CAMP BUEHRING, KUWAIT - Another week down of the CrossFit Open and the athletes from CrossFit Spartan Shield here at Camp Buehring are proving to have remarkable strength drive and heart.
First Lt. Rusty Cook, of Wilkes Barre, Pa., assigned to the 1/109th Combined Arms Battalion, is currently ranked number four in the Asia Region in this week's event and is anxious to see where he will stand at the end of week two.
Cook started CrossFit training in June of 2012, but due to the nature and tedious pre-deployment schedule, he had to put CrossFit on hold, until he arrived here at Camp Buehring mid-December 2012. Cook is one of our coaches at the box and also does the programming for our workouts. Even though it may be a challenge to balance his busy work schedule and countless hours in the box, Cook still finds a way to be here every day.
"Being deployed, our mission comes first and everything else second," said Cook. "Sometimes this effects how and when I train. It is hard for me to get two workouts in a day but occasionally I'm able to squeeze two in. On top of that I am also a coach."
He decided to do the open, be a part of the community CrossFit is known for, and accept the challenge for himself. The Open has become a phenomenon here at CFSS; we have had outsiders come in and cheer on our athletes, it's been a remarkable experience thus far.
"I want to see how I compare to the rest of the world and to compete with everyone here on Camp, said Cook. "It's been fun."
CrossFit is a life changing program; we read stories about it every day. For Cook, he has always been an active, outdoors guy. He hates sitting at a desk.
"When I wasn't outside caving, rock climbing, swimming, etc., I would go to the gym. However, I had a lot of friends that were typical "gym rats" and I wasn't too much into the routine bicep curls, leg extensions, etc.," said Cook. "When I discovered CrossFit I fell in love with both the programming and the environment."
Some of what he loves about CrossFit is his overhead lifts. His snatch weight is currently 205 pounds and his overhead squat is 245 pounds.
"Since only starting CrossFit in June and then having to stop for three months, I believe this is my biggest improvement," said Cook.
A favorite CrossFit elitist of Cook's is Rich Froning, because he is a good role model. "He is down to earth and has good spirit, not a big ego. The way he acts and his approach to life is very similar to how I live my life," said Cook.
Even though we are in a deployed environment and not enjoying the everyday life back at home, it's nice to be able to compete in something that connects not only with folks back in the United States, but with folks from all over the world. The CrossFit Open is about having a good time, finding personal strengths, and overcoming new challenges. The Open has become what we eat, breathe and sleep here at CrossFit Spartan Shield.