News: Crossfit Undisclosed keeps airmen fit to fight
Story by Senior Airman Jared Trimarchi
AL UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar - -- If not for the one generator powering four lights in the empty parking lot behind the Blatchford Preston Complex gym, the whole area would be pitch black. Not only is it dark, the wind has picked up to 15 nautical miles per hour and it is 60 degrees outside. These things might stop a few people from working out outside, but it did not stop the 10 participants and one coach who attended the 6 p.m. Crossfit Undisclosed workout Wed. night.
Crossfit Undisclosed, which was started in May 2013, hosts four classes a day and provides service members stationed here an alternative to a mundane workout routine. Airmen, Sailors, Marines, Soldiers and coalition forces join the seven volunteer instructors for a different kind of workout six days a week.
"On and off the past couple of years, Crossfit has tried to make a permanent stay here at Al Udeid Air Base, but due to equipment, facility and turnover difficulties, the program had a hard time becoming official," said Capt. Trevor Steen, a Combined Air Operations Center theater engineer who is deployed from Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. and an Omaha, Neb. native. "Thanks to the hard work of volunteer instructors and dedicated participants, we were able to finally make Crossfit Undisclosed an official Crossfit affiliate."
Unlike most business run Crossfit boxes, the name associated with Crossfit gyms, Crossfit Undisclosed does not have new equipment and has to make do with what has been donated.
"One of the biggest difficulties we faced was not having a facility and not having any equipment to accommodate all the participants who showed up when we started offering classes," said Steen, Crossfit Undisclosed cofounder and trainer. "We have been working behind the BPC gym and have set up our equipment outside. All of the equipment we use has been donated by organizations back in the states and our participants who are as much a part of Crossfit as the coaches. Last month we were donated a pull up rig which has been a tremendous boost to our workout schedule."
The workouts held at Crossfit encompass Olympic weight lifting, cross training, running, warm up, cool down and stretching.
Staff Sgt. Daniel Mickelson, a Crossfit Undisclosed coach assigned to the 379th Expeditionary Civil Engineering Squadron Explosive Ordnance Flight said, "Our Crossfit classes are a great way to get out of the usually weight lifting or cardiovascular training rut, which can become common in a deployed environment. We offer a wide variety of workouts and all of them are designed to be scaled to someone who has never gone to Crossfit before."
Crossfit Undisclosed is more than a workout, said Mickelson, deployed from F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo. and a Cheyenne, Wyo. native.
"Crossfit is a great place to meet people who are motivated in living a fit lifestyle," Mickelson said. "Crossfit Undisclosed is more than a place to work out, it is a community."
Army Chief Warrant Officer 3 Abel Almanza, Crossfit Undisclosed regular attendee who is deployed from Ft. Hood, Texas and an Oceanside, Calif. native said, "Crossfit is a great workout and I enjoy the camaraderie the coaches and people attending have. I am thankful the coaches take time out of their day to volunteer and host the workouts."
Though a typical monthly membership to a Crossfit box can run more than $100 a month, Crossfit Undisclosed is free of charge.
"If you are looking to be in the best shape of your life or if you want to try something new join us for a workout," Steen said. "Deployments are a great place to learn Crossfit and get into great shape. This is one of the best ways to get fit to fight and it will help you achieve a higher score on your PT test."