a new post. Tandem finals will be broadcast and streamed on ESPN 3 on Saturday.
Also...I have included a picture with Chuck and Paul Davis (The creator of the Firefighter Combat Challenge). Mr. Davis is quite an amazing individual and we are so grateful for his friendship and all of his hard work bringing the FCC where it is today.
Sure hope you all have a wonderful evening and again, I will post as soon as I hear any news on the finals. Take care and God Bless-Laura

Individual run https://youtu.be/YLmo1KNddDI

Tandem run with Bill https://youtu.be/0F9qpxr2pbQ

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Laura Benslay posted a new update:
28 days ago

Update #13

Good morning everyone...Chuck will be running between 12:15pm and 12:45pm today (Eastern time)...we are told he will be number 415 which will be the 5th race of the day...he will be on the blue side. You can view his run live streamed at ffcc.tv. In the meantime,I thought it would be interesting to see what Chuck sees as he is running the course, so I have posted a quick video below of my quick walk through without all the gear and weight of course! lol. It is not as good as I hoped, but you will get the idea anyhow..Hope you enjoy...and have a wonderful day...and thanks again for all your prayers for Chuck.!! and for me to support him in whatever he needs. We are all so proud of him!!! Love and so appreciate you all!!
https://youtu.be/bPMlv_JInrA

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Laura Benslay posted a new update:
28 days ago

Update #14

Good morning everyone...Chuck will be running between 12:15pm and 12:45pm today (Eastern time)...we are told he will be number 415 which will be the 5th race of the day...he will be on the blue side. You can view his run live streamed at ffcc.tv. In the meantime,I thought it would be interesting to see what Chuck sees as he is running the course, so I have posted a quick video below of my quick walk through without all the gear and weight of course! lol. It is not as good as I hoped, but you will get the idea anyhow..Hope you enjoy...and have a wonderful day...and thanks again for all your prayers for Chuck.!! and for me to support him in whatever he needs. We are all so proud of him!!! Love and so appreciate you all!!
https://youtu.be/bPMlv_JInrA

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Laura Benslay posted a new update:
28 days ago

Update #12

Ok everyone....here are the videos from Chuck's runs today. He was a little disappointed with his times although, he did get some great practice runs in and was able to work out some bugs in preparation for tomorrow.
The first video is his individual run https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DqbOPdRhjyU and the second is his tandem https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FO3irQlbvbY .

There were over 150 competitors on the course today, representing over a dozen countries...it was pretty amazing to see them all come together. There was one minor injury....In one of the runs, at the top of the tower one of the competitors was moving so fast and hoisting the 45lb hose so hard that he over shot the box he was to put it in and it went flying over the other side of the tower on to one of the staff volunteers below. Thankfully the volunteer was not seriously hurt...but all the more reason to be grateful our prayers for protection are being answered lol...

Hope you all have a wonderful evening

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Laura Benslay posted a new update:
29 days ago

Update #11

Chuck has completed his first run of the day...I am not able to post the video from where I am, but will post them tonight from where we are staying. He is not happy with his time...(3:49) due to a penalty on a hose placement. ...he is hoping for a 3:15...and would love to get 2:57 or better...however as we all know, how amazing is it to finish the course let alone do it in less than 4 minutes! He is way too hard on himself..so pray for me as I work on his mental health...lol.. Also..I was blessed enough to get a couple of videos walking through the course to show you what Chuck sees as he is competing, so make sure you check those out tomorrow sometime...( they will be posted tonight as well)..He's got this and now that he's working out his nerves he will really rock it!!

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Laura Benslay posted a new update:
30 days ago

Update #10

Good evening everyone. We have arrived in Sacramento with sunny skies and 81 degrees. Thanks so much for your prayers for traveling mercies! We are both a little tired since I got up around 1:30 this morning (Chuck around 2:30) to begin making the trip. We are still waiting to hear on Chuck's run time for tomorrow, but we do know it wont be before noon Indiana time. We will be heading back to the airport at 11pm CA time to pick up Chuck's partner in the tandems. If his run time is posted by then I will make another post tonight to let everyone know. I am sending Chuck to bed to get some rest before we head back to the airport lol.....so have a restful evening, and I hope to have more information waiting for you in the morning. Laura

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Laura Benslay posted a new update:
about 1 month ago

Update #9

Happy Saturday afternoon everyone!
We are less that 42 hours away from 'leaving on a jet plane'...lol and thanks to your thoughts and prayers, I am very happy to report that Chuck is recovering well from his bronchitis and Sinus infections. WoooHOOO!!
Chuck was able to make a final practice run on Friday at the firehouse...Thanks again Jeff Wayne for taking the video while I was at work...you have been such a blessing for us!! I have posted the video and below is some information on how I will be keeping you informed of Chuck's progress :)

First, I will be posting updates each day Chuck makes a run, either for qualifying or while in competition. We are looking for him to qualify on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Additionally, The Firefighter Combat Challenge will be streaming the qualifying rounds on Tuesday and Wednesday here: http://ffcc.tv/
(I will try to post his running order the night before so you will have an approximate time of his runs).
Chuck has chosen not to run on Thursday so he can rest for Finals on Friday and Saturday.

The finals on Friday and Saturday will be broadcast on ESPN3, if anyone has that channel… I am not sure if the Finals will be live streamed or not due to the contract with ESPN.

Before we leave, I just want to take a moment and again thank all of our family, friends and our MJ Family for their wonderful love, support, and encouragement...It has meant the world to both Chuck and I and we are truly grateful for each and every one of you! Along with Chuck I hope you will keep all the other firefighters in your prayers, who are coming from all over the world to Sacramento. It will be pretty incredible to see so many of them in one place coming together in friendly brotherhood competition for the greater cause of staying fit to be able to care for others in their community.

Chuck....I am so proud of you and I can't wait to watch your joy as you get to live one of your most precious dreams! You have worked hard and God will be right there with you every step of the way. I can't tell you how grateful and blessed I have felt to be on this journey along side you, and to be able to share the wonderful you you are with so many others. You've got this!!! so have some fun with it..and know it will create an incredible memory for you!! YOU ROCK!! MLTYF!
See you from World's everyone!! Laura

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Laura Benslay posted a new update:
about 1 month ago

Update #8

If all goes well with the weather and Chuck's health this Saturday, I plan to post a video of his final practice run before we leave for CA. keep your fingers crossed and your prayers going up! LOL...we love and appreciate you all so much!!

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Laura Benslay posted a new update:
about 1 month ago

Update #7

Hey everyone! I wanted to take a moment to thank Mama Hale (my wonderful mother in law) for her beautiful email and incredible words of encouragement...and most of all for her prayers! I have decided to print that email out and carry with us for some daily inspiration...thanks for making me cry...lol...

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Laura Benslay posted a new update:
about 1 month ago

Update #6

Good Morning everyone! This coming Monday we will be two weeks away from leaving for Sacramento. I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone again for their incredible kindness and generosity towards my husband and to me. I want to also thank everyone taking care of Toby (our half lab-half redbone coonhound) and taking care of our home while we are away. Above all, I want to thank you most of all for your prayers and words of encouragement. I will be sending out daily posts from the day Chuck begins his practice runs until the day he completes world competition. I also hope to post one final practice run, either from me or our awesome firefighter Jeff Wayne before we leave.

I would also like to ask for your continued prayers for good health for both of us. Currently Chuck is fighting a sinus infection and bronchitis making it very difficult for him to maintain consistent training practices. Please pray for his healing and encouragement. Please pray I will continue to be the support God calls me to be for him. We know God has this and has him, but the more people praying the better off we all are...lol.

To my husband I want to say "I am so proud of you!! I know you will rock it for sure!! but I have the most respect for your courage and hard work...your tenacity...your passion...and your ability to overcome, no matter how you are feeling! YOU HAVE ALREADY WON THE BATTLE!!
You've got this...and God has you...right in the palm of His hands...I can't wait to see what He does with all of this...always remember the scripture I put inside your helmet along with the kids and Jackson...We are all right here with you!! MLTYF!!! Laura

Sandra Massie Hale commented on a blog post:
about 1 month ago
I want you to know that I have been reading your posts and am so happy that you have kept us up to date.

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Laura Benslay posted a new update:
2 months 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:
2 months 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:
2 months 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:
4 months 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:
4 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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