News: Deployed soldiers participating in CrossFit Open 2013
Story by Capt. Kerri Brantley
CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait - The popularity of CrossFit has exploded over the past five years, with its focus on functional movements performed with high intensity has attracted millions of followers worldwide, to include many deployed here at Camp Buehring, Kuwait.
When it comes to fitness programs, the Army demands soldiers to be physically fit, and it does not get any better than CrossFit, to obtain that basic soldiering skill. CrossFit’s a core strength and conditioning program created in 1995 by Greg Glassman, a life-long physical fitness trainer and gymnast from Santa Cruz, Calif.
The stated goal of the CrossFit program is to develop a broad, general and inclusive fitness, the type of fitness that would best prepare trainees for any physical contingency, to include the unknown and the unknowable. Therefore, to ensure we succeed, as soldiers is to be prepared for the unknown, we must master our basic warrior skills to continue our success in the harsh and unforgiving demands of our jobs whenever, wherever.
To promote and crown the fittest on earth, CrossFit headquarters has been hosting the CrossFit Games since 2007, this year many of the soldiers deployed to Kuwait and who work out at CrossFit Spartan Shield will be among the contestants who compete in the Open from all over the world.
Here at Camp Buehring, there is an affiliated CrossFit Box (really the structure is a tent), which is soldier lead and operated. As soldiers cycle through here for deployments, they volunteer their time as coaches, volunteers and maintainers of the rigorous program. All of our volunteers maintain full schedules with their respected units, but are also athletes, who love the community and intensity of the CrossFit world. Many of our volunteers and athletes will be participating in the 2013 CrossFit Open, which is the preliminary event to the CrossFit Regionals and then the Reebok CrossFit Games.
Staff Sgt. iJaesin Wiggins of Denver, assigned to the 2-135th General Aviation Support Battalion, is a returning competitor, this will be his second Open, which he has been a participant. “We have been practicing things that we suck at to prepare for the open. In addition to the daily WOD [Work –out of the Day], we do extra credit, trying to select exercises we believe will be in the Open this year,” said Wiggins. “I am looking forward to doing better than I did last year.” Wiggins is also launching an athletic apparel company, iRavage that coincides with the Open, his apparel will be worn by many of our competitors from CFSS during the CrossFit Open.
1st. Lt. Rusty Cook, of, Wilkes Barre, Pa., assigned to the 1-109th Infantry Combined Arms Battalion has been doing CrossFit for six months now due to mobilization requirements for his current deployment. “I'm prepping for the opens by cutting my two-a-day-workout days down per week, and focusing on only lifts and WODS under 20 minutes with rest,” said Cook. “The biggest thing I’m looking forward to is competing with everyone here on Camp Buehring and curious to see how I compare to the rest of the world.”
I [Capt. Kerri Brantley, of Warrensburg, Mo., assigned to 35th Combat Aviation Brigade] am also a rookie and am the only female from our box competing. I am not sure how well I will do, but when I started CrossFit in November 2012, I could not do one pull-up; Now I have master that exercise and recently performed all 100 pull-ups unassisted when we did Murph, a Hero WOD. I am looking forward to pushing my limits and testing my fitness during the Open event.
Amongst all the challenges and victories CrossFit has presented our athletes from CFSS, we look forward to this adventure and experience that we will soon not forget. This is an amazing opportunity to cheer on our fellow soldiers, judge our abilities and achieve new goals. And when the open kicks off in four days, we will be there anxiously awaiting the first workout.